Doctor insights on:
Guidelines For Mammogram Screening
A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more
Screening mammo: is 4 standard views in an asymptomatic woman, looking for signs of cancer anywhere in both breasts. Diagnostic mammogram is a variable number of specialized views to fully evaluate a particular area of the breast identified as potentially abnormal on screening mammo or physical exam. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Symptoms: A screening mammography is done as a routine exam. There are no symptoms. No masses have been felt. The patient is being screened. A diagnostic mammo is done because there is some reason other than routine. A mass has been felt, there is a discharge from the nipple, etc. Additional views may be taken. Sometimes a needle aspiration will be done at the same time. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Issue vs no issue: A screening mammogram is one done without there being any patient or doctor concerns about the breasts. It's done in asymptomatic women on a schedule according to guidelines. A diagnostic mammogram is done in response to a patient complaint or finding on the exam. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
What are the dangers and limitations of mammograms and are there any alternative screening processes that you would recommend ?
See below: Mammograms have not been associated with dangers. In conjunction with self-examination and health care examination, this is the best screen for breast cancer. Not all cancers are found on mammogram, and, if a lump is present and not seen on mammogram, additional evaluation will be necessary. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Confused by all the changes in recommendations for screening for women. Whats the latest for mammograms?
I had a screening mammogram.I waited while the technician checked. She took 1 more pic but implied something not right . Why would she take one more ?
Don't: read too much into that. The technologists do not diagnose or work up abnormalities. When they take extra pictures on their own, it likely means that one of the pictures was technically inadequate, for example due to motion blurring or suboptimal positioning, and they are simply repeating it to get the best possible picture. ...Read more
None: At present there are no definite good alternatives to mammograms for breast screening. Ultrasound and MRI are complimentary to mammograms but do not replace mammograms. Specifically microcalcifications are best seen on mammograms which have resolution of up to 70 microns. There are some advertised screening alternatives but none are as tried and true as mammograms. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Examples are: colonoscopy for colon polyp or cancer; mammograms for breast lesions or cancer; psa a blood test that could indicate enlargement of cancerous prostate tissue; blood sugar or hemoglobin a!c for diabetes. Many think that scanning the whole body will pick up a cancer--in all likelihood, it will not. There also is no good blood test, yet, ...Read more
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