Patient: What test should I get done for breast cancer?
Doctor: There are two types of screening tests that can help detect breast cancer in women. The first is called Mammography. It is the main test used in breast cancer detection. Since the test was invented, the number of women who die to the disease have reduced drastically – about thirty percent. Mammography is generally recommended for women who don’t show any symptoms of breast cancer. I would advise it to any lady who is either a low or average risk of suffering from breast cancer. Most of the good diagnostic labs in Chennai offer mammography test.
Getting A Breast MRI Or Mammogram In Chennai – The Value
Patient: Is there any other test?
Doctor: The other breast cancer test is called Breast MRI. It is the more sensitive test and considered as the most powerful tool for breast cancer detection in the world, right now. This screening test I would recommend to women who are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. A lady who has a 20 to 25% probability of getting breast cancer is considered as high risk. A good doctor would always advise you to get both a breast MRI and a mammogram done yearly. The value of this double screening is that all cancers are detected through them.
Patient: How does that work?
Doctor: Both the test for breast cancer screening, use different techniques for detection. In a mammogram, X-Rays make cancer tissue stand out as bright dots or dense white masses that are thicker than normal breast tissue. The problem occurs in women who have dense breast. Since both cancer and normal breast tissue appears as white on a Mammogram it can be easy to miss a few.
In a Breast MRI, a dye is injected into the breasts and radiowaves used to make an image of them. Because a cancer has more number of blood vessels feeding into it, they stand out brighter than normal breast tissue in an MRI. The contrasting dye makes it impossible for even the smallest cancer tissue to hide. This makes breast MRI a more sensitive test. A mammogram is essentially a shadow photo of the breasts while a breast MRI is a 3D image.
Also Read: What Is The Difference Between MRI Scan And PET Scan
Get Help From Any MRI Scan Centres In Chennai
Patient: Is it important to get both tests done?
Doctor: Combining the two tests ensures that all cancers in the breast of the patient are detected. To put a number to the value of the two tests, here are some statistics. A mammogram can generally detect 5 cancers per 1000 screened patients. When mammography is combined with Breast MRI, atleast 10 to 15 additional cancers are detected. A Breast MRI would also be offered by any scan centre in Chennai. I urge, as part of Breast Cancer awareness, to get a yearly check done. A young woman should pick a good centre near her and get atleast a mammogram.
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