Screening vs. Diagnostic Mammograms

One of the most frequent questions we hear is “What is the difference between screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms?” followed by “How much do they cost?” The answers can be complicated. We asked expert radiologist Wendie Berg, MD, PhD, FACR of Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC to break it down for us.

Screening mammograms are done annually to check women with no signs or symptoms of breast cancer.

A mammogram should be scheduled as diagnostic  if a woman shows symptoms such as a lump, discharge or change in breast size or shape. Diagnostic mammograms are also done when doctors find an abnormality on a woman’s screening mammogram and may be routinely done following a woman’s diagnosis of breast cancer. See the chart below for a side-by-side comparison:

Screening vs. Diagnostic Mammograms

Do YOU need a mammogram? If you are uninsured or underinsured and need a mammogra, we can help. Call 800-377-8828 ext. 3020 or email Dolores@PABreastCancer.org.