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Digital Mammography

A mammogram machine.

Advantages of Digital Mammograms

Mammography remains the gold standard for screening for early stage breast cancer. Many breast centers still use analog mammograms, meaning the images are printed on film. However, digital mammography is now available, allowing for the radiologist to capture and manipulate the images so abnormalities can be seen more easily.

For example, in women with dense fibrocystic breast tissue, their breasts appear white on a mammogram. Complicating this is that tumors are also white. But with digital mammograms, the radiologist can manipulate the contrast of the images, making them darker or lighter, allowing for the masses to be identified. The images can also be enlarged on the computer to focus on areas of concern. A 3D mammogram, or tomosynthesis, can also be a valuable tool for screening and diagnosis of breast cancer in women who have dense breasts.

At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, when a patient comes for a diagnostic mammography to further evaluate a breast abnormality, she receives the highest quality digital imaging services available. Breast ultrasound and breast MRI are also available.