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Mammography: Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

What is Mammography? Are mammograms painful? What is the procedure of mammography? How do I prepare for my mammogram? How is mammogram test done? What are the steps Mammography? What should you not do before a mammogram?

What is Mammography?

In easy words it is a X-ray of breast which is to detect and diagnose breast cancer by screening use of this screening tool known as mammogram also called mammography. It is a key element in early detection of breast cancer. In case of lump or any other symptoms, doctor will recommend diagnostic mammograms, which is more extensive than screening mammograms. This procedure requires more x-rays to get breast view from multiple positions.

Are mammograms painful?

People who gone through mammograms have different experiences. During the procedure some may feel pain while others may not at all. Most number of women feel discomfort during x-ray. Pressure that comes on breast from the process causes pain and discomfort for few minutes. Apart from that, pain vary from one woman to another, which depends upon breast size, timing of test (relation to menstrual cycle), x-ray technician skills.

What is the procedure of mammography?

At the beginning of the process, a technician will give you a gown to wear. Depending upon test facility, you may either stand or sit during mammogram. In that procedure, the technician fits each breast onto a flat X-ray plate.

Then a compressor will push the breast down to flatten the tissue. This provides a clearer picture of the breast. You might have to hold your breath for each picture. You may feel a small amount of pressure or discomfort, but it’s usually brief.

How do I prepare for my mammogram?

Since mammograms are an important procedure in the prevention of breast cancer by helping to detect them at an early stage, it is important for the patient to adhere to the given rules so that no problem is encountered and the process can be done without interruptions. Since mammograms detect lumps and microcalcifications in the breasts, it is important the patient does not apply anything that might look like a blocking mass of calcium during the x-ray screening. Deodorants, powders, perfumes, ointment and/or any cream should be neglected during the day of the screening so that the results are clear and valid, and if necessary, the situation can be handled with utmost care.

In the case of pregnancy and/or breastfeeding stages, the physician generally recommends an ultrasound for the detection of early breast cancer.

How is mammogram test done?

In easy words, Mammogram is a process to diagnose problems in the breast. In this process, X-ray pictures of the breast are taken. The doctor used to analyze these x-ray pictures to detect the problems. Whenever you go for this test, the technician will ask you to stand or sit (depends upon the facility) facing mammography, which had a flat surface to place one breast at a time. That flat surface is known as compression paddle.

  1. It is necessary to put the breast on the flat surface on which compression is necessary to spread out the breast tissue. It also helps to eliminate motion, compression is uncomfortable for few seconds.
  2. During compression, the machine detects breast tissues and record them in the machine. In the case of cancer, breast tissue appears white and bright in x-rays, while non cancerous tissues appear gray or dark.

What are the steps Mammography?

Mammography is done to diagnose the early stage of breast cancer or any kind of cysts in the breast. These are low energy x -rays which help to detect tiny lump or clusters in the breasts even before a human can feel it.

Two x-rays of each breast are usually done in it.

The first one, screening mammography, is done to detect early stage of breast cancer or complication in a human body which a human can take up to 2 years to feel. It is advisable to do yearly screening mammography for all the women above 40 years of age.

Diagnostic mammography is done after an abnormal health behavior is detected in a human breast. It can be any kind of lump, cyst, tumor or any other discomfort which needs to treated further. It is done after the advice of a doctor or can also be done if some complication is found in a particular area of the breast after the screening x-ray.

What should you not do before a mammogram?

Here are few things which should not be done before going for a mammogram are -

  1. In case of menstrual period, its been better to avoid mammography. Even before or after one week of menstrual periods it been better, not to go for this test, during this time there are chances of breast being tender.
  2. Avoid deodorants, perfumes, powder on armpits or on your breast at the day of mammography. Metallic particles present in these cosmetics may interfere in result.
  3. Not to wear any ornament or any jewelry at the time of mammography. Technician will day ask you to remove all the ornaments and upper wear.

Popular Questions & Answers

I have pain starting from right underarm to nipple, does it require mammography? Kindly suggest any good mammography centre in Lucknow.

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Hi Aarti.. first consult a gynecologist nearby and then see if she suggests for mammography or not.. they may also suggest a good center to approach...

I have a lump in my left breast since 3years but the mammography doesn't show anything and the report also says that everything is normal. What it can be?

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
You should get sonography of the breast as well to be more clear about the lump. Mammography may not pick up the lump sometimes. Even if sonography does not pick it up, then it is likely to be fibroadenosis which is mostly related to hormonal chan...

I have a lump in my right breast I have done mammography report says 3 step doctor had given evion 400 is it enough to cure it.

DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath, Patna
Hello, To begin a safe homoeopathic medication to dilute your lump, we need to know the dimension of lump and memo graphics. Evion 400 might subside chest and breast pain can't dissolve the lump itself. Till then take homoeopathic medicine: @ Lapi...
1 person found this helpful

I have a lump in my breast. I had got mammography done before 3 to 4 months .it is negative. The lump had gone but I got it again after 4 months.

DNB Surgical Oncology, MS Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Oncologist, Noida
Mammogram are not helpful in women under 40 years age If lump has reappeared I suggest doing an MRI of the breast and a good clinical examination by a breast surgeon.

I am 30 years female I have breast pain, mammography me kuch nhi aya. Please advise.

BHMS, PGDCBM, MD(AM) , Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education (DNHE)
Homeopath, Gurgaon
breast pain could only be because of hormonal changes during the month .breast pain before menses is a part of premenstrual syndrome. Wear comfortable clothes,take proper food and exercise regularly. Take more of potassium rich food like banana,co...
1 person found this helpful

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