Mammography is a medical procedure or a screening tool wherein an x-ray is taken to detect and diagnose for breast cancer. Mammography is done to detect the early signs of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses or microcalcifications.
WHY & WHO SHOULD GET MAMMOGRAPHY DONE ?
- Women over 50 years of age should do mammography tests annually
- Women in the age group between 40-50 years should get a mammography test every 1-2 years states The National Cancer Institute.
- Most women below 40 years of age do not need of annual mammogram. However, one should get a mammogram test at the age of 35 years.
- If you are any age group & have lumps or any other symptoms of breast cancer and also if you have breast implants.
- Your doctor will ask you to perform mammography in order to see any improvement or changes in cancer.
HOW THE MAMMOGRAPHY TAKES PLACE?
- Before going for mammography, you should not apply deodorants, perfumes or any type of creams as it can distort the images
- Also, you should inform the doctor, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding prior to the test.
- On the day of the test, you will be given a gown that has front openings and on the basis of the testing facilities, you will be asked to sit or stand during the test.
- Each breast fits onto the x-ray plate and a compressor will push it down to flatten the tissues to get a clearer picture.
- You might have to hold your breath for each picture and you might also feel a small amount of pressure or discomfort
- During the whole procedure, your doctor will examine the pictures and will request a few more pictures in case she is unable to detect something because of unclear pictures
- In digital mammograms, it transforms the x-ray into an electronic picture that is saved on a computer.
- Instant availability of the images lets your doctor see and examine the images, right there after the test.