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Mammography

Mammography is a radiological examination that can detect all breast conditions, benign or malignant.

Today’s devices use digital technology to produce images of the breast in high resolution.

The Technique

To conduct this exam, the technologist uses a mammogram machine. This device consists of a X-ray generating low-energy and a relatively painless breast compression system.

The examination consists of compressing in turn the two breasts and then exposing them to a low-dose X-ray. Compression is achieved by a compression paddle designed specifically for this type of exploration and regulated by a special handler for it to be painless for the patient. This compression allows the spread of breast tissue which facilitates the visualization of breast structures and reduces the X-ray dose delivered. Several images are then taken during this process.

The Diagnostic

After the mammography has been performed, a radiologist analyzes the images, and might ask some clinical questions to the patient. The radiologist examines the appearance of the skin and nipple to detect the presence of abnormal lymph nodes. Mammography does not always give a definitive diagnosis from the outset: it allows the physician to see if there is an abnormality in the breast, but it cannot determine with certainty whether or not there is occurrence of cancer.

Other tests might then be necessary to establish the diagnosis:

  • Breast Ultrasound
  • Sampling
  • Breast MRI

Preparation

No deodorant, powder or cream on breasts and armpits.