Ever since their introduction in the early 80s, mammograms have played an inimitable role in saving millions of women across the world. Till date, screening and diagnostic mammography have proven to be the simplest and cheapest method of detecting breast cancer in its early stages. Over the years, mammograms have evolved with technological advancements that enable crystal clear imaging for precise diagnostic results. Currently, 3D mammography or Tomosynthesis is being used for cross-sectional imaging of the breast tissue. Tomosynthesis provides far better imaging than traditional 2D mammography.
Also Read : Mammogram Tests: Here’s What You Need To Know!
But are mammograms absolutely necessary? What section of women needs a mammogram and at what age? How important are these tests? We attempt to answer all these questions in this article. Read on to know more.
Mammograms: A Necessary Precaution For Women
According to most doctors, women above the age of 40 must have a mammogram done once a year. But that does not rule out other younger women and teenage girls who might detect lumps or abnormality in their breasts. Studies reveal that women within the age category of 40-50 are more susceptible to breast cancer, which explains the emphasis laid by the doctors.
Risk factors associated with breast cancer
There are 3 major risk factors that doctors associate with breast cancer:
Age increases the risk of developing cancerous tissues. Studies reveal that menopausal women are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer than older and younger women.
Most breast cancers can be blamed on genetic inheritance that results from gene mutations. The risk is more for women whose mothers or grandmothers have breast cancer.
- Dense breast tissue
It is a proven fact that women with dense breast tissue are more prone to cancer. They have a significantly increased risk compared to those without dense tissues.
Mammogram in Chennai: What to expect
There are many preconceived notions surrounding mammograms, but in truth, every experience is unique. For a first-timer, a mammogram can be a nerve-racking, uncomfortable experience. Not every mammogram is painful. A well-trained expert will know how to handle patients and make the experience an easy one. Here’s how the mammogram procedure goes:
- The process is kicked off by getting details about the patient’s medical history and the family’s medical history.
- The procedure requires the patient to be undressed from the waist up. Patients are asked to remove their underclothing and wear a simple hospital gown provided by the facility.
- The patient is asked to position the breast on the flat surface of the mammography unit. The technician will also ensure that the breast is in the right position before proceeding further.
- The breast is compressed with another plate that flattens out the tissue in order to get clear images.
- Sometimes, the doctor may ask the woman to hold her breath to ensure she does not move when the images are taken.
- The compression of the breast tissue is likely to cause some temporary discomfort.
- If the mammogram reveals results that cause concern, more tests will be needed to rule out any suspicion.
The importance of correct positioning and compression of the breast
The discomfort and pain caused by breast compression are some of the main reasons that deter women from getting an annual mammogram. But this temporary discomfort is not experienced by all women. Moreover, the compression of the breast is necessary for various reasons:
- It reduces and equalizes the thickness of the breast.
- Helps to reduce the radiation dose by reducing the thickness.
- Compression prevents unnecessary movement which might cause blurred images.
- It prevents scatter radiation or radiation to other parts of the body.
- Enables the device to take close-up images with finer details.
Importance of Getting A Mammogram Done
Mammograms are for all women and not only for those who fall into the risk category of breast cancer. It is imperative to note that a great majority of breast cancer patients would not have exhibited any signs or symptoms or had any risk factors at all. A breast examination and mammogram are the easiest ways to safeguard oneself from breast cancer. Early detection increases the chances of proper treatment and survival.
Anderson Diagnostics in Chennai is one of the city’s leading diagnostic centres that specializes in advanced mammogram techniques. We provide Digital Breast Tomosynthesis that are crucial in detecting breast diseases at an early stage. For safe, secure, convenient and comfortable diagnostic tests, we are the most reputed name in the city of Chennai. Visit our website <> to know the mammogram cost in Chennai and more.