Back to Basics: Mammography

George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R)

*Medical Imaging Consultant, Germantown, NY

Address correspondence to: George Tsoukatos, BPS, RT(R)Radiology Support ServicesPO Box 215, Germantown, NY, 12526. E-mail:

Disclosure Statement: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.


Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death. Technological advancements in breast imaging  have evolved to digital mammography and the development of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), all of which have improved clinicians' abilities to detect small, early stage breast cancers. Digital mammography is the initial diagnostic modality used in breast imaging, and its results determine if a patient requires additional studies such as targeted breast sonography, DBT, contrast-enhanced mammography, and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Regardless of the current advances in technology, knowledge of proper patient and breast positioning are still critical in order for radiologic technologists and mammographers obtain high-quality diagnostic images that can rule out the presence of breast disease. This CE course will review the standard and supplemental projections that pertain to both screening and diagnostic mammography examinations for the detection of breast disease in women. Troubleshooting common image quality issues and how best to resolve them will be described. Finally, the anatomy of the breast will be reviewed, various breast pathologies will be outlined, and detailed supplementary breast projections to accommodate a variety of patient types will be described. 

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