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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center / Centers & Clinics

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Digital Mammography Screening

It begins with understanding

Having the correct diagnosis is a critical first step in providing the best treatment possible. If a screening mammogram detects a concern or abnormality, you will be asked to come in for a diagnostic mammogram. Digital mammograms play a critical role in the early screening and diagnosing of breast diseases because they have the ability to more accurately show changes in breast tissue prior to you or your physician’s ability to feel them. Our state of the art digital mammography equipment at the Johns Hopkins Breast Center allows physicians to view images in real time and examine the breast in greater detail.

Why digital mammography? Greater accuracy and peace of mind

Dr. Zeb Watch Dr. Sarah Zeb, breast imaging expert, discuss 3D mammography, or tomosynthesis.

Mammography remains the gold standard for screening for early stage breast cancer. At Johns Hopkins, we use digital mammography to allow radiologists to capture and manipulate the images so abnormalities can be seen more easily. The procedure for a digital mammography is basically performed the same way as a standard mammogram.

Unlike film-based mammography, digital mammography uses computer-based electronic conductors to display a picture of the interior of the breast for the clearest, most accurate images, to lead to a correct diagnosis. Our radiologists review the images and discuss the results with you. If the physician feels you need any additional assessment, treatment, or biopsy, we try to schedule the same day or within a week. Ultrasound and MRI equipment also is available for the assessment of suspicious masses.

Dimensional mammography is our standard of care

We also offer three-dimensional mammography, or tomosynthesis, for the early detection of breast cancer, and for identifying breast cancer in women who have dense breasts.

3-D mammography is a revolutionary screening and diagnostic tool that captures images of the breast in thin sections. During the procedure, the x-ray arm sweeps across the breast, capturing numerous images in a matter of seconds. 3-D imaging allows the radiologist to see inside the breast layer by layer, enhancing fine details by minimizing overlapping tissue, and can be done in conjunction with a traditional 2-D digital mammogram. 3-D mammography offers additional benefits, including:

  • Detects 41 percent more invasive cancers
  • Reduces biopsies and callbacks for a second look by 40 percent
  • Takes an image in four seconds 
  • Has been approved by the FDA
  • Is appropriate for all women