Diagnostic mammogram is an exam that may be performed if a screening mammogram is inconclusive or if you are experiencing symptoms. Diagnostic mammograms check for specific symptoms of breast cancer. Based on research data, approximately 10 percent of all women are called back to take a diagnostic mammogram. Not all of these women will have breast cancer. Sometimes a diagnostic test is used to get a better picture of part of the breast that was not clear in the screening mammogram.
The main difference between the screening mammogram and the diagnostic mammogram is its purpose. A screening test is a basic mammogram and is not intended to provide a diagnosis of cancer. The purpose of a diagnostic mammogram, on the other hand, is to specifically locate and analyze the breasts for potentially cancerous cells. A diagnostic mammogram is intended to diagnose or rule out the presence of cancer.