Mammogram or a mammography is a kind of X ray for the breasts. It is a kind of screening tool which is mainly used to detect or diagnose a disease called breast cancer. In fact, with regular clinical examinations, mammogram has become a key factor in order to diagnose some early breast cancer issues.
There have been many studies and researches about breast cancers and as per National Cancer research Institute, breast cancer is said to be a very common cancer among women in present days. In fact, it is the most noted cancer after skin cancer in many countries. Many women are getting affected by this at the moment and there are many experts who recommend that women who are above 40 years of age should go for a mammogram test at least once every 2 years. There are many mammography scan Bangalore where one can get the test done.
But one needs to do this test every year when they reach the age of 45. Also if a woman has a history of breast cancer in their family or some other personal issues then one can definitely get to a doctor once they reach 40 and they can be recommended to start the screening a bit earlier. One may also need some use of additional tools whole the test is done.
When a doctor recommends a mammogram scan as a routine test then they must be checking if there is any cancerous development or if there has been any kind of changes in the breast. In this kind of test, the doctor needs to take some X rays of each breast.
If one has a lump in their breast or any other prominent symptoms of breast cancer, then the doctor will try to diagnose the disease with the help of a mammogram scan. If one has some breast implants then they will need something called diagnostic mammogram. And these diagnostic mammograms are always more extensive than that of screening mammograms. They always require some more X rays to get the views of both the breasts from multiple positions and angles. In fact, the radiologist can also magnify some specific areas of concern to get a more detailed view.
How can one prepare for a mammography?
On the day of the test one has to follow certain guidelines. One should not wear any kind of body powders, body deodorants and perfumes on the day of the test. Also one should not apply any kind if ointments or creams in the areas of concern which in these cases are underarms and breasts. This is because all of these substances can always distort the image and look like calcium deposits or calcifications. So, it is always necessary to avoid them.
One needs to be sure to tell the radiologist if one is already pregnant or breast feeding their baby. In most cases, during these cases one will be able to receive a screening mammogram but if it is very urgent then the doctor can go for some other screening methods like ultra sounds.
The procedure of mammography
On the day of the test, the patient is undressed from the upper body and they need to take off any kind of jewellery that they are wearing like necklaces. Then one should wear a gown which will be tied in the front. It depends on the testing facility whether the patient will be standing or sit during the procedure of the mammogram.
Each of the breasts can easily fit on a flat X ray plate and then a compressor is used to push the breasts down so that the tissues present there are flattened. This can always provide a clearer picture of both the breasts. One may also need to hold their breath for each and every picture that is taken. One can also feel a bit of discomfort or pressure but that is for a short time.
When the process takes place the doctors get to review the images that are made at that point of time. They can also ask for some additional images if they find something which is unclear and it needs some more explanation or attention. This happens very frequently and it should not be a matter of panic.
There are digital mammograms as well which are used when they are available. They are very much helpful for women who are under 50 years of age. They are said to have denser breasts than women. A digital mammogram can transform the X ray into an electronic picture of the breast which can be saved in a computer. So, the images when needed are immediately visible and so the doctors do not have to wait for long to get the images. The computers can reveal the image at the very moment.
Complications in the test
This test is all about X rays and when it is done, a very little amount of radiation is used during the time of mammogram. The risk for this exposure though is extremely low. But if a woman is pregnant and still they need a mammogram done then they need to wear a led apron during the test to save the baby.
The images that come out from a mammogram can help to find calcium deposits and other things in the breast. This test can also find cysts in breasts like fluid filled sacs which can also come and go normally during the time of menstrual cycles. They can either be non cancerous or cancerous lumps. There are various stages of the test where extra images are taken of the breasts to see if the lump is cancerous and benign.
Each and every test category has its own follow up plans. All the actions on the follow up plan may also include getting some additional image and continuing regular screenings
There are many mammography scan centres in Bangalore where the test are done [properly and further tests are also done if it is needed and if biopsy is required.