Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system
to examine breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to
aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.
Digital mammography, also called full-field digital mammography (FFDM),
is a mammography system in which the X-ray film is replaced by solid-state
detectors that convert X-rays into electrical signals. These detectors
are similar to those found in digital cameras. The electrical signals
are used to produce images of the breast that can be seen on a computer
screen or printed on special film similar to conventional mammograms.
From the patient's point of view, having a digital mammogram is essentially
the same as having a conventional film screen mammogram.
Both traditional film screen and digital mammograms are non-invasive,
painless examinations. They involve a very low dose of radiation, the
benefits of which far outweigh any potential risks.