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The American Cancer Society recommends that a baseline mammogram be done between the ages of 35 and 40 for later comparisons if needed. A yearly mammogram is recommended for women over the age of 50 to screen for breast cancer that may not be discovered during other types of breast examination.
Mammography can detect carcinoma of the breast sometimes as early as 2 years before a lesion becomes palpable and in many cases before lymph node metastasis has occurred. Mammographic findings that strongly suggest carcinoma are ill-defined densities within breast tissue and microcalcifications. These findings are not specific, however, and the cumulative probability of a woman's having a false-positive mammogram during 10 years of annual examinations approaches 50%. Numerous clinical studies seem to support the value of mammography in reducing the mortality of breast cancer, particularly in women aged 50-69 years. Although some observers have questioned the validity of these studies, the balance of opinion favors a substantial life-sparing role for mammographic screening in both middle-aged and elderly women. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may detect tumors at an earlier stage than mammography, and has been recommended by some authorities for annual surveillance of women at high risk. Scintimammography after intravenous injection of technetium 99m sestamibi may be used to follow up an equivocal mammogram. Positron emission tomography has shown promise in discriminating between benign and malignant breast masses as well as in detecting axillary lymph node metastases in patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer and distant metastases in patients with advanced or recurrent breast carcinoma. Because of the high cost of this procedure, its use is limited to high-risk subjects and those with dense breasts. The higher density of breast tissue in younger women limits the ability of radiography to identify tumors in women between ages 40 and 50, for whom ultrasonography is preferred in evaluation of palpable breast lesions. Research has suggested that for a small fraction of women, exposure to radiation during mammography may actually trigger breast cancer. The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, and the American College of Radiology recommend a baseline mammogram for every woman by age 40 and annual mammograms after age 50. Mammograms should begin at age 25 for women who are at special risk because of family history. Because some 10% of breast cancers that can be palpated on examination are missed by mammography, annual examination of the breasts by a physician is also recommended. Digital scanning further enhances the detection of microcalcifications and spiculated masses on mammography. However, mammography remains a screening procedure, and diagnosis of breast lesions depends on physical examination and biopsy findings. Federal law requires all facilities in the U.S. that perform mammography provide the examinee with a report of the results in clear, simple language within 30 days after the examination, besides providing a detailed report to the physician who ordered the examination. see also carcinoma of breast.
mammographyThe radiologic examination of the breast using a dedicated device designed specifically for imaging the breast. Mammography is the single best noninvasive screening procedure for detecting breast cancer: it yields a false negative rate of 5–15% and a false positive of 10%. 24% of biopsies of non-palpable breast masses with calcification (> 15 calcifications or calcifications in a linear or branching fashion) have ductal or lobular carcinoma.
Guidelines for mammography
National Cancer Advisory Board (US)
• High risk women—annual mammogram (MG) breast self-examination (BSE), < age 40.
• Average risk women—annual MG & BSE, age 40–49.
• Low risk women—annual MG & BSE, > age 50.
American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (US)
BSE after age 20, a baseline MG between ages 35–45, and annual or biennial MG thereafter.
Frequency of mammography is a function of the person’s risk factors for BC:
• First-degree relative with BC;
• Later pregnancy.
Mammography categories (American College of Radiologists)
0—Incomplete, additional imaging evaluation needed.
3—Probably benign, short follow-up interval suggested.
4—Suspicious abnormality, biopsy should be considered.
5—Highly suggestive of malignancy, appropriate action warranted.
mammographyImaging The radiologic examination of the breast using a dedicated device designed specifically for imaging the breast; mammography is the single best noninvasive screening procedure for detecting breast CA; mammography–MG yields a false negative rate of 5-15% and a false positive of 10% Radiology Finely-stippled microcalcifications–white pinpoint-sized dots; suspicious–eg, poorly-circumscribed–geographic densities; other findings–as classified by Wolf are thought to be less reliable; radiation dose during a MG is 25-35 kV/0.025-.035 rem–2.5-3.5 x 10–4 Sievert; the Am Cancer Society and the NCI–US recommend breast self examination–BSE after age 20, a baseline MG between ages 35-45, and annual or biennial MG thereafter–frequency of mammography is a function of the person's relative risk factors for breast CA–first-degree relative with breast CA, caucasian, later pregnancy; 24% of biopsies of non-palpable breast masses with calcification–> 15 calcifications or calcifications in a linear or branching fashion have ductal or lobular CA Guidelines National Cancer Advisory Board High risk ♀–annual MG & BSE < age 40; average risk ♀–annual MG & BSE 40–49; low risk ♀–annual MG & BSE > age 50. See Breast cancer, Cancer screening, Scintimammography. Cf Lumpectomy.
mammography(ma-mog'ra-fe ) [ mamma + -graphy]
Palpable abnormalities of the breast that appear mammographically benign should nonetheless be further evaluated, e.g., with ultrasonography, fine-needle or core biopsy, or close follow-up examinations.
full-field digital mammographyAbbreviation: FFDM
mammographyA method of X-ray examination of the breasts using low-radiation (soft) X-rays and specially designed apparatus to reveal density changes that might imply cancer. Mammography is used in cases of suspected breast cancer and as a screening procedure on groups of women. It cannot be relied on to exclude cancer and does not distinguish between benign and malignant tumours, but tumours that cannot be felt may be detected. Mammography has been found to be more reliable if its timing is properly phased with the menstrual cycle. Breast tissue is more dense during the luteal phase (days 15–28).
Patient discussion about mammography
Q. I am going for my first mammography, Is this test harmful? I am going for my first mammography on coming Tuesday…….just was worried as the doctor is suspecting a tumor….Is this test harmful?
Q. I am having mammograms annually since 10 years (now 43). I am having mammograms annually since 10 years (now 43), I'm not sure how much of the "armpit" area is included. I have recently noticed a lump on my right about half way between my breast and my armpit. It can be tricky to locate at times and I really don't think it's anything serious as it feels smooth and round. I do have very dense breasts. I had a core biopsy done on the same breast, upper & outer quadrant, some years ago that was benign. I am going to have my mammo for this year and I was wondering if this area between the breast and the armpit will be covered?
Q. I know about breast cancer and I don’t have any lump and I had mammography but nothing was revealed…… I have been diagnosed with breast cancer now, till last week I was suspected with an allergy and I was on antibiotics and suddenly it came with cancer after my biopsy ………I know about breast cancer and I don’t have any lump and I had mammography but nothing was revealed…….anyone with some information on this problem…….now my doctor is planning to give me a chemo…..and all this is going very fast …..
but if the second professional opinion says the same, then i will encourage you to follow your doctor's advise.
the earlier it is taken care, the better the result will be