6 Common Mammogram Questions, Answered

By Romy Weinberg
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
October 07, 2022

Around 13 percent of women, or 1 in 8, will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Despite that staggering statistic, advances in screening procedures, increased awareness, and improved treatment options have all likely contributed to the disease’s steadily declining rate of death in the United States. Between 2002 to 2003 alone, death rates dropped 7 percent.

Mammography is the most common and widely used of the screening tools available. Others include ultrasound and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts that makes it possible to detect cancer more easily and earlier than it can be felt, often leading to faster treatment and better outcomes.

“[Mammography] is our best test for detection,” says David Gruen, M.D., chief medical officer for imaging at Jefferson Radiology, in Enfield, Connecticut, and a radiologist who specializes in breast and body imaging.