Mammography definition may differ from one place to another, but one thing that you should know is that mammography means similar. The difference in the mammography definitions is usually semantics.

What is mammography? It is a kind of breast imaging that opts for X-rays in low dosage to find out if a person early or not? The mammography results usually show if a person has cancer or not, though it is important to know that after the mammography preparations, you may not notice some types of cancer. To LCIS and some other types of cancer, the mammography results may not show it. Before you undergo mammography preparations, it won’t be a bad idea to schedule a breast biopsy.

Mammography is done to find out if a person has cancer or not, in a bid to treat earlier, before it worsens.

If you notice any changes to your breast, the right thing is to tell your doctor. If you have had previous surgeries or made use of hormones in the past, it won’t be a bad idea to tell your doctor. What of if there is a personal or family history of breast cancers? You should consider telling your doctor. If you notice that an aunt or mother battled with breast cancer, you may have a higher risk of having breast cancer. If you notice any of this, it won’t be a bad idea to carry out mammography preparations.

The mammography results will tell you if there is an early sign of cancer or not. This allows any sign to be treated immediately. One may ask what age mammography should be done. Usually, it is advisable that once a lady becomes forty years, she should regularly go for mammography.

While going to see the doctor, if you can, get the copies of your previous mammograms, and show them to the radiologist while the exam is ongoing. This makes it easy to compare the new mammography results to the new one.

Drop whatever jewelry that you may have at home, and don’t wear a tight fitting cloth. When you get there, you may be given a gown to wear.

Avoid things like talcum powder, deodorant or lotion on the breasts or underneath the arms. If not, they may end up being visible on the mammography results, which can really damage the diagnosis. There are mammography preparations that you should take to heart before the exam.

What is Mammography?

To check how the inside of the breasts are, medical imaging is used, and this specialized kind is mammography. Anyone can do mammography, no matter one’s age, as long as you are an adult, as a little dosage of Xray is used in getting the mammography results.

Usually, the mammography exam is christened, a mammogram, and it is great in detecting breast cancer early.

X-ray is a medical test that is totally noninvasive that allows medical practitioners to easily diagnose medical conditions, and have them treated.

When you image with X-ray, it usually involves the exposure of a body part to a tiny dosage of ionizing radiation, in a bid to obtain the snapshots of how the body part is.

X-rays have been used for a long time in the world of medical imaging and is said to be one of the most used.

Breast imaging has grown the past the mammography definition of using only an old X-ray system but has evolved to encompass breast tomosynthesis, digital mammography, as well as computer-aided detection.

Digital Mammography

This can be called FFDM- full-field digital mammography too. It works by replacing X-ray film with electronics in the mammography system. The electronics are known to change the x-rays to the mammographic snapshots of how the breast looks like inside.

It could be likened to what is seen in digital cameras, though they have a higher efficiency that ensures better pictures are captured without the need for using a high radiation dose.

FFDM brings out mammography results without necessarily using as much radiation dose like the normal X-ray system.

Once captured, the breast’s pictures are moved to the computer, upon which the radiologist then analyses it. The pictures are also stored on the computer for as long as possible.

The mammography preparations that a patient is expected to carry out here is similar to the one that is expected of a conventional film mammogram.

Computer-aided detection (CAD) system

This system looks at the digitized mammographic pictures for any sign of abnormal mass, density or calcification, which may mean that cancer is present.

Using the CAD system allows the radiologist to see those areas that may have cancer. It does this by highlighting those areas.

Breast tomosynthesis

This is also christened, 3-D or Three-dimensional mammography.

Sometimes, it is called a DBT, Digital breast tomosynthesis, and it is a complex kind of breast imaging, where a lot of pictures are captured of the breast from a lot of angles. They are then reconstructed to a 3-D image set. This type of breast imaging seems similar to a CT or a computed tomography imaging. Here, a number of thin slices are put in one place to form the three-dimension reconstruction of the body.

It is important to note that the radiation dose used in breast tomosynthesis systems can be quite higher than the one that is constantly used in doing standard mammography.

It still falls in the safely approved radiation levels to be used in mammography by the FDA. There are some systems that need a dosage that is quite similar to the one used by standard mammography.

