Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in women, claiming the lives of more than 40,000 women each year in the United States. Burlington OBGYN Associates Inc. in Burlington, Massachusetts, recommends mammography to screen for breast cancer and diagnose breast lumps that could be cancerous. Call Burlington OBGYN Associates Inc. to schedule your mammogram or book an appointment online today.
Mammography is a specialized kind of X-ray Burlington OBGYN Associates Inc. uses to detect breast cancer. Digital mammograms can locate tumors when they’re very small, as much as two years before you can feel them.
The X-rays used in mammography show different tissue densities in the breast. The denser the tissue, the whiter it appears on an X-ray. Digital technology converts these X-rays so your gynecologist can view them on a monitor.
3D digital mammography takes multiple breast images from different angles instead of just the two used in traditional 2D mammography. Sophisticated mammography also uses computer-aided detection to highlight tissues that a specially designed computer program identifies as suspicious.
This increases the accuracy of mammogram interpretation and significantly reduces the risk of false positive cancer diagnoses.
Mammograms are part of your routine breast cancer screening, so you might have one yearly from around age 40. Depending on your cancer risk, you might need them more or less frequently.
Mammography might also be necessary if you detect a breast lump or you develop symptoms like skin changes and nipple discharge that could be due to cancer. If you undergo breast cancer treatment, mammography forms part of your follow-up care.
When you have a mammogram, you remove your clothing above the waist. Then your provider positions you in front of the mammography machine. They place each breast between two plates to compress the tissue — this might be uncomfortable but shouldn’t cause pain and is vital for clear mammography.
Your provider moves the mammography machine to ensure it takes images from the right angles. Breast compression is typically brief, and your provider has undergone specialized training to minimize discomfort while optimizing compression.
After your mammogram, Burlington OBGYN Associates Inc. will discuss the results with you. Lumps and other breast problems are often unrelated to cancer, but an accurate diagnosis is vital. Your gynecologist will advise you on any treatment you need for noncancerous disorders.
If all is well after a routine screening mammogram, you simply need to return in a year or at the interval your gynecologist advises. If a mammogram identifies cancer, they’ll discuss the next steps.
With a timely diagnosis, five-year breast cancer survival rates increase significantly, so a mammogram could save your life. Call Burlington OBGYN Associates Inc. to arrange your mammogram, or go online today to schedule a consultation.