Mammogram

Mammogram

Mammogram

Alternative Names: Mammography, Breast X-ray

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is done as a routine screening procedure, if a breast lump is suspected or found during a physical examination, or if there are other symptoms such as pain, nipple discharge, or nipple retraction. During a mammogram, the breasts are placed, one at a time, on a hard surface (X-ray plate) and are compressed while the X-rays are taken. Mammograms are important because the early detection of breast cancer can have a very positive impact on the outcome.

What is it?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast.

It is done in a radiology facility and takes about 30 minutes to perform.

Why is it done?
A mammogram is done:

  • As a routine screening procedure
  • If a breast lump is found, or suspected, on examination
  • If a woman has other breast symptoms such as pain, nipple discharge, or nipple retraction

What happens?

Before – how to prepare
No special preparation is needed.

During – how the test is done
You need to undress and will either sit or stand. The breast is placed on an X-ray plate (hard, flat surface) and will be compressed from above by another plate (this may be uncomfortable). You will be asked to stay very still and hold your breath while the X-rays are taken.

After the test
The results will be available shortly after the test is completed.

Risks and Compilations
The radiation involved in taking X-rays may, potentially, be harmful, but most experts do not consider this to be a significant problem .

Special Issues
Early diagnosis of breast cancer can have a very positive impact on the outcome, and so regular screening (involving self examination, medical examination, and mammography) is very important for all women. Different guidelines are given and individual risk profiles vary (e.g. those with a strong family history of breast cancer are at higher risk), so it is best to discuss this with your own doctor.

Short Description
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is done as a routine screening procedure, if a breast lump is suspected or found during a physical examination, or if there are other symptoms such as pain, nipple discharge, or nipple retraction.

Keywords
Mammography, Breast X-ray, x-ray of the breast, mammogram



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