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It is also called mastography. Main goal of Mammography is to detect breast cancer on early stage. In this type of test, your doctor will take several X-rays of each breast. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the United States, after skin cancer. There are about 2,300 new cases of breast cancer in men each year, and about 230,000 new cases in women each year. The process of using a low-dose X-Ray to have an inside look of breasts is termed as mammography. Mammography examination is termed as mammogram. The main purpose of mammograms is to help detect breast diseases in an early stage in women. Process of producing pictures of the inside of the body by exposing the specific body part to a small dose of ionizing radiation is known as X-ray imaging.
Types of Mammograms :
There are two types of mammograms :
1. Screening Mammogram :
Breast Mammography screening :If a doctor has prescribed a routine test in order to check for any cancer or changes in the breast, this kind of mammogram is termed as screening Mammogram. Several X-Rays of each breast are taken by the doctor in this mammogram.
2. Diagnostic Mammogram :
Breast Mammography diagnostic:If a patient feels any symptoms of breast cancer like a lump, the doctor will prescribe a diagnostic mammogram. As the name suggests, this kind of mammogram provides more detailed information than screening mammograms. Views of breasts from multiple positions are taken using X-Rays.
Procedure involved in Breast Mammography:
The patient is asked to remove clothes from waist up and any other necklaces. Breast Mammogram can be done with a patient sitting or standing based on the facility available. X-Ray plates are used to where each of the breasts fits. Breast is then pushed down by a compressor to flatten the tissue. This is done to get a clear picture of the breast. Patient may be asked to hold her breath for pictures. Little discomfort might be felt by the patient by the patient during this process. Images produced are then reviewed and analyzed by the doctor. In a doctor feels any image is unclear, he may ask for additional images which are taken from different positions.
How to prepare for Breast Mammography ?
Following guidelines should be followed before going for Mammography :
1. Patients shouldn?t use any perfumes, deodorants or body powders.
2. No cream or ointments should be applied to breasts as images produced may look distorted or may look like calcium deposits.
3. Information related to breastfeeding or pregnancy should be provided to radiologists well in advance.
Are there any complications associated with mammography ?
Since mammography involves using X-rays, the patient's body is exposed to small amounts of radiation. The risk involved due to this X-ray is very low as a very small amount of radiation is used.
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