It is a radiological method of examining the breasts to detect changes in the breast structure. Like other radiological methods, mammography uses X-rays.
This radiation is absorbed to varying degrees by different tissue structures. Loose breasts with a lot of fatty tissue can be effectively examined with a mammogram. On the other hand, breasts of young women (before 35 years of age), having more compact structure and less fatty tissue, should be examined with ultrasound.
Mammography can detect inflammatory and cancerous breast lesions as small as 2 or 3 mm in size, lesions that cannot be detected by palpation.
Preparing for a mammogram
- Mammography does not require any special preparation. You will only need to take a bath on the day of the test.
- If your breasts become tender during menstruation, you should delay the test until after your period.
How the mammogram works
The test involves placing the breast on a tray and applying pressure from above and from the side to obtain two images of the nipple. This pressure is quite uncomfortable, but lasts only a few seconds.
The resulting image is analyzed by a radiologist.
Indications for mammography examination
- prevention after the age of 35 – every two years, after the age of 50 – once a year
- nipple leakage
- suspicion of malignant changes
- nipple pain
- localization of changes before operation
- monitoring of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and control of surgical treatment
- prior to hormone replacement therapy during menopause.
Early detection of breast lesions allows for more effective treatment and may prevent breast removal surgery!!!