Mammography provides your doctor with information about breast diseases. The procedure uses low-dose X rays to produce an image of internal breast tissue. Only the breast will be exposed to these low doses of radiation.
A specially trained, female technologist will perform this procedure. Your breast will be positioned on a special platform of the mammography equipment. Then the breast will be compressed by a paddle-shaped piece of equipment. This compression evens out the thickness of the breast so all tissue can be imaged and small abnormalities won't be obscured by overlying breast tissue. Compression also eliminates image blurring caused by motion. The procedure is done on each breast separately.
A radiologist who is specially trained in mammography will analyze the images and send the report to your doctor.
Mammography can detect a lump in the breast often before it can be felt through self-examination. Early detection of breast cancer improves your chance of survival.
Click here to read the American Cancer Society's mammography screening guidelines.
For more information about the mammography examination, follow this link to the Radiology Info web site sponsored by the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America.