Breast mammography

Mammography today is the optimal diagnostic method for the detection or exclusion of certain diseases of the mammary glands.

Due to the fact that this method is less common than ultrasound, women tend to check with the latter, but this is not always correct. The fact is that mammography is the best option for revealing mammary gland pathologies: generalizing, it can be compared with an x-ray made in several projections (in this case 4).

What does the mammography show?

Using mammography, you can find both malignant and benign formations. For example, mammography determines calcifications - a cluster of calcium salts in tissues. Sometimes this is a sign of the initial stage of cancer, if they are collected into small, but multiple formations (this means the hyperactivity of the cells). If calcifications are large in size, then this is not a reason for the assumption of possible malignant processes. When you feel the calcinations are not detected, so mammography can be considered the only optimal way to detect them.

Also with the help of this diagnosis, cysts are examined: their size, an approximate structure. To distinguish a cyst from a tumor, a mammogram based on an x-ray method, can not.

The third group of benign formations that "sees" a mammogram is fibroadenomas.

How is mammography done?

This is a painless method of examining the gland, however, if the chest hurts, then because of the pressure there may be discomfort. The device consists of two plates - the working area, which are placed horizontally. The woman puts her breast on the first lower plate, and the diagnostician lowers her second upper plate and presses the mammary gland lightly. So several pictures are taken from different sides of the breast.

Special preparation for mammography is not required, but before the examination of the diagnostician, one must be warned about pregnancy, breast-feeding or the presence of implants, if this is actual.

On the day before the day before, do not use body products (including perfume) in the chest, do not wear jewelry and ask if you need to take an analgesic before starting the procedure if your chest hurts.

The results of mammography are usually prepared within a few days.

When do mammograms of mammary glands?

It is advisable to choose the time of the mammogram in advance, but if necessary, the examination is carried out without paying attention to the day of the cycle.

The day on which the mammogram is performed depends on the individual characteristics of the body, but, as a rule, these are the first few days after the end of menstruation - 6-12 days from the beginning.

What to choose: mammography or ultrasound?

For a general examination for the presence of neoplasms, it is enough to conduct a mammogram, and, for example, to distinguish a cyst from a tumor, ultrasound is prescribed, since ultrasound waves are reflected by the tumor and pass through the cyst.

How often can I have a mammogram?

Women after 40 years old enough to conduct mammography once a year, even if in the area of ​​the mammary glands there is no discomfort.

In the presence of malignant formations, the examination should be done once a month.

New technologies in ultrasound mammography

The most common method of mammography is X-ray, which has several types: film, projection and analog.

Currently in European countries seek to use digital mammography, because it, unlike the analog (film), is more informative. Of great importance is the resolution of the digital mammogram: in order to identify the early stages of the disease, at least 20 pixels per mm2 are needed.

Also today, electric impedance mammography is popularized, despite the fact that it was invented by English scientists back in 1982. The essence of her method in assessing the electrical conductivity of tissues: it is known that different tissues have different electrical conductivity, and, receiving data on this, the diagnostician can understand whether there are tissues affected by the malignant process or not.