Mammography is specialized medical imaging that uses a low-dose X-ray system to produce pictures of breast tissue that your doctor can use to identify and treat any abnormal areas in the breast.
Benefits of opting for a Mammogram:
It aids in the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women. It is used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women experiencing no symptoms.
This can also be used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as a lump, pain, skin dimpling or nipple discharge.
It is the preferred screening examination for breast cancer as it is widely available, well-tolerated and inexpensive.
This can detect cancer early at a stage when it is readily treatable.
Breast cancer is now the leading cause of death occurring from gynaec cancers in females in India. It accounts for 25% to 32% of all female cancers. This means that one-third of all female cancer cases are breast cancers. The most important reason for the increased incidence is the lack of awareness about a screening of the same; more than 50% patients with breast cancer present in advanced stages when a tumour has already spread and an outcome is not as good as earlier stages. Apart from this, a majority of the women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease and are not considered at high risk.
How is Mammography beneficial?
Good Detection – Mammograms pick up changes in the breast around two years before the patient or doctor can feel it.
Reduction in Mortality – There has been up to 40 % decrease in the deaths occurring from breast cancer with the help of mammography.
Risk Assessment – Women after the age of 40 years should discuss with their doctor whether they are at high risk of breast cancer or not and when should they start having regular mammograms done.
Genetic Screening for Confirmation – Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors (such as having a parent, sibling, or child with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation) should start having mammography at an earlier age after discussion with their gynecologist.
Thus, mammography plays a critical part in diagnosing breast cancer and it is an important preventive measure that every woman should take.