What is a Mammogram?

MammogramMammography is the most effective method currently available for breast cancer detection. Mammography machines use low doses of x-rays to produce an image of the breast and breast tissue. The image is examined by the Radiologist who looks for changes or inconsistencies in the breast tissue.

A Mammogram is critical in breast cancer detection because the images can reveal cancers that are too small to be felt.

Common concerns about mammograms:

While women may comment about how "painful" having a mammogram is, the process is usually more uncomfortable than painful.

Concern is also expressed about the exposure to radiation. With current day mammography machines, the amount of radiation a woman is exposed to during the examination process is minimal and the risks are negligible.

The amount of radiation is similar to that of a dental x-ray.


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Q: Can you please explain what occurs during this examination?

A: One breast at a time is placed between 2 plates and compressed together. An image is taken and the procedure repeated for the other breast.

Q: Is there any preparation needed?

A: A top or blouse is recommended, as you will be required to undress from the waist up and wear a gown. A little discomfort may occur when the breast is compressed. You may be asked to undertake an ultrasound, thereby providing your Doctor with a more complete examination and result.