Mammography is performed on an outpatient basis, this means that you don’t need to be admitted in the hospital for the procedure.
During mammography, a specially qualified radiologic technologist will position your breast in the mammography unit. Your breast will be placed on a special platform and compressed with a clear plastic paddle. You will be asked to change positions between images. You must hold very still and may be asked to keep from breathing for a few seconds while the x-ray picture is taken to reduce the possibility of a blurred image. The routine views are a top-to-bottom view and an angled side view. The process will be repeated for the other breast.
The examination process should take about 30 minutes.
What will I experience during and after mammography procedure ?
You will feel pressure or discomfort on your breast as it is squeezed by the compression paddle. Be sure to inform the technologist if pain occurs as compression is increased. If discomfort is significant, less compression will be used.
Follow-up examinations may be necessary at times because a suspicious or questionable finding needs clarification with additional views or a special imaging technique.
What are the limitations of Mammography?
Five percent to 15 percent of screening mammograms require more testing such as additional mammograms or ultrasound. Most of these tests turn out to be normal. If there is an abnormal finding, a follow-up or biopsy may have to be performed.
Interpretations of mammograms can be difficult because a normal breast looks different for each woman. Also, the appearance of an image may be compromised if there is powder or salve on the breasts or if you have undergone breast surgery. It is very important to realize that not all breast cancers can be seen on mammography.
Is Mammography important?
The rising incidences of breast cancer are evidences of the need of regular mammography checks. Breast Cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women in India. Majority of the women opt for specialist help when they are in the later stages of cancer. In such cases little can be done. It is hence advised that women after the age of 40 should opt for annual mammograms. Women who have family history, should opt for the same from the age of 30 or when need be. If you are experiencing lumps in your breast, sudden pain in the breast, dimpling of the nipples or a change in the breast shape, it is advised that you consult a specialist.