American College of Radiographers and the American Society for the problems of diagnosis and treatment of cancer have developed clinical guidelines including indications for use and a description of the possible complications of mammography.
Both papers noted that, despite the low radiation exposure, the use of this technique is contraindicated in pregnancy.
Previously, there were various debates about when and how often should perform mammograms. At present, all of these readings are reduced to one: a woman must perform mammograms starting at age 40 years, regularly once a year. In case if the woman is at high risk of developing breast cancer, while her family was a case of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, or if the woman in the past received radiation therapy to the chest on a malignant disease, In this case, it is recommended to begin regular mammography with the annual observance of 30 years of age.
In women at high risk for breast cancer using a new method of diagnosis - ductal lavage, which allows you to identify abnormal (ie cancerous) cells before they will form a tumor.
At the moment there are two methods of x-ray mammography: a film, when X-rays, having passed the mammary gland, hit the X-ray film, resulting in an image, and digital mammography, when the image is saved directly to your computer and can be displayed on the screen.
Implementation of this technique involves minimal exposure to mammography X-rays. The doctor performing the mammograms, breast establishes between the two plates and their szhivaet between them. As already mentioned, such compression is necessary in order to reduce the thickness of the tissues that absorb X-rays. Then X-rays are produced in two projections: the direct and lateral.
In some women, breast compression may experience mild discomfort. However, compression is necessary because, by reducing the thickness of tissue through which the X-rays increases the efficiency of change detection.
If you have had surgery once in the breast, for example, about the removal of benign tumors, or to change the size and shape of breast radiologist will specify the location of scars, to distinguish them later in the photographs of other changes in the tissue breast cancer. if you have had surgery for breast cancer and mammography is carried out to detect recurrence, your doctor will paste to the skin along the scar small metal balls to mark the place of the scar in the picture. This is because the postoperative scar is a place of high risk of recurrence of cancer.
As already mentioned, the digital mammography the only difference is that the X-ray image is formed directly on the computer rather than on film. This allows you to process the image with the help of special programs (such as photos in Photoshop: the image can be enlarged or make it brighter.
However, digital mammography still can not yet provide such clarity as film mammography. In addition, this method is expensive and not universally applicable. Perhaps with time, this method will become more common, especially as it allows the use of computer aid in the differentiation of X-ray diagnosis, and send images via digital networks.