Mammography Test in HSR Layout | Ebisu Diagnostics
Mammography is a breast imaging technique, where X-rays are used for screening Breast Cancer. Regular mammography screenings can indeed help in identifying breast cancers much earlier than they are actually felt. Next to skin cancer, Breast cancer is most common in women as per the National Cancer Institute.
The two types of mammograms are
- Screening mammograms – for those who don’t have prior signs or symptoms of breast cancer
- Diagnostic mammograms – for those who show lumps or any other signs of breast cancer
Precautions before a Mammogram
Before a mammography schedule, make sure you don’t apply any of the following on your breasts or underarms as they might interfere with X-rays during test
- Deodorants or Perfumes
- Talcum powder
- Creams or Ointments or Body lotions
Make sure you inform your radiologist beforehand if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or having breast implants. Also schedule your mammogram test after your period, as the breasts may be tender before your period and that may cause pain and discomfort during the test.
Mammogram Test Procedure
You will be asked to be free of any clothes or jewelry above the waist and made to sit/stand in front of an x-ray machine. You will be provided with a lab gown. Each of your breasts are placed on a plate-like platform and then compressed against another flat surface with some pressure. The pressure applied may cause slight pain or discomfort that only lasts for a few seconds. The compression helps in flattening the tissues and therefore gives a clear image.
The X-ray is taken in front and side views and if required more angles can be taken. Usually the process takes 20 mins to complete. If there are any unclear images or any issues found with the mammogram, the doctor may ask for a few more images.
Digital mammograms are being superfast as the image can be displayed on a computer even before the film arrives. The digital mammograms, with the help of CAD (Computer-aided detection systems) will analyze the breasts for any abnormal density, masses or calcification that may be a chance for developing breast cancer.
Who requires a Mammogram?
Annual mammograms are generally required after 40, as the risk of breast cancer increases post menopause. Other women if they have familial history or if there is any abnormality such as lumps or discharge should get a screening mammogram.
Risks associated with Mammogram
Though there is no much greater risk associated with mammograms, it is always safe to know the amount of radiation and its effects from your healthcare provider. Pregnant or breastfeeding ladies should check with their doctor if other safer examinations (like ultrasound) are available.