Regular yearly screening after 40 years of age is recommended, more so in those with family history of disease. Regular mammography screening helps detect cancer early and thus save many precious lives. The screening is also advisable prior to HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), in any skin changes, nipple discharge, persistent pain, lump etc. Mammograms and Ultrasound scans are complimentary investigations and help detect lesions that may not be apparent in a single investigation. Mammography is however highly sensitive in fatty breasts and is the recommended investigation for screening.
- Breast Cancer is the second biggest killer for women after Cervical Cancer and the incidence is rising more so in the cities.
- Early stage tumours can be effectively detected by Mammography.
How Do I Prepare for a Mammography?
You will need to follow certain guidelines on the day of your mammogram. You can’t wear deodorants, body powders, or perfumes. Also, you shouldn’t apply any ointments or creams to your breasts or underarms. These substances can distort the images or look like calcifications, or calcium deposits, so it’s important to avoid them.
Be sure to tell your Radiologist before the exam if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. In general, you won’t be able to receive a screening mammogram at this time, but if necessary, your doctor can order other screening methods, such as Ultrasound etc.