A diagnostic mammogram is used to diagnose unusual breast changes, such as a lump or pain. It is also used to evaluate changes detected on a screening mammogram.

Needing a diagnostic mammogram DOES NOT mean you have cancer. It is merely the next step to understand any changes in your breasts detected during a screening mammogram or breast exam.

During a diagnostic mammogram, additional images of the breast are taken and reviewed by a board-certified radiologist. If there is a need for any additional imaging, such as 3D mammography or breast ultrasound, it will be performed.

For your peace of mind, you are given the results of your exam before you leave the breast center.

In preparation for your diagnostic mammogram:

  • Do not wear talcum powder or lotion under your arms or on your breasts on the day of your exam.
  • Describe any breast symptoms or problems to the technologist performing the exam.
  • If possible, obtain any prior mammograms and bring them with you to your appointment.
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