What do you need to know about Mammogram

Posted By: admin | Posted on: 09 November, 2017 12:32 pm

Mammogram is a specialized breast imaging technique which utilizes low dose of ionizing radiation called x-rays to enable the inner breast tissue to be viewed
Mammogram Machine To Detect Breast Cancer

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What do you need to know about Mammogram?

Mammogram is a specialised breast imaging technique which utilizes a low dose of ionizing radiation called x-rays to enable the inner breast tissue to be view. A mammography exam called mammogram is use for early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases, in particular, breast cancer in women. Mammogram is produce by compressing the breast to make the tissue thinner and even. In this way, it can properly be expose to low doses of x-ray while allowing the detection of small abnormalities. The mammogram plates are attached to a highly specialized camera which is able to take detailed pictures inside of the breast tissue.

What are the benefits of mammogram exam?

  • A mammogram is a safe and effective way of screening and detecting cancer at very early stage.
  • Breast cancer is rank second among cancers that affect women in the USA, accounting for 1 out of 3 cancers diagnosed. Mammography has sufficient sensitivity to detect benign breast growths, precancers, and invasive cancers at early stages. Sometimes the development of breast cancer is detected by mammogram as early as 3 years before symptoms show up.
  • A mammogram is also use to detect advance breast cancer, which has been found in 10-20% of women in the USA, while in developing countries the proportion is as high as  30-60% because of late screening. There has been widespread awareness of mammogram screening since 1975 and it has been shown by American Cancer Society that by the year 2010, breast cancer occurrence has decreased by 34% due to early detection and treatments.

What are the uses of Mammogram?

Mammogram is a safe and effective way of screening and detecting cancer at very early stage
Benefits Of Mammogram Exam

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Mammograms can be use for both breast cancer screening and diagnostic purposes:

  • Screening mammogram: The technique is use to check the breast tissue and to detect early stages of breast cancer, even if the individual is showing no sign or symptoms. During screening exam, two images of each breast are obtained, which are cranial- caudal (CC; exposure of the x-rays from upward to downward) and medio-lateral- oblique (x-rays are projected at an angle to allow imaging of a large proportion of most the of the breast tissue) orientations for interpretation.
  • Diagnostic mammogram: The technique can be utilized for diagnostic purposes in women with breast cancer symptoms such as breast redness, swell and dimpling appearance on the skin, lump or discharge from the nipples and pain.
  • It can also be used as a follow-up exam for individuals who have been treated for breast cancer.

What happens if breast cancer has already developed before screening?

It depends on the type of breast cancer found; a) some cancers are non-invasive (the cancer cells remain localized in one area of the breast, without spreading to surrounding tissue, lobes or ducts) and b) some cancers are metastasis (the cancer cells invade normal breast tissues and can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and lymph nodes. Depending on the size and stage of the tumor, non-invasive cancers can be removed by biopsy, endoscopy, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, or a combination of more than one of these treatment options. If a breast cancer has features of being invasive and the tumor has already formed, there is a high possibility of losing the breast through a mastectomy.

What is the procedure for mammogram exam?

  • The mammogram exam is an outpatient procedure, which means you will check into the facility near the appointment scheduled time and once the procedure is done, you are free to leave.
  • The Mammogram Technologist will come and escort you from the waiting area, after you have completed your paperwork, to the changing unit.
  • She will provide you with an upper body hospital gown and ask you to take off your top clothes and bra and to wear the gown in a changing room.
3D Computerised Mammography Machine
3D Computerised Mammography Machine


What are the differences between 2D film screens, digital and 3D mammograms?

All of the three techniques utilize low doses of x-rays to create images of the breast tissue. The differences between the mammograms are as follows:

Conventional 2D mammogram

The camera of the mammogram equipment takes the breast tissue pictures as the x-rays pass through and store on a film which is developed in order to make the images visible.

Digital mammogram

On the other hand, in a digital mammogram, an electronic image of the breast tissue is created and stored on a computer as a file. This digital information can be intensified and magnified for further

How should I prepare for a mammogram?

How should one prepare for mammogram test
How To Prepare For Mammogram

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Mammogram exam does not require any special preparation such as fasting overnight or postponing taking your medication on the scheduled date. However, low doses of x-rays are use and so it requires necessary precautions. It is also important to follow instructions during the exam to ensure that clear images are obtained.

The day your doctor ordered your mammogram exam

  • Let your doctor know if you are having any breast symptoms, whether you are using any hormone medications and whether you have had any breast surgeries so she can advise you on what to do.
  • Let your doctor know if you are pregnant; even very low doses of x-ray is likely to affect a fetus.
  • Let your doctor know if you have implants, as special techniques are require for the mammogram exam to cater for this.
  • Be prepare to spend 1 hour at the facility on the schedule appointment date.

The day of your mammogram exam

  • Arrive at the facility 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled appointment time to do paperwork.
  • Don’t wear jewelry on the day of your mammogram exam. You will be ask to take it off prior to imaging.
  • Wear comfortable clothing, as you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  • Don’t wear deodorant, talcum powder or lotion under your arm or around your breasts, as this will interfere with imaging and affect the accurate interpretation of your results.

What are the side effects of mammogram exam?

The mammogram exam takes only about 20 minutes and produces very little discomfort.

However, breasts get tender during the menstrual period and so breast compression might enhance discomfort. For this reason, you might want to have your mammogram exam outside of your menstruation period.

Very low doses of x-rays are use in mammogram exam and have no known side effects.

What are the risks of mammogram exam?

The mammogram sometimes might show false results
Risk Of Mammogram

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There is the likelihood to have false negative results; mammograms are not perfect. A dense breast tissue can obscure cancer such that it does not appear on the mammogram. If this happens, cancer may advance before it is found out.

There is also a chance of obtaining the false positive result of your breast mammogram when a normal breast tissue cluster to look like a lump is developing. This will subject you to worries, more tests, more radiation exposures and follow-up visits that are unnecessary.

What are the limitations of mammography?

If your mammogram results show any indication of tumor growth, it is still not enough information to tell you to have cancer. Further tests need to be perform to confirm the results.

Mammograms can produce false positive results by the interference of imaging with powder, lotion, and deodorant in the armpit area.

Not all breast cancers can be seen on the mammogram. For this reason, Radiologists like to compare current mammogram images with previous years’ to see if there have been any changes in the breast tissue.

Increased breast density makes mammogram interpretation difficult. Unfortunately, this occurs with age and so 3D mammogram exam is recommended in this regard.

Who interprets the mammogram results and what shall I expect?

A Radiologist doctor who has a special training for understanding radiology images interprets the images and sends a report to your doctor
Radiologist Interpreting The Mammogram Result

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We all wonder who will interpret our imaging results and whether it will be done accurately. A Radiologist doctor who has a special training for understanding radiology images interprets the images and sends a report to your doctor who ordered the mammogram exam. You will be notify by your doctor of the results once they are receive. If an abnormality on your mammogram is found, you will need follow-up appointment for further tests for clarification of the findings and to confirm whether you have cancer or not. Don’t panic; not all abnormalities or masses are cancerous and a lot of cancers, if identify at very early stage can be treat. Furthermore, there are instances when ultimate tests, such as lab tests with biopsies, taken from lump suspicious sites have been non-cancerous.

Mammogram  Test

For Mammography treatment costs in India  – Please refer to the following link Mammography


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  • https://www.hologic.com/products/imaging/mammography/selenia-dimensions-mammography-system