A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast, and this picture is taken to determine whether a lady is developing any signs and symptoms of breast cancer. This methodology or procedure is known as mammography. It is now a fact in modern medical science that mammography is the most effective and efficient way to detect early signs and symptoms of breast cancer. What a lady needs to do is she can type ‘mammography test near me’ in the search bar of any device connected to the internet and get information about the test and the lab.
Experts believe, with breast examinations at regular intervals along with monthly self-examination, early breast cancer can be detected easily and treated with lesser efforts and overall gravity. Annual mammograms are considered to be important after the age of 40. It is also a startling truth about breast cancer that it is the second most common cancer among ladies after skin cancer around the globe.
Mammograms: Main uses at a glance
In a case under a particular condition, you visit your doctor, and he or she suggests a mammogram to you as a routine test to investigate any early symptoms of cancer in that part of your body, then the procedure would be called a screening mammogram. Through this test, you will get a large number of pictures of your breast taken through a specific machine. In case you have developed a lump or any other particular symptom of breast cancer, then the concerned doctor will go for a diagnostic mammogram.
A diagnostic mammogram becomes necessary in the case where any lady has already gone for breast implant surgery. When it comes to the medical gravity in diagnostic mammograms, they have more detailing than screening mammograms. Diagnostic mammograms call for more X-ray pictures for a deeper viewing of the breast from different angles, directions, and positions. If needed, your radiologist might also need to magnify the critical areas.
What do mammograms show?
Mammograms which are an important part of the mammography procedure highlight all the abnormal areas in the breast to be tested and screened. They can detect whether any particular area is cancerous or even indicates that some further action like biopsy is also required to confirm the same. Some of the most common changes found through mammograms in the breasts developing cancer include the following:
With digital mammography cost in India coming down significantly over the past 10 years, this test has become accessible for all those women who are aware and health-conscious.
Who should go for a mammogram?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommend that each and every woman who has crossed the age of 40 must go for mammography at least once a year. Both these prestigious institutions also suggest a regular screening after the age of 45. Those who have a family history of breast cancer need to start the screening even earlier. For such women, the radiologists might also use some other diagnostic tools for better results.
Preparing for a mammogram
As discussed earlier, you can find a reliable test lab for mammography with ease by just typing ‘mammography test near me’ in the search bar of any device connected to the internet. Once you have finalized the lab for the test, it’s now time for the preparation of the test. There are certain guidelines that you need to follow on the day you are going for the mammography test. Generally, you need to avoid applying the listed below substances in the breast region before the mammography test:
- Any kind of deodorants
- Any kind of body lotion, cream, or powders
- Any type of perfume
- Any type of ointments neither on your breasts nor underarms.
Avoiding all the above substances is suggested because they can affect the test results in the form of white spots on the images taken. You need to let your radiologist know well in case you are pregnant or involved in breastfeeding. Generally, in the above-said conditions, you will not be able to receive a screening mammogram. In case it is urgent, your doctor will suggest some other methods like ultrasound to serve the purpose to some extent.
What are the benefits of mammography?
With digital mammography cost in India coming down significantly over the past 10 years, this test or you can say a series of the tests has become a very effective and efficient tool to detect the early signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Here are some of the top benefits associated with the test:
- Screening mammography brings down the risk of death due to breast cancer
- This methodology can detect all types of breast cancers
- It can also detect invasive ductal as well as invasive lobular cancer
- Screening mammography enables the concerned physician to detect even the smallest of tumors in the breast region
- It can detect cancers at the earliest stages providing the affected woman with more effective and efficient treatment options.
Apart from the above, screening mammography also proves to be very effective in increasing the detection of even the smallest possible abnormal growth in tissues called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) located in the milk ducts in the breast region. After an X-ray examination is performed, no radiation stays in the body. X-rays generally create almost no side effects when it comes to the typical diagnostic range for this examination and investigation.
Breast cancer in women is one of the most common forms of cancer which is claiming millions of lives across the world every year. But the most fortunate thing is that it can be detected and treated very easily if a mammography test is opted for at regular intervals. Today’s women are getting aware of their health concerns, but still, there is a need to take breast cancer seriously. Most signs and symptoms of breast cancer come at a very advanced stage where treatment gets almost impossible. Therefore, the sooner we act, the better it is.