A mammogram is an X-ray test that produces an image of the inner breast tissue on film in order to visualize normal and abnormal structures within the breasts. Mammography can help in identifying cysts, calcifications, and tumours within the breast.
It is currently the most efficient screening method to detect early breast cancer and expose changes in breast tissue that would warrant further investigations. One must keep in mind that when Breast Cancer is detected in its early stages there is a strong chance that it can be beaten through early effective treatment.
At Saint James Hospital the mammogram examination is carried out using a digital mammography unit.
Images are recorded digitally onto a computer for the radiologist to examine – this type of mammography submits patients to a lower dose of radiation and has images immediately available. The procedure takes around 20 minutes in total.
A Mammogram is recommended for:
• All women starting at age 50, repeated every 1 – 2 years
• Women with a mother or sister who had breast cancer at a younger age should consider yearly mammograms starting a year earlier than the age at which their youngest family member was diagnosed