What Is Mammogram Screening?

Mammography is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is used as a tool to diagnose breast disease or cancer in women who have breast lumps, pain or symptoms which were discovered by self-examination or clinically.

Mammograms can also be used as a screening examination to look for cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. In Malaysia, the recommendation among the general population is to do a mammogram once every two years for women aged 40 – 74 years.

Mammograms: What do they show?

Abnormal regions in the breast can frequently be seen on mammograms. While they cannot definitively determine whether an abnormal spot is cancer, they can assist medical professionals in determining whether additional testing is necessary, usually an ultrasound breasts or MRI breasts if the mammography reveals a potentially problematic region in the breast.

Can cancer be detected by mammograms?

Mammograms are not able to diagnose cancer, although they can aid in its detection.
Mammograms can reveal abnormal breast tissue; however, they cannot establish that an abnormal breast area is cancerous. Instead, mammograms are a crucial instrument in the hands of healthcare professionals to determine if you require further testing, including a breast biopsy. The results of a breast biopsy can reveal whether the tissue is malignant or not. PET-CT also can be considered to confirm the findings and to detect any secondary in another organ.

How precise is a mammogram?

Mammography has an accuracy of 85% to 90%. The capacity of mammograms to identify breast abnormalities before they become noticeable has improved. That being said, a noticeable lump may not appear on a mammography. Your healthcare physician should examine any abnormalities you feel when evaluating your breasts.

Are mammograms painful?

Some women find that having a mammography hurts because of the compression applied on their breast tissue. Some people find it to be painful. Fortunately, having mammography only takes a very short compression time and the system will automatically release it once exposure is done.

The following are some of the variables that could affect how uncomfortable you are:

How big and dense your breasts are.

The amount of compression required for your breasts.

If your period is coming or you are currently experiencing it (in this scenario, your breasts may feel more sensitive and sorer).

Your capacity to relax and arrange yourself to get the best images.

Beacon Hospital houses Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) system, we run 2D mammograms as a standard practice with an option for additional digital tomosynthesis or 3D images of the breast which provides more details.

In addition to providing high-quality images at reduced radiation doses, the system uses Tungsten technology that makes it possible to examine even dense breasts at a significantly reduced dose as the system can customize and individualise the breast density and thickness of the patient.

The system is also installed with special mood lighting that reduces discomfort and provides a calming ambience during the screening.

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