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Mammography

What one should know about mammography.

Mammography is an X-ray examination method. Perhaps, it is the most important diagnostic method for mammary gland diseases. It enables to identify changes in mammary gland tissues and evaluate their size, character and distribution.

 

Early detection of mammary gland carcinoma using mammography also means that a larger number of women may get cured from this disease and have their breasts in place.

This is possible because if cancer was detected at its early stage and did not yet grow into neighboring tissues or yield metastases, it may easily be dissected without removing the whole organ.

Mammography may save one’s life. It is really so because mammography enables to diagnose any changes in mammary gland tissues at early stages, thus decreasing the risk of death from cancer by 25-30% and more. Every woman above 40 years must take this procedure every year or even at earlier age in case of a higher risk of mammary gland carcinoma.

One should not be afraid of mammography. This procedure is performed rather quickly and takes no more than 5-10 minutes involving very little discomfort.

Pictures are normally taken in two projections on a mammography unit and, if necessary, additional spot pictures are taken to highlight separate areas of the gland. The mammography unit is also equipped with a device for puncture and material sampling for histological examination.

Digital mammography better identifies minor details of the gland structure and enables automatic archive record keeping which is extremely important for comparison of earlier images with freshly taken ones. Women experiencing menopause may pass mammography any time. The mammary gland image should be stored for subsequent comparison with picture to be possibly taken in the future. In other words, a mammogram is an important document that should be stored in the form of an image on some carrier (including storage in a digital form).

 

What is screening (preventive) mammography? 

Screening mammography is a method of mass mammographic examination of women for the purpose of early detection of mammary gland carcinoma.

The need for screening mammography has been caused by the following factors:

1. Mammary gland carcinoma is a potentially treatable oncological disease. Its early diagnostics is a precondition for complete convalescence.

2. At early development stages, mammary gland carcinoma is not detectable by palpation and shows no symptoms. Therefore, screening mammography is virtually the only way for timely detection of a small malignant breast tumor not revealing itself through any signs.

Duration of examination – 20 minutes.

Normally, two pictures are taken in different projections. If screening mammography identifies a mammary gland tumor, diagnostic mammography and biopsy is indicated.

 

Whom is screening (preventive) mammography indicated?

All women even those having no complaints on mammary glands are recommended to take a mammographic examination at the age of forty years.

The risk of breast carcinoma grows with a woman’s age. Accordingly, screening mammography is indicated for ALL women at the age of 40 years and older. An examination should be passed every year.

If breast carcinoma cases had been registered in a woman’s family, she is recommended to take mammography annually beginning from the age of 30 years.

What is diagnostic mammography?

Diagnostic mammography is performed if there is any suspicion for breast carcinoma, i.e., if a palpable formation is available in the mammary gland or if there are such symptoms as distorted breast shape, changed nipple position, inverted nipple, skin reddening and mammary gland edema, etc.).

Diagnostic mammography takes more time than screening mammography. A larger number of pictures is taken in different projections because the doctor is willing to obtain as much details as possible about the suspicious area of the mammary gland.

If mammography detected a cancer-suspicious formation in the mammary gland, mammary gland biopsy is required. Only a histological examination of the tissue can finally confirm or reject breast cancer.

We can offer you an advanced digital mammography unit with a stereotactic biopsy table. Under this biopsy method, several tissue specimens are taken by a needle from different places of the tumor.

Stereotactic biopsy ensures:

  • same diagnostic accuracy as surgical biopsy at a substantially lower cost; 
  • no need for general anesthesia; 
  • safe, effective and quick procedure; 
  • maximum access to mammary gland;
  • maximum of safe and comfortable conditions for the patient.

Advantages:

  • This procedure inflicts less damage to tissues than surgical biopsy, leaves an inconspicuous scar or no scar at all and takes less than one hour. 
  • Stereotactic biopsy enables to identify very accurately presence of microcalcifications or other small formations. 
  • In general, this procedure is considered painless and having higher accuracy of results.
  • Stereotactic biopsy leaves no defects in mammary gland tissues.

Mammologists and oncologists recommend performing annual preventive examinations using mammography for all women older than 40 years. 

Dear Patients, you may receive a free online consultation from Oncologist-Mammologist Elena Al’bertovna Kapustina on the website Vladmama.

http://vladmama.ru/index.php?newsid=1351516502

Mammary Gland Self-Exam

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