Mammography Defined:

Mammography is a safe, painless and non-invasive type of imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray to examine the breasts. A mammography exam, called a mammogram, is used to aid in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases.

Mammography Benefits:

  • Early detection of small breast cancers by screening mammograms improves a woman's chances for successful treatment. If breast cancer is diagnosed and treated while still confined to the breast ducts the cure rate is close to 100%.
  • Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among woman and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
  • The American Cancer Society reports that a recent compilation of eight randomized clinical trials found 18% fewer deaths from breast cancer among women in their 40s who had mammograms.

The Mammography Experience:

The patient is asked to undress from the waist up and is provided a gown. Depending on the type of equipment used, the patient will sit or stand.

One breast at a time is rested on a flat surface that contains the X-ray plate. A device called a compressor will be pressed firmly against the breast to help flatten out the breast tissue.

The X-ray pictures are taken from several angles. The patient may be asked to hold their breath as each picture is taken.

Preparation:

Do not wear deodorant, perfume, powders, or ointments under the arms or on the breasts on the day of the mammogram. Remove all jewelry from your neck and chest area.