Advances in breast imaging

Published: May, 2010

Although mammography remains standard for breast cancer screening, several newer technologies are helping to fine-tune diagnosis.

Doctors have been making radiologic images of women's breasts for almost a century. The first, taken in 1913, were x-rays of breasts that had been surgically removed. In studying these early images, doctors found that they could distinguish malignant from benign tissue, even when cancer hadn't been suspected. Here was a possible alternative to the then-standard detection method — removing a palpable lump (if not the entire breast) and examining the tissue under a microscope.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »