Traditional vs Digital Mammography: Which one is better for you?

Traditional vs Digital Mammography: Which one is better for you?

Mammography is a procedure to detect cancer when It is small and is easier to treat. There are two main types of mammograms: traditional mammography and digital mammography. To make the right choice yourself, let’s understand their benefits and drawbacks.

Traditional Mammography

Traditional mammograms use a film-based system to take images of the breast. The images are then developed and viewed by a radiologist.

The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes. Traditional mammograms are safe and effective. They are recommended for all women over the age of 40.

Digital Mammography

Digital mammograms use a digital imaging system to take images of each breast. The images are then digitized and stored on a computer. Digital mammograms offer several advantages over traditional film mammograms, including

They are viewed on a computer screen. Easier to interpret the images.

They are stored electronically. Easier to share the images with other doctors.

They can be compressed. Easier to store the images.


Feature Traditional Mammography Digital Mammography
Image acquisition Film-based System Digital Imaging System
Image Storage Film Computer
Image Interpretation Radiologist views developed film Radiologist views digitized images on a computer
Advantage More comfortable for some women, less expensive Easier for radiologists to interpret images,
Disadvantage Images can be blurry, images cannot be stored electronically, images cannot be compressed More expensive, not available at all facilities

Pros and Cons of Digital Mammography:


  • Better image quality: Digital mammograms have better image quality than traditional film mammograms. This makes it easier to see small details in the breast tissue.
  • More convenient: Digital mammograms can be stored electronically. This makes it easier to schedule follow-up appointments if necessary.
  • Less radiation exposure: Digital mammograms use less radiation exposure. This is a major advantage for women who need to have regular mammograms.


  • Expensive: Digital mammograms are more expensive. However, the cost of digital mammograms has been coming down in recent years.
  • Not available everywhere: Digital mammograms are not available everywhere. However, they are becoming more common. Digital mammography is available at Huntington Radiology Center California. We offer detailed breast cancer screening.

Overall, digital mammography is a safe and effective way to screen for breast cancer.

Addressing Common Questions about Digital Mammography

Is Digital Mammography Painful?

Digital mammograms are not painful. It can be slightly uncomfortable. The technician will apply pressure to your breast to flatten it. It may cause some discomfort. However, the compression is necessary to get good images. Most women describe the discomfort as feeling like a “pinch” or “pressure.”

Is digital mammography accurate?

Digital mammograms work with a high degree of accuracy. It can detect even the smallest abnormalities. According to various studies, digital mammograms are more accurate than traditional mammograms.

Is digital mammography better than traditional mammography?

Yes, digital mammography is considered better than traditional film mammography. It has several advantages, including:

  • Better image quality
  • More convenience
  • Less radiation exposure

If you are looking for accuracy then digital mammograms may be a better choice.

Ultimately, the best way to decide what is right for you is to talk to your doctor. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of each type of mammogram and make the best recommendation for you.