Mammography is the process of using low-energy X-rays to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening. It can detect breast cancer 3 years earlier compared to manual method.
1. Outstanding advantages
- Mammogram and ultrasound can detect small tumors, give reasonable results in early breast cancer screening.
- It is a fast, convenient, non-invasive, and low-cost method.
- The X-rays used in mammograms are low-energy that can not harm the body. Women from the ages of 40 should take mammogram because of their thin mammary gland density, reducing lesion. Besides, pregnant women in the first 3 months who are contraindicated to imaging should consider between diagnostic benefits and harmful effects for fetus in following months.
- It detects microcalcifications and diagnose mammary gland disease.
2. Who should perform breast screening?
- Women beginning at age 40: As recommended, screening mammograms should be performed every 1-2 years from the age of 40 and annually for women from 50 years older. Which can reduce mortality by 15 to 29%.
- People at high risk: Who have BRCA1, BRCA2 mutations; family medical history of Breast Cancer, Ovarian cancer; obesity; diabetes; not having children, not breastfeeding, having cancer, etc. Women who have been treated before or benign breast disease, use hormone replacement therapy for more than 5 years. These should perform mammograms earlier than 35 years old.
- People who have reproductive problems such as infertility, inability breastfeeding, early menarche, and late menopause (over 55 years old)
- People thick, fatty breast tissue that is hard to detect small lesions.
- People have abnormal symptoms for example nipple discharge, abnormal color, areola, breast different sizes, abnormal tumor in breast or armpit, etc.
3. Before getting mammogram
Inform your doctor that you have breast augmentation surgery or breast implants. Do not use perfume, cream, or powder on the chest, armpit because it may give inaccurate results.
Mammography should be done 1 week after menstruation when estrogen decrease and breast tenderness is reduced.