Mammography is a method to detect breast cancer. It is a type of X ray, but done with special machines. Mammography is advised in case of high risk factor patients or to all women over the age of 40.
What is mammography
and how is it performed
Mammography is a method of studying
the breast with the help of X-rays. It is similar to taking X-rays
of the chest or other areas. The difference is that a special, dedicated
machine is required. Note that not all places that perform X-rays,
can perform mammograms. During a mammogram, the breast is placed
in a special holder, compressed and then X-rayed. Although there
is mild discomfort, it is momentary.
Why should mammography
The only way to reliably detect breast cancer before it is palpable is by mammography. If this disease is
detected early, it is less likely for the cancer to have spread.
Local resection may be enough for treatment and the whole breast may not
need to be removed. This also improves survival and prognosis.
When should mammography
All women over the age of 40 should
have annual mammograms, irrespective of whether they have a breast problem.
More importantly, mammography should be performed regularly on an annual
basis. Mammography is also performed when there are symptoms related
to the breast such as lumps, nipple discharge, pain, etc. Apart from
this, if you have a first-degree relative (mother or sister) who has breast
cancer, your risk of getting breast cancer is considerably higher.
In this situation, an annual mammogram is mandatory.
Is any preparation
required before taking a mammogram
No preparation is required, but it
is advisable to wear loose clothing and not to apply anything to the breasts.
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