What is Mammography?
A mammography presents examination of the breast recorded with X-rays. It is used to detect and evaluate changes in the breasts. Commonly is used to detect cancer in women who have no symptoms, which is called screening mammography.
Beside this, mammography can be used in women who have some symptoms of the breast such as a palpable lump, pain, nipple discharge or some suspicious changes which can be seen on the screening mammography and it’s called diagnostic mammography.
Modern mammography machines use low doses of radiation to produce x-ray imaging of the breast and obtaining high image quality. Today mammography technique doesn’t carry an increased risk of breast cancer in women who did regular, annual mammography screenings.
The dose of radiation received during a mammogram is equal to that which the body receives from nature in the course of three months.
How is mammographic examination performed?
- Review must be done on both breasts, in standing position and in two directions as follows: craniocaudal and media-lateral position.
- Mammography is performed so the breast is placed between two plates and pressed to obtain sharp images.
- Mammography is recommended for women over 40, annually or every two years.
- In performing mammographic review, the most important part is proper positioning of the breast.
- It is important to show the whole breast because tumors may be located near the chest wall and remain undetected.
Advices for patients when mammographic examination is being performed
- If you are satisfied with the institution that is of high quality, then continue to go there to regular controls so that your mammogram will be stored in computer archives and can be compared from year to year.
- If you happen to be in that institution for the first time, bring your all previous mammograms and results of biopsies or previous treatments and findings of the breast.
- On the day of the survey do not use deodorants or antiperspirants. Some of these substances may occur on the footage as white dots.
- Wear appropriate clothing, easier or more comfortable for changing, skirt or pants.
- If you are having periods, try not to schedule the examination the week before your period. Mammography is recommended to do a week after menstruation when breasts are less swollen and sensitive, which will reduce the inconvenience of filming and will get a better picture.
- Always on the doctor or radiological technologist describe your symptoms or problems related to your breasts. Be prepared to provide information on your medical history, such as operations, hormone therapy, breast cancer in you or your family.
- Before you do any reviews, tell radiological technologist if you are breastfeeding or if you think you might be pregnant.