Everything You Need About Mammography

A mammogram (low-dose x-ray) allows doctors, and radiologists, to examine breast tissue for signs of abnormalities.

Why Do I Need Mammograms?

Mammograms are used to screen for breast cancer. A mammogram can detect or detect breast carcinoma early, even if it is small and not noticeable. This is the best time to treat it.

What Are The Main Functions Of Mammograms?

Screening Mammograms

A screening Mammogram is performed to check for breast cancer signs in women who do not have any symptoms. Two angles are used to take X-ray images of each breast.

Diagnostic Mammograms

Mammograms are used for screening mammograms and to check the breasts of women who have breast problems or other unusual findings. They are diagnostic Mammograms when used in this manner. These extra views (images) may be added to screening mammograms. Sometimes, diagnostic mammograms may be used to screen breast cancer survivors.

What Are Mammograms Showing?

Mammograms may show abnormalities in breasts. While they cannot determine whether an abnormal area in the breast is cancerous, they can assist health care providers in deciding if additional testing (e.g. a breast biopsy) is necessary. There are main types of breast cancers that can be detected by a mammogram:

  • Calcifications
  • Masses
  • Asymmetries
  • Distortions

How Do Mammograms Work?

A mammogram is done using a machine that focuses on breast tissue. The machine uses lower doses of x-rays than those used to view other parts such as the lungs or bones. To spread the tissue, the mammogram machine uses 2 plates to compress or flatten breast tissue. This provides a better image and reduces radiation.

Mammograms were printed on large sheets made of film in the past. Digital mammograms are much more common today. Digital images are saved to files on a computer.

What Is 3D Mammogram ?

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), or three-dimensional (3D), is another name for 3D mammography. Similar to a standard (2D), mammogram, each breast gets compressed twice (once from top-to-bottom and once from sides) while x-rays are taken. For a 3D Mammogram, however, the machine uses a lot of low-dose x-rays and moves in a small circle around the breast. A computer then stitches the images into thin slices. This allows doctors and nurses to see breast tissues in three dimensions. The standard [2D] mammogram may be taken simultaneously, or it can be reconstructed by using 3D mammogram pictures.

3D mammography has been shown to decrease the probability of being re-screened. It is also more effective in detecting breast cancers. Several studies have demonstrated that it can help women with dense, breasts. An extensive study is underway to compare 3D mammograms with standard (2D) mammograms.

Are Mammograms Safe To Use?

Mammograms expose breasts and neck to very low doses of radiation. However, the potential for harm from radio exposure is outweighed by the mammography’s benefits. Modern machines can produce high-quality breast x-rays using low radiation doses. A typical mammogram using 2 views of each breast will require a dose of 0.4 millisieverts or mSv.

The radiation dose used to screen both breasts for mammograms is approximately the same as what a woman would get in her natural environment over 7 weeks.

Your doctor should inform you if there is a possibility that you could be pregnant. The risk to the fetus and mammograms in pregnancy is low. However, mammograms should be routinely performed for women not at high risk of developing breast cancer.

Final Words

Lifeline Medical Associates provides a variety of services including mammography. Mammography, a screening test for breast cancer, is an important tool that can help you identify it early. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, it is important to have your mammogram done. This allows you to be treated quickly. Lifeline Medical Associates offers a variety of services to suit the needs of their patients.