MAMMOGRAPHY AND BREAST ULTRASOUND
Mammography is an X-ray of the breasts, and the X-ray image you get is called a mammogram. Mammography can detect cancer in its early, preinvasive stage, in which it is a few millimetres big and thus cannot be palpated.
Mammography uses ionizing (X radiation). Radiation doses the breasts are being exposed to during mammography are the same as the level of radiation that a person is being exposed to during any several-hour plane flight. Numerous studies show that the benefits women have are numerous and possible consequences of the radiation are minimal.
This examination is recommended to women over 40 years old. When it comes to younger women, the ultrasound examination is done, after which the radiologist decides whether there is a need for mammography.
There is no special preparation for this examination. The patient should remove hair from the axillary region and she should not use deodorants, creams, lotions or talk before the examination.
Before imaging tell the x-ray technician about all breast symptoms you have, changes to the skin, and implants if you have them.
Both breasts are always examined in two different imaging planes. The X-ray technician positions the breasts between two plates of the apparatus that move carefully and put pressure on the tissue and this could cause a small but acceptable pain. The aim of this pressure on the breast tissue is to obtain high-quality imaging, and also to reduce the dose of the radiation. Breast imaging itself takes several minutes, but it is necessary to devote an hour to this examination.
Mammography can show calcifications that are part of benign or malignant processes. The radiologist must state his or her opinion on their appearance, and if s/he has the slightest suspicion that they may be part of a malicious process, s/he will send you on biopsy. Mammography can detect different shades, the zone of tissue of asymmetry, breast structure disorders and the presence of enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit.
In case the results awaken the suspicion that there are pathological processes in the breast tissue, sample of the tissue will be taken and/or the patient will be sent to oncological surgeons.