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Doctor insights on: Mammogram Screen

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Dr. Barry Rosen
658 doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

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


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How is the mammogram done to screen?

How is the mammogram done to screen?

2 or 3 X-rays: A screening mammogram sqeezes each breast between 2 horizontal plates and then between 2 vertical plates in order to take the x-ray pictures. Sometimes a 3rd view is taken on a tilt. The tech helps you position your arm and the breast tissue to get the best picture. She will ask you to hold your breath while she clicks the picture. ...Read more

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Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

MammogramsSAVELives: The radiation exposure of a digital mammogram is 3.7mgy. This is associated with a lifetime-attributable risk of breast cancer of 1.3 cases per 100, 000. Mammography is a safe, proven technique for finding cancers well before they are palpable and there is no controversy about its use after age 50. Thermograms are 25% as sensitive as mammograms and not suitable for screening. ...Read more

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What is a mammogram like?

What is a mammogram like?

Needs compression: Most centers in the us take two images. One is oblique (called a medial lateral oblique or mlo) and one is head to toe (called craniocaudal or cc). Compression is required in both projections and this part can be painful. Once the images are obtained they are evaluated by a radiologist who has satisfied certain criteria established by the fda. A report should be available that day or within 1 week. ...Read more

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Do mammograms really hurt?

Do mammograms really hurt?

Not necessarily hurt: In order to take a good picture breast tissue must be flattened by providing pressure to one direction. This should be explained to patient and performed gently. A large volume breast may need more pressure, but this can be done gently. ...Read more

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How are mammograms done on men?

Same as women: There is no difference in the technique, only the volume of tissue available to be imaged. ...Read more

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What happens during a mammogram?

What happens during a mammogram?

Compression!: A screening mammogram involves taking two pictures of the breast (top-down and side-to-side) to get a complete view of the breast. This is done with the breast tissue "squished" for a few seconds so as to get the best images. I am told that it is as painful as it sounds but the pain usually is gone quickly. Most importantly, we can find cancers much earlier with a high probability for cure. ...Read more

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Why is it necessary to do a mammogram?

Why is it necessary to do a mammogram?

Mammogram: It is not necessary to get a mammogram. A mammogram is a screening test for breast cancer and considered preventive medicine. 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, including those with strong family history of (maternal side) breast cancer. Since finding breast cancer in the early stages increases the cure rate, it is to a woman's advantage to get screened. ...Read more

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How are women prepared for a mammogram?

How are women prepared for a mammogram?

Not as important: Some studies claim that mammograms are better performed at a certain time of the menstrual cycles. More important is the reading... Age, density of the breast, comparison with previous mammograms... Risk factors as age, family history, previous cancer..... Are important in determining the frequency... Consult with your doctor.... ...Read more

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What is the mammogram typically used for?

What is the mammogram typically used for?

Screen breast cancer: Mammogram is an xray technique used to evaluate the breast tissue and ascertain that it's appearance is normal. It is useful to detect very early changes in the tissues that are consistent with cancer of the breast. This changes are not usually palpable by the patient or the doctor on routine exams. ...Read more

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What should I expect at a mammogram appointment?

What should I expect at a mammogram appointment?

Mammo: The tech will ask you to stand facing the mammo machine, and place one breast at a time on a flat surface.A flat compression paddle will gently be lowered to compress your breast. Compression spreads out the breast tissue and eliminates motion.The compression may be uncomfortable,but shouldn't hurt. Compression usually lasts no more than a few seconds. 2 views of each breast are obtained. ...Read more

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Are mammograms painful? What is the experience like?

Are mammograms painful? What is the experience like?

Mammo: The tech will ask you to stand facing the mammo machine, and place one breast at a time on a flat surface.A flat compression paddle will gently be lowered to compress your breast. Compression spreads out the breast tissue and eliminates motion.The compression may be uncomfortable,but shouldn't hurt. Compression usually lasts no more than a few seconds. 2 views of each breast are obtained. ...Read more

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Im 50 and still haven't had a mammogram yet, is that okay?

Im 50 and still haven't had a mammogram yet, is that okay?

Need to do it: Although not an enjoyable exam, the benefits of early cancer detection far outweigh the downsides of discomfort. Please do this soon for the sake of your health. ...Read more

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Rules keep changing. What is latest recommendation for mammograms?

Rules keep changing. What is latest recommendation for mammograms?

Annual after 40: This is a world wide challenge which is constantly evaluated . American college of radiology and american cancer society and others recommend baseline study around the age of 35-40 and then annual mammograms after 40 . I think what may change is how often in the later postmenopausal years. There has been some recent controversy about women between 40 and 50 but that controversy has been put down. ...Read more

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What can mammograms show besides tumor?

What can mammograms show besides tumor?

Many things: A mammogram can show normal breast tissue for most people. It can show many benign changes such as fluid filled cysts, calcifications, fibroadenomas. Dilated ducts and dense tissue. These benign changes are far more common than breast cancer. ...Read more

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Why don't cysts show up on a mammogram?

Why don't cysts show up on a mammogram?

Cysts do show up ...: Cysts very commonly get detected by mammography. These are benign fluid-filled masses that can appear in breast tissue. On mammogram cyst appears as a round, oval, or lobulated mass with circumscribed margins. However, cyst margins may be obscured on and can't be reliably diagnosed with mammogram alone and further evaluation with spot-compression mammographic views and ultrasound is necessary. ...Read more

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What are the risks to getting a mammogram?

BENEFIT>>risks: Like all xray studies, there is a small dose of radiation associated with mammography, however the benefit of finding cancers early outweighs this risk. Mammograms are not perfect: some cancers can be missed, some 'suspicious' abnormalities end up being benign. However, it's the best, most cost-effective screening test for breast cancer: mammograms save lives! ...Read more

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What does an abnormal mammogram look like?

What does an abnormal mammogram look like?

It varies: There are a variety of ways for a mammo to look abnormal: microcalifications, a mass, a distortion of the normal architecture, an asymmetry, skin thickening, abnormal lymph nodes, dilated ducts, global or regional stromal changes. ...Read more

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What does this mammogram result mean if dense?

What does this mammogram result mean if dense?

Dense breasts: "Dense" breasts are normal, but decrease the sensitivity of the mammo for detecting cancers. Breasts are dense when there is a increase in normal fibroglandular stroma relative to breast fat. Also, dense breasts are an independent risk factor for developing breast cancer. ...Read more

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