What is the role of diagnostic mammography in the evaluation of breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 27, 2019
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Diagnostic mammography is more expensive than screening mammography. It is used to determine the exact size and location of breast abnormalities and to image the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. Women with breast implants or a personal history of breast cancer may require the additional views used in diagnostic mammography as part of their routine screening examination.

A ductogram (or galactogram) is sometimes helpful for determining the cause of nipple discharge. In this specialized examination, a fine plastic tube is placed into the opening of the duct in the nipple. A small amount of contrast medium is injected, which outlines the shape of the duct on a mammogram and shows whether a mass is present inside the duct.


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