A mammography exam, called a mammogram, supports the early diagnosis and detection of breast diseases in women. Mammography is a specialized medical imaging test that employs a low-dose x-ray system to see the tissues of the breasts.
An x-ray exam aids doctors to diagnose and treat medical conditions related to breasts. It exposes you to a smaller dose of ionizing radiation to get pictures of the inner parts of the body.
Three recent advances in mammography include computer-aided detection, digital mammography, and breast tomosynthesis.
When It’s Done:
- Breast screening as part of preventive health check
- Short interval follows up of probably benign but abnormal mammogram
- The patient/physician identified a breast lump
- Focal breast pain/tenderness
- Suspected Abscess
- Spontaneous nipple discharge
- New nipple changes (e.g., inversion)
When To Avoid:
There is no specific condition when this test should be avoided. Although Pregnancy and breastfeeding are relative contraindications due to the adverse effects of radiation exposure. Lactating breasts are more sensitive to radiation.
How to Prepare:
- Inform the doctor about the Pregnancy beforehand.
- Avoid using any deodorant, body powders, body lotions, perfumes, or creams, especially on the breast and armpits.
- Avoid going for the mammogram test when the breast seems to be tender. This is the time before and during the menstrual cycle. The best time to get the test done is after the completion of the menstrual period.
- The woman can eat and normally drink before the test is performed.
- If the woman is taking any medicine, this needs to be informed to the doctor, and in case of no risk, the medication can usually be continued.
- Get the previous mammogram reports, if there are any.
- Remove all the jewelry before the test.
- The upper half of the clothes needs to be removed, or a hospital gown needs to be worn before the test.
- If the woman feels discomfort or pain before the test, the doctor may advise her to take a painkiller like aspirin or ibuprofen.
UPDATED ON 15/11/2023