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What is mammography? When is it taken?


What is mammography? When is it taken?

Mammography is the most effective imaging method in the early diagnosis of breast cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in women. Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Op. from Anadolu Health Center. Dr. Nuri Ceydeli says, “Women of all ages with breast problems and women aged 40 and over who do not have any problems should have a mammogram.”

Mammography saves lives

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women, after lung cancer. Early diagnosis of breast cancer saves lives. It is possible to diagnose breast cancer by having a mammogram. Mammography, which often frightens women, does not cause any harm.

What is mammography?

Mammography is the process of taking a breast film using a special x-ray device and low dose radiation.

How and when is mammography performed?

During shooting, the breasts must be compressed briefly between two plates on the device. Therefore, the period when the breasts are least sensitive should be chosen. The week following the end of menstruation is the period when the breasts are least sensitive and the swelling in the breasts is the least. It is more appropriate to choose this period for shooting.

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What is the benefit of mammography?

While self-examinations or by a physician can only detect masses of 1.5–2 cm and larger, mammography can detect changes in the breast even when they are below 0.5 centimeters. This means that diagnosis and treatment started 2 years ago. When a breast tumor is detected by a doctor or the patient itself, it is on average 8-10 years old. Cosmetic materials should not be used before shooting.

What should you pay attention to before going for mammography?

Must be naked from the waist up during shooting. For this reason, two-piece clothes should be preferred. Cosmetic materials such as underarm deodorant, talcum powder and lotion should not be used as they will negatively affect the film. Otherwise, these may be evaluated as calcium deposits on the mammogram. It should not be forgotten to take previously taken mammograms (not only the reports but also the films) with you when you go to the shooting.

Is there any harm from mammography beam?

The most important difference of mammography from classical x-ray is that it can provide higher quality images at a lower dose. In parallel with the development of the technique, the dose exposed to breast examination is gradually decreasing. There is no woman in the world literature who has cancer due to mammography. The X-ray dose used is usually 30 KVP.

How often should mammography be done?

Mammograms are divided into two: diagnostic and screening. Diagnostic mammography should be performed on every woman with breast problems, regardless of age. Screening mammography should be performed in the cases listed below, in line with the recommendations of the US Cancer Society and the Society of Radiology (these recommendations are also accepted in our country).

  • Every woman; She should have her first mammogram at the age of 35-40.
  • It should be taken every two years between the ages of 40-50.
  • It should be taken once a year for those aged 50 and over.
  • If there is a family history of breast cancer; The age of first check-up mammography should be 30 and the frequency should be once a year.
  • Mammography is not sufficient in high-risk women.
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Is mammography painful?

The most important point when performing mammography is to compress and flatten the breasts sufficiently. In this way, overlapping of breast tissue is prevented, maximum tissue examination is ensured, masses are not overlooked, and there is no false mass appearance. At the same time, this compression also reduces the radiation dose to be exposed during the examination. Although the compression of the breasts may cause some discomfort, it does not cause any problems since the shooting time is very short. This disorder can be seen at a higher rate in very small and very large breasts. With the involution that begins in the internal breast structure at the age of 40 and then accelerates, the glandular structure in the breast is replaced by fatty tissue. Therefore, the application of mammography becomes easier and the diagnostic sensitivity approaches 100%. Since these changes will be slower in those taking estrogen therapy during menopause, the diagnostic sensitivity of mammography is slightly lower.

Who gets mammography?

It should be applied to women of all ages who are diagnosed with breast problems, and to women aged 40 and over who do not have any problems (at certain intervals depending on age).

Is mammography alone sufficient for high-risk women?

In addition to mammography in high-risk women, if recommended by a physician; In addition to breast USG, angiography, thermography, transillumination, computed tomography, MRI, breast-related tumor markers in the blood, scintigraphy with Tc 99, and stereotactic biopsy should be performed.

What is digital mammography?

Normally, they are devices produced by using technologically developed digital detectors instead of analog detectors. The most common well-circumscribed mass lesions on mammography are cysts and fibroadenomas. Cysts usually occur after the age of 40 and may regress with menopause.

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