Understanding what is Mammograms: Every women fears to take mammogram when their doctors suggest. Going through the test of mammograms to detect the presence of breast cancer is as important as taking other medical test for body parts. Therefore American Cancer Society recommends every women to screen for mammograms especially after age of 40 to prevent the chances of breast cancer. Hence there is no need to fear as every abnormalities noticed by mammograms screening does not lead to breast cancer. Whereas it is observed that after proper examination, most of the abnormalities found by mammograms are normal breast tissues or benign (non-cancerous) tissues.
Going through mammogram screening is absolutely personal decision between your doctor and you. Doctor will suggest to take mammograms after 40 to avoid the chances of developing cancerous tissues in breast, as most women after their menopause are found to suffer from breast cancer.
In a screening mammogram test or mammography, each breast goes through X-ray detection from top to bottom and from sideways to screen full breast tissue. When mammogram is viewed, breast tissues appear white and opaque and other fatty tissues looks darker and translucent.
When a mass or a lump called nodule appears on mammogram screen, it is said to be abnormality in breast tissue. Usually this mass or a lump are of two types. A mass that appear smooth and have well defined border is often a benign tissue which requires ultrasound. And if this mass contains fluid it is called cyst. Secondly if the mass or a lump have irregular border or a star –burst appearance, it can be cancerous where biopsy is mainly advised by doctors.
Microcalcifications which are small deposits of calcium particles in breast tissues are another type of abnormality faced by many women. Microcalcifications can be further classified as benign, cancerous or intermediate. Depending upon these factors, microcalcifications is recommended for additional test such as biopsy.
There are two types of mammography: Screening mammography and diagnostic mammography.
First women are advice to take screening mammograms to detect potential abnormalities in breast tissues. Later small group of women goes through further evaluation which include diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasound.
Diagnostic mammograms varies from screening mammograms in that because in diagnostic examination, it involves mainly focussing on those areas of breast tissues that showed abnormalities in screening test. Sometimes diagnostic screening is recommended directly to those women who shows symptoms of abnormal breast tissues.
Accuracy of Mammography
Reports have proved mammography is around 85% to 95% accurate in detecting any abnormalities in breast tissues. Accuracy rates are also found to be improved when three-dimensional mammography is used where women does not have to go through number of tests.
Hence going through mammography can be scary, but remember every abnormalities in breast tissues are not cancerous, and if even tumours are detected, it can be prevented and cured if diagnosed on time.