Useful Mammography Techniques
Mammography describes a special imaging technique which utilizes low-dose x-ray system for examination of breasts. Mammogram or a mammography examination helps early diagnosis of breast diseases affecting women. The principle mammography techniques include computer-aided detection and digital mammography, diagnostic mammography and screening mammography.
Computer-aided detection (CAD) system utilizes a digitized mammographic image which can be obtained through a digitally acquired mammogram or a traditional film mammogram. Later, the computer software looks for abnormal areas of mass, calcification or density which may indicate cancerous growth. The system highlights the areas on images, which gives an indication to the radiologist about the need for more analysis.
Full-field digital mammography (FFDM) or Digital mammography refers to a mammography system wherein solid-state detectors are used in place of an x-ray film. The detectors facilitate the conversion of x-rays into electrical signals. These signals are utilized for creating images of breasts which can be printed over a special film or seen on the computer screen.
Diagnostic mammography is utilized for evaluation of patients with abnormal clinical findings like breast lumps. These lumps may have been felt by the woman herself or her physician. The mammography can also be conducted after carrying out an abnormal screening mammography.
Screening mammography remains a key technique which enables the diagnosis of breast cancer at early stages. This technique depicts the changes in breasts nearly two years before any physician or a patient can actually feel them.
Such examinations that make use of mammography techniques are usually recommended for women above 40 years of age.