Mammography is the most effective method currently available for breast cancer detection. Mammography machines use low doses of x-rays to produce an image of the breast and breast tissue. The image is examined by the Radiologist who looks for changes or inconsistencies in the breast tissue.
Mammography is critical in breast cancer detection because the images can reveal cancers that are too small to be felt.
Common concerns about mammograms.
While women may comment about how "painful" having a mammogram is, the process is usually more uncomfortable than painful.
Concern is also expressed about the exposure to radiation. With current day mammography machines, the amount of radiation a woman is exposed to during the examination process is minimal and the risks are negligible.
The amount of radiation is similar to that of a dental x-ray.
Q: Can you please explain what occurs during this examination?
A: One breast at a time is placed between 2 plates and compressed together. An image is taken and the procedure repeated for the other breast.
Q: Is there any preparation needed?
A: A top or blouse is recommended, as you will be required to undress from the waist up and wear a gown. A little discomfort may occur when the breast is compressed. You may be asked to undertake an ultrasound, thereby providing your Doctor with a more complete examination and result.