A mammogram is an X-ray scan used by radiologists to look for early symptoms of breast cancer and other abnormalities. Regular mammograms can help diagnose breast cancer as early as three years before the most obvious symptom- a lump, but with the help of a mammography scan, it can be detected even before that. 

There are two types of mammograms. The screening mammogram helps detect cancer in women without any symptoms and problems in the breast. The diagnostic mammograms may include additional images not present in the screening mammogram. It is also used for former breast cancer patients. 

The mammograph’s machine only takes images of breast tissues. Two plates are used in a mammogram as the x-rays are of low dose. The two plates help compress the breasts so that tissue is spread apart. This allows the machine to retrieve better images and prevents the use of too much radiation.