Get Screening Mammography Done Before 30, To Be On the Safer Side

Screening mammography, a low dose x-ray examination of the breast is usually performed on women with complaints or symptoms of breast cancer. The key idea of this x-ray exam is to detect breast cancer at an early stage, when it is still too small to be felt by a physician or the patient. According to researchers, the early detection of small breast cancers by screening mammography can improve a woman's chances for successful treatment.  If the breast cancer is detected while it is still confined to the breast ducts, the chance of curing is close to 100 per cent.

According to The National Cancer Institute, women should begin receiving screening mammograms every one to two years when they reach 40 years of age and every year once when they turn 50. Annual screening mammography can help detect breast cancers at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Women who have a family history of breast cancer should begin annual screening mammograms, at 25 in some cases. During the test, each breast should be imaged separately, from above and from an oblique or angled view.

However, the breast cancer may not be visible on a screening mammogram if:

  • The cancer is very small
  • The cancer is in an area that is not easily imaged with mammography. For example, in the axilla or the underarm region
  • The cancer is obscured by other shadows
If a screening mammography indicates an abnormality, women are recommended for further breast imaging test such as spot view mammography, ultrasound or other imaging tests.


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