skip to Cookie NoticeSkip to contents

Patients and visitors: Please use our Mass General Brigham Prescreen app to answer symptoms screening questions prior to your arrival at our facilities.

Header Skipped.

Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center

Interim Network Director of Breast Imaging

A mammogram is an x-ray examination of the breast. It is used to detect breast disease in women who either have breast problems such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge, and for women who have no breast complaints.

Mammography cannot prove that an abnormal area is cancer, but if it raises a significant suspicion of cancer, tissue will be removed for a biopsy. Tissue may be removed by needle or open surgical biopsy and examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancer.

Mammography has been used for about 40 years, and in the past 15 years technical advancements have improved both the technique and results. Today, dedicated equipment, used only for breast x-rays, produces studies that are high in quality but low in radiation dose. Radiation risks are considered to be negligible.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital breast imaging specialists are now using 3D mammography. Digital 3D mammography is also used in follow-up exams when there has been a suspicious finding on a previous mammogram. 3D mammography is currently offered at the Lee Bell Center for Breast Imaging.

Catherine S. Giess, MD, Section Head, Division of Breast Imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explains what women need to know about mammography.

Catherine S. Giess, MD, Chief, Division of Breast Imaging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital describes mammography screening and the breast imaging technology used during a patient examination.

Most patients don’t have an accurate sense of their overall risk for developing breast cancer. In this video, Catherine S. Giess, MD, Chief, Division of Breast Imaging explains the Breast MRI Screening program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening: Understanding the Guidelines

Approximately one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. This post is designed to outline breast cancer screening guidelines.

Learn More
Breast Density: Why Is It Important?

Breast Density: Why Is It Important?

Dense breast tissue may increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer, and detection of breast cancer using mammography is more difficult in women with dense breast tissue.

Learn More

Who is Reading Your Mammogram?

Detecting subtle changes in early breast cancer can be very challenging. Studies have shown that radiologists specializing in breast imaging outperform non-specialist radiologists in detecting breast cancer.

Learn More


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH