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What is a screening mammogram?


A screening mammogram is a breast X-ray examination for women with no symptoms. The purpose is to detect tumors while they are still too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. The examination takes just a few minutes. Two X-ray images (views) of each breast are normally taken. For some patients, for example women with larger breasts, more images may be required in order to see as much breast tissue as possible.

If there is a screening program where you live, you will be called regularly for a screening mammogram examination – usually every year or every two years, starting at age 40 or 50. You can also talk to your general practitioner or gynecologist about getting a mammogram.

How is a mammogram done?


The mammogram is performed by a qualified technologist. For each view, the technologist positions the breast on the breast support of the mammography unit, and gradually compresses it using a clear plastic paddle. The compression helps provide good image quality to enhance detection.

Philips MicroDose Mammography has been designed with both the patient and the clinician in mind. Its ergonomic design lets the technologist perform the examination in about four minutes, which means a shorter and more convenient visit for you.

What’s more, the system’s breast support is anatomically curved for a comfortable fit, and has a warmed surface to reduce discomfort during the compression. The result is an enhanced patient experience.

curved img

The curved and warm breast support of the Philips MicroDose Mammography system helps provides comfort during the examination.

Your screening mammogram step-by-step


Your screening mammogram step-by-step


See a typical treatment (PDF)

Why digital mammography?


Digital mammography may improve the radiologists’ ability to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. It allows a radiologist to electronically adjust, store, and retrieve digital images. Long-distance consultations with other mammography specialists may be easier. The radiologist can adjust images to better evaluate possible areas of concern, which may help in detecting subtle differences in the breast tissue. Lower initial radiation dose and fewer repeat images reduce the radiation exposure.


Today, three different types of equipment exist:

1. Digital Technology
digital technology

1. Digital technology


much like a digital camera, where the machine produces a digital image which is then viewed on a computer screen. This technique is commonly called Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM). With digital mammography, the images are recorded directly onto a computer. The image can then be viewed on a computer screen and certain areas can be enlarged or highlighted as needed. If there is a suspicious area, your doctors can use the computer to get a closer look. The images also can be transmitted electronically with ease from one location to another across the city or across the globe, should a doctor wish to seek the opinion of a colleague.


2. The Intermediate Step
digital technology

2. The Intermediate step


between film and digital images, by which the image is produced using a special cassette from where the image is digitized and then either printed as film or viewed on a computer screen.


3. Analog film system
digital technology

3. Analog film system


Analog film system, oldest and still most widely used. The mammogram on these machines is viewed on a film on a lightbox, much like a film negative from a normal camera. If you have had a film-screen mammogram, the images will be in black and white on large sheets of film.


Schedule your low-dose mammogram. Do it for you.


No matter why you’ve put off getting your mammogram, there’s a reason to move this potentially life-saving exam right to the top of your to-do list.

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