Mammogram - Preventive Screening - Digital

This is an X-ray of the breast that provides images on a computer. Check with your provider to see if they use film or digital images.

This is an X-ray of the breast that provides images on a computer.  Check with your provider to see if they use film or digital images.

A digital mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. The digital images are displayed on a computer screen. The images can be printed if necessary. An older technology provides images that are printed on radiology film. Check with your healthcare provider to determine which type of technology will be used, as costs may vary.

  • A screening mammogram is done on a woman who has no symptoms. In this test, two images of each breast are taken to help in the early detection of breast cancer.
  • There is disagreement among experts on the best age for a woman with an average risk for breast cancer to start getting mammograms. You should discuss your risk factors, the appropriate age for you to begin screening and the right screening interval with your doctor.
  • It is not clear whether additional computer-assisted mammography is better at finding breast cancer than standard mammography.

Based upon the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, screening mammography is covered without deductibles or copayments when performed by an in-network provider. Diagnostic mammography is subject to deductibles and copayments. When submitting information, your provider decides whether the test is for screening or diagnostic purposes. A diagnostic mammogram, done as follow up to breast cancer evaluation or treatment, is usually subject to a deductible and/or copayment.

Here are some things you should know before having a mammogram.

  • Tell the technician if you are, or could be, pregnant. The exposure from a single X-ray has not been associated with harmful effects to an unborn baby, but precautions should be taken.
  • Do not use any deodorant, powder or lotion on your underarms or breasts the day of the test. This could interfere with the test results.
  • You may want to wear a two-piece outfit. That way, you can just remove the top for the test.
  • Tell the technician if you have breast implants. A different procedure may be required.
  • You will need to stay still during the test, so the technician can take a clear image.
  • The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • Is there any preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • How long will it take for me to get the results of my mammogram?
  • If there is an abnormality, who will explain the test results and follow-up plans to me?


Also known as:

Screening Mammogram - Digital
Preventive Screening
Mammogram - Preventive Screening - Digital
Digital Mammogram
Cancer Screening
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