Digital Mammography is a specialized form of mammography that uses digital receptors and computers instead of x-ray film to help examine breast tissue for breast cancer.The electrical signals can be read on computer screens, permitting more manipulation of images to theoretically allow radiologists to more clearly view the results.Digital mammography may be "spot view", for breast biopsy,or "full field" (FFDM) for screening.
Digital mammography is also utilized in stereo-tactic biopsy. Breast biopsy may also be performed using a different modality, such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
- Because there's no waiting for film to be developed, digital images are immediately available. The technologist can evaluate the quality of the images as they're taken. That means patients spend less time in the exam room and rarely need to return for repeat images due to under or over exposures.
- The digital machine is fast, so patients spend less time in uncomfortable positions.
- Brightness, darkness, or contrast can be adjusted and sections of an image can be magnified after the mammogram is complete making it easier to see subtle differences between tissues. The ability to increase contrast when imaging dense tissue is particularly important, as dense breast tissue and malignant cells both appear to be white on a film mammogram.
- Digital images are easily stored and retrieved.
- Transmission of images from one physician to another is quick and easy.
- Digital technology provides a platform for new technologies, such as CAD software, dedicated to advancing the early detection of breast cancer.