The mammogram is an x-ray of the breast that is used to detect any problems or changes in the internal structure of the breast that would later become a problem. Mammograms play a key role in the detection of breast cancer. The procedure involves a simple method of compressing the breast between two plates while an x-ray machine captures the image from above. These images are examined by a doctor who looks for signs of anomalies.
There are no hard and fast rules about how often or at what age one should have a mammogram in Chennai. It is a decision that largely depends on the age and the risk factors associated with breast cancer. But, thanks to increased awareness, most middle-aged women opt for a mammogram just as a precautionary measure.
Mammogram in Chennai: Reasons Why It Is Done
Among the many tests that can be adopted to rule out serious issues with the breast tissue, a mammogram is the easiest and cost-effective method. There are two reasons why mammograms are done:
- Screening Mammography
Screening mammography is most often done by health-conscious women over 40 years of age who wish to rule out any abnormalities in the breast. It is a sensible precautionary measure that must be done once a year. Women who are more prone to breast cancer via genetic inheritance can keep themselves on the safer side with screening mammography.
- Diagnostic Mammography
A diagnostic mammography helps to reveal suspicious changes in the breast such as:
- Niggling pain
- Unusual discharge from the nipple
- Thickening of the nipple
- Detection of a lump during a breast examination
- Abnormal detections in a screening mammography
Things A Doctor Will Look For In A Mammogram
One of the first medical personnel to scrutinize a mammogram is the radiologist who is trained to diagnose what x-rays and other diagnostic tests reveal. All mammograms are scrutinized for three internal changes in the breast:
Calcifications are tiny calcium deposits found within the breast tissue, which reveal themselves as small white spots on the X-rays. Not all calcifications are caused by cancer. There are various other reasons that cause calcification such as cell debris, inflammation, cell secretions, etc. These calcifications are divided into two categories:
They are tiny specks of calcium deposits in the breast tissue and their presence is most often a cause for concern. Most microcalcifications are benign. But if they are irregular in shape and present in large numbers, the radiologist could order additional images with magnification. Or he/she might suggest a biopsy of the calcification to rule out cancer.
As the name suggests, macrocalcifications are larger deposits of calcium brought about mainly by ageing or a benign condition like Fibroadenoma. Macrocalcifications are common among women who have crossed 50 years of age.
- Masses or lumps
Another important change that doctors look out for in a mammogram is masses. They are dense breast tissue that can be prominently noticed by their irregular shape and edges. A lump or mass on a mammogram may mean many things. It could be a harmless Fibroadenoma or a fluid-filled cyst. If the radiologist doubts the mass to be anything other than these, a biopsy will be the only way to ascertain if the mass is cancerous or not.
A fluid-filled cyst and a solid mass are almost imperceptible to distinguish. An ultrasound will throw better light on what it really is. If the fluid needs to be removed, doctors use a thin, hollow needle to aspirate or remove the fluid from the sac. Advanced diagnostic tests like MRI scan and biopsy will be necessary to rule out malignancy of the mass.
- Breast density
Breast density is an important assessment that determines the even distribution of the fibrous and glandular tissue inside the breast. Dense breast tissue can make it difficult to detect calcifications and cysts. It is also more likely to become cancerous, based on other influencing factors like gene mutation, genetic inheritance of the disease and other aspects. Distorted breast tissue is also a sign of tumours invading other areas of the breast.
Mammograms can also reveal other issues such as:
- Dense areas appearing in one breast or in specific spots.
- The appearance of new masses, lumps or dense areas in addition to those that are already there.
- Asymmetric areas.
Anderson Diagnostics: The Best Diagnostic Centre To Take Your Mammogram In Chennai
Located in Chennai, Anderson Diagnostics is a doctor-driven high-end facility that specializes in providing a plethora of advanced testing services and solutions. We operate with a team of specialist doctors, lab assistants, etc to provide crystal clear images and accurate diagnosis. If you want to know a mammogram test cost in Chennai call us @ 044 – 43539444 for more information.