A mammogram is a picture of the breast obtained through an X-ray. This diagnostic imaging test allows doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer.
For this procedure, a technologist places the woman’s breast on a plastic plate and another plate presses on the breast from above, flattening it while the technologist takes the X-ray. The steps are repeated to get a side view of the breast and the other breast.
A mammogram shows any masses, calcifications, distortions, and asymmetries. While it cannot tell if an abnormal area is cancerous, it can show healthcare providers that there is a need for more testing.