Mammogram

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A mammogram[1] is a procedure done to screen for breast cancer. It is recommended to be done once per year for women over the age of 40, and should be done in addition to regular breast self exams. In the mammogram procedure, the breast is squeezed between two plates (to even out the tissue and prevent blurring from movement) and x-rayed. The mammogram x-ray is different from a standard x-ray in that it produces a lower energy x-ray, which has a harder time going through tissue but produces a higher contrast image. A radiologist then reviews the x-rays for dense lumps or calcification. It is recommended that a patient not wear deodorant, talc powder, or lotions as these can show on the x-rays. This is currently the only medical screening process for breast cancer. Positive mammogram patients are then referred to specialists for further testing to confirm the presence of cancer.

References

  1. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_2_3X_Mammography_and_Other_Breast_Imaging_Procedures.asp
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