Early Detection for Breast Cancer with Mammograms
Mammograms are one of the most important tools in the early detection of breast cancer. This low-dose X-ray can reveal both benign (non-cancerous) and cancerous growths when they are too small to be detected by you or your health care provider. With a screening mammogram, it is possible to detect micro-calcifications (tiny deposits of calcium in the breast, which can sometimes indicate the potential presence of an early breast cancer) or a tumor that cannot be felt.
How is a Mammogram performed?
The mammogram is performed by a specially trained, experienced female radiographer. You will be required to undress to the waist and will be given a loose-fitting gown to wear. Each breast will be positioned between two flat plates and compressed. The compression will be firm and may be uncomfortable, however, it should only last a few seconds whilst the x-ray is being taken. The compression helps make the breast a uniform thickness, which makes the image clearer and minimises the x-ray dose to the breast tissue. Initially two images will be taken of each breast but further images may be required. The mammogram appointment time is usually 15 minutes. More time may be needed if you have breast implants.
State-of-the-Art Digital Mammograms
Chevron Clinical Laboratory (Pte.) Ltd. is equipped with state-of-the-art digital mammography. During digital mammograms, a special detector is used to convert X-ray energy into a digital picture almost instantaneously. This technology makes taking mammograms faster and more convenient than film mammograms. To help promote accuracy, all screening mammograms are double-read by a radiologist and a computer-aided detection system.
Siemens Tomosynthesis 3D Mammography
Tomosynthesis (3D) mammography is the current state-of-the-art technology for imaging dense breasts. Tomosynthesis uses digital x-ray technology to capture multiple images of the entire breast from different angles to produce high-resolution, 3D images, enabling radiologists to “see through” the dense breast tissue and find cancer that may be hiding within it.
Tomosynthesis provides more accurate results with fewer false positives, thus lowering recalls while increasing cancer detection rates.
Other Mammography Machines include: Apelem Serenys dR Mammography, Allergen Medical Systems Venus Mammography
- Breast Cancer
When making your appointment, please let us know if you have breast implants as we will need to make sure you have a longer appointment time. If your breasts are tender just before your period, it may be more comfortable for you to make an appointment just after your period.
On the day:
- Bring all previous mammograms and breast ultrasounds with you
- Wear a 2 piece outfit
- Please do not wear any talcum powder or deodorant as this may show up as an abnormality on your mammogram
- Please let the radiographer know if you think you might be pregnant
Who should have a Mammogram?
The risk of breast cancer increases with age, especially after the age of 50 years. It is suggested that women over the age of 40 years, without breast symptoms, have a screening mammogram every two years. There is no proven benefit for women under 40 years to have routine screening mammograms. Annual screening mammograms are only suggested if you have had a previous breast cancer or have a very strong family history of breast cancer (ie multiple affected family members). Your doctor can tell you if you are in the latter group. If you have breast symptoms your doctor will indicate whether you should have a mammogram.
Please make sure you bring all previous mammograms and breast ultrasound scans with you to your appointment.