Research has shown that breast cancer screening that is done with breast tomosynthesis is known to be more efficient than the others, as the mammography results are improved. This has led to lower call-backs, which means that the number of women that are asked to come back for extra testing is reduced. The mammography preparations for this type is said to be similar to the others.

Doing breast tomosynthesis can lead to the following.

Detecting if there are small cancers very quickly. The mammography results usually show those that may have been hidden by a traditional mammogram.

It offers better accuracy in finding the shape, size as well as the site of the breast abnormalities, unlike other mammograms.

There won’t be a lot of unnecessary biopsies that is common with other mammograms. This means that extra tests will reduce.

There is a greater chance of finding a myriad of breast tumors unlike in traditional mammograms.

One can find out very clear pictures of those abnormalities that are in the dense breast tissue.

What Age Can One Do Mammography

Mammography can be done at any age, as long as the mammography preparations are done. It can be done by any gender, irrespective of the age because breast cancer can be found both in men and women, though more common in women.

What are some common uses of the mammogram procedure?

Mammograms are done to help to find out breast cancer at its early stage, for those that are yet to see any sign.

They are also used in diagnosing any breast disease that may affect women, as long as they see signs like skin dimpling, pain, lump and so on. It is usually not used only in diagnosing breast cancer. As long as it is a disease for the breasts, the mammography results may likely show it

Screening Mammography

One can’t but agree that mammography has been used a lot in detecting breast cancer early enough to allow it to be treated. Normally, breast cancer can decide to show the symptoms about two years, and then it may be too late.

The US Department of HHS- Health and Human Services has offered guidelines advising women that are at least forty years to regularly undergo mammography. This is also recommended by the ACR or American College of Radiology.

Studies have shown that regularly undergoing mammograms, especially yearly, can allow breast cancer to be detected early. At this point, they can be cured easily, and traditional therapies can be used on them.

NCI- National Cancer Institute- went on to state that those women that come from a family, where there had been cases of ovarian or breast cancer should regularly undergo a mammogram. If you have had a case of breast cancer in the past, it is important that you carry out the right mammography preparation, and undergo a mammogram before you get to 40. For these women, they shouldn’t wait until they get to 40 before they go to see a doctor.

If you fall under those that have a higher risk of breast cancer, it won’t be a bad idea to undergo a breast MRI, as well as the yearly mammogram to be on a safe side.

Diagnostic Mammography

For those patients that their mammography results came out abnormally, there may be the need for this. For those that have noticed some abnormal findings, like nipple discharge, whether it was noticed by the doctor or herself, undergoing diagnostic mammography won’t be a bad idea.

If it is done after the screening mammography results come out abnormal, it is done to help analyse the area of concern that was spotted during the screening.

Mammography Preparation: What To Do When Going For A Mammogram

Before you have a mammogram scheduled, a lot of speciality organisations like ACS- American Cancer Society- advise that you consult with your doctor and tell him or her about any issues that you may have noticed as regarding your breasts.

Don’t forget to notify your doctor of any surgeries that you may have done in the past, the hormones that you may have used, and even your personal or family history. Never forget to tell your doctor if you have a history with breast cancer.

Since your breasts may be tended during or close to menstrual period, it is advisable not to have your mammogram scheduled towards that time.

If you want to have the best mammography results, you should consider having a mammogram a week after your period.

Before you undergo the mammogram, and you notice that you are pregnant, don’t forget to tell your X-ray technologist or doctor.

The ACS went on to recommend the following as part of the mammography preparation:

Try to avoid wearing talcum powder, deodorant or lotion on the breasts or beneath your arms when going for the mammogram.

If ignored, you may end up with mammography results that have spots caused by the talcum or lotion. These spots are called calcium spots.

If you notice any signs on your breasts, it is important that you tell your technologist before the exam is done.

If you can, try to get your previous mammograms, and give them go the radiologist, if you intend to do the new mammogram at a new place. This helps the radiologist to compare the past mammography results and the current one.

Inquire when you will get to see your results. Don’t be the one to think that your mammography results are great because you were not contacted by the doctor or radiologist. Contact them yourself.