Breast cancer dominates cancers in females. This burden on society and the room for improvements in the current practice of mammography have been stimuli for developing new modalities like photoacoustic mammography. At the University of Twente (UT), an instrument had been developed aimed at performing limited area scans on the human breast. This instrument is called the Twente Photoacoustic Mammoscope (PAM). The PAM is based on generating laserinduced ultrasound from absorbing structures in the breast. The heart of the instrument is a flat PVDF based detector matrix comprising 590 active elements. We show the performance characteristics of the ultrasound detector. The exciting source is an Nd:YAG laser operating at 1064 nm with 5 ns pulses. A study protocol was designed to explore the feasibility of using the PAM to detect cancer in the breasts of patients. The protocol was executed at the Medisch Spectrum Twente by using the mammoscope to obtain photoacoustic region-of-interest (ROI) images of the suspect/symptomatic breasts. We compare the photoacoustic images obtained with x-ray mammograms and ultrasound images. We show photoacoustic images of ROI in one case where we attribute high intensity regions to tumor vascularization.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.