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Breast Cancer


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Mammograms are low-dose x-rays that can help find breast cancer. If you've been told you need a mammogram, or you're ready to start breast cancer screening, the topics below can help you know what to expect.

Getting a mammogram

Find out what a mammogram is, why it's done, what doctors look for, and what it's like to get one.

Understanding your results

Doctors use a standard system called the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) to describe what they see on a mammogram. Learn how to understand your results, and what it means if your mammograms show dense breast tissue.

Mammograms in special circumstances

If you have had breast cancer in the past, whether or not you need to keep getting mammograms might depend on the type of surgery you had.

If you have breast implants, you can and should get mammograms as recommended. But you might need to have extra pictures taken so the doctor can see as much breast tissue as possible. 

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: January 14, 2022