Uncover Breast Cancer With a Mammogram!
A mammogram is an X-ray image of the inner breast tissue. The procedure used to screen women using this test is called mammography. It is one of the most widely used tests to help in identifying cysts, calcification or tumors within the breasts. It is the most successful procedure to detect early breast cancer. Although breast self-examination and physical examination on a monthly basis is important, they generally detect cancers at a much later stage as compared to a mammogram that detects it at a much earlier and curable stage.
Who should undergo mammography?
• Women above forty years of age should undergo a mammography follow up every six months
• Women with a family history of breast cancer carry a high risk, and hence should not miss out on this checkup.
What mammograms show?
Any lumps or suspicious areas on the image of a mammogram will be magnified and further studied. Mammograms will also show micro and macro calcifications, and scars or lesions on the inner tissue of the breast.
If the test appears completely normal, no further tests are required. Most breast changes are not malignant.
If the radiologist finds the images abnormal, then he might ask you to revisit him for better evaluation of the abnormal areas of the breast. And in some cases, your doctor might also ask you to undergo special mammographic tests.
It is highly recommended to see your doctor and get a mammogram done if you have any of these symptoms:
• Redness and swelling of the breasts.
• Discharge from nipples
• Swelling or dimpling on a part of the breast.
• Abnormal change in size and shape of the breast.
• Rashes on or around the nipples
• Change in the color, structure and shape of the nipple.
• Pain in the armpits or on either of the breast (not related to periods).