As opposed to a screening mammogram, a diagnostic mammogram is done for patients who have signs or symptoms of breast disease. These include breast pain, nipple discharge, a lump or swelling, or any other visible deformity of the breast. If a screening mammogram shows abnormal findings, a diagnostic mammogram is usually ordered to evaluate them further.
As mentioned above, diagnostic mammograms entail taking more images then normal screening mammograms, allowing for a more detailed assessment of the breast tissue. The conventional angles used in any mammogram are the craniaocaudal and the mediolateral oblique views. The additional angles include “Cleavage view”, “rolled view” and “tangential view”. This is why diagnostic mammography is more expensive and entails slightly more radiation exposure than screening mammograms.