MAMMOGRAM DEFINITIONA mammogram is a special x-ray examination performed on the breasts to help find tumors that are too small to be felt. It is a radiographic method that uses a special x-ray equipment to detect breast cancer in its early stages.
MAMMOGRAM PURPOSEA mammogram is often required if there are suspicions leading to breast cancer. This is a definitive diagnosis that will help doctors to find whether or not tumors are present in the breast tissues.
MAMMOGRAM RISKSMammography is considered to be generally safe as it uses very little amount of radiation to produce images. However, pregnant and lactating women are not encouraged to have routine screening as the risk of it affecting your newborn is high. However, if an abnormality needs to be checked and you are pregnant, you will be asked to wear a lead apron around the belly area.
MAMMOGRAM PREPARATION REQUIRED
Before a mammogram, you will be asked not to use any chemical on your underarm and near the breast area because they can affect the result of the test. You will also be asked against wearing jewelry while having the test.
MAMMOGRAM PROCEDUREDuring a mammogram, a patient will be asked to undress from the waist up. Depending on what kind of mammogram equipment is used, you may be asked to sit or stand while the process is ongoing. Your breast will be laid on a flat surface one at a time. It will be pressed firmly on the x-ray plate to help flatten the breast tissues. X-ray pictures will be taken while your breast is flattened out by the compressor device.
MAMMOGRAM COMPLICATIONSThere are no known complications of a mammogram screening. However, it is not indicated for pregnant and lactating women. If you are one and you need to undergo the screening for an abnormality, you will be given special instructions to be safe.
MAMMOGRAM SIDE EFFECTSA mammogram does not have side effects. The use of radiation in this type of screening is very low and would rarely cause a problem, unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
MAMMOGRAM RESULTSBreast tissues that are not found with a lump or mass are considered normal results. If there are any abnormalities, your doctor will develop a treatment plan as appropriate.