Types and uses
Mammograms are X-ray scans of your breasts used to look for changes in breast tissue, including cancer.
There are two types of mammograms:
A mammogram detects breast changes that could be cancerous in people with no signs or symptoms. The goal is to see cancer when it’s small, and treatment may be less intrusive. Experts and medical organizations disagree on when to start routine mammograms or how frequently to undergo the tests.
Discuss your risk factors, choices, the advantages and disadvantages of screening, and your preferences with your doctor. You and your partner can decide on the ideal screening mammography schedule.
Diagnostic mammography looks into abnormal breast changes, like a new breast lump, soreness, strange skin texture, and thickening or discharge around the nipple. Additionally, it assesses unexpected results from screening mammography. Additional mammography images are part of a diagnostic mammogram.
You’ll get a gown to remove any neck jewelry and clothing from the waist for the testing. For the procedure, you’ll stand facing the X-ray machine designed for mammography. A healthcare team member places your breasts on a platform, raises or lowers them, and then presses them against the platform with a transparent plastic plate, giving pressure for a few seconds to spread the breast tissue. The force isn’t deadly, but it can cause some discomfort. Notify your healthcare team if the pain becomes too much. Allowing compression makes the thickness even and permits the X-rays to penetrate the breast tissue.
After imaging both breasts, you ought to wait while the doctor checks the quality of the images. You may have to repeat the test if the views are insufficient for technical reasons. The whole procedure usually takes less than thirty minutes.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD
Page last reviewed: 04 October 2022