Diagnostic mammograms investigate possible problems
A woman with a breast problem (for instance, a lump or nipple discharge) or an abnormal area found in a screening mammogram typically gets a diagnostic mammogram. Sometimes diagnostic mammograms are done for screening in women without breast problems who were previously treated for breast cancer.
During a diagnostic mammogram, the images are reviewed by the radiologist while you are there so that more pictures can be taken if needed to look more closely at an area of concern. In some cases, special images known as spot views or magnification views are used to make a small area of concern easier to evaluate. Other types of imaging tests such as ultrasound may also be done in addition to the mammogram, depending on the type of problem and where it is in the breast.
A diagnostic mammogram is usually interpreted in one of three ways: