Understanding Mammograms: Screening, Diagnosis, and BI-RADS Scores

Mammograms are performed for screening and diagnostic purposes. The report will contain a BI-RADS score (Breast Imaging Reporting and Database System). A BI-RADS score of 3 or higher is considered abnormal. A score of BI-RADS 3 means that something can be seen on the mammogram, but it is unlikely to be breast cancer. It does mean, however, the need to repeat the mammogram in 6 months. If you can feel a lump in the same area, have other symptoms related to that area in your breast, or have a higher-than-normal risk of developing breast cancer, you should see a breast specialist.

Decoding Mammogram Reports: BI-RADS Scores, Recommendations, and Next Steps

If your mammogram report has a BI-RADS score of 4 or 5, a tissue diagnosis (include link) is always recommended. You should see a breast specialist before having the biopsy and as soon as possible. 

A BI-RADS report with a score of 0 means that additional imaging is needed, which may include another mammogram or other diagnostic imaging. 

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