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The Difference between Screening and Diagnostic Mammograms

A diagnostic radiologist with more than 15 years of radiology experience, Jay Emerson Jones, MD, currently practices at Drs. Mori, Bean & Brooks in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to interpreting routine screening mammograms, Dr. Jay Emerson Jones reads diagnostic mammograms that are performed when suspicious areas are found in the breasts.Used as a screening tool for breast cancer, mammograms capture X-ray images of the breasts. Recommended every one or two years after the age of 40, a screening mammogram is performed to detect breast cancer before it presents visible symptoms or abnormalities. To obtain this type of X-ray, each breast is pressed between two plates to hold the breast still and spread out the tissues for a better view. Compressing the breasts also helps reduce the amount of radiation needed to obtain a clear picture. In a screening mammogram, two pictures of each breast are usually captured.If microcalcifications are spotted on a screening mammogram, or if the patient has physical symptoms such as a visible lump or nipple discharge, a diagnostic mammogram will be ordered. This type of mammogram obtains more images from different views and can even magnify suspicious areas so that the radiologist can determine if further investigation is necessary. Other imaging tests, including an ultrasound and an MRI, can also help determine if the abnormal area is likely a result of a benign condition or needs to be biopsied to obtain a definitive diagnosis.

Work experience

Jul 2005Present


Drs. MoriBean and Brooks




Marshall University

Jay Emerson Jones