Breast Check & Screening London
What is a Mammogram?
A mammogram is a simple radiographic examination of the breasts, which aims to locate abnormalities and tumours present in the area. The value of this clinical examination has proven to be immense in the fight against breast cancer, since it can locate developing cancerous tumours at an early stage, long before there are clinical findings present. Nowadays the examination is performed digitally, a development which has increased the efficiency of the procedure.
How is a Mammogram Performed?
The suggested time for this examination is between the 5th and 12th day of the menstrual cycle and it lasts for approx. 15 minutes. During the examination, the technician will provide instructions and will guide you to position yourself in the appropriate manner. You will have to stand in front of the machine naked from the waist up and with your back at a straight position. Each breast is placed between two special plates and at this stage the breast receives mild pressure for a few seconds. In some cases where your breasts are dense you may experience a passing mild pain. During the examination you will have to hold your breath for a few seconds to achieve the maximum image sharpness possible. As the examination progresses, four images are taken, two for each breast. Please note that the dose of radiation you receive is very small and under no circumstances should be considered dangerous for your health.
How Often Should I Take a Mammogram Test?
The age in which a woman will begin to be subjected to a mammogram and the examination’s frequency is decided by her gynaecologist and is, of course, dependent on the clinical findings present at an examination as well as the patient’s history.
Are There any Other Methods for Breast Check?
Self Check: Every woman over the age of 20 is advised to follow the process of self-examination once a month. Proposed dates for such an examination are from the 7th to the 12th day of their menstrual cycle. Women who have gone through menopause should proceed with the self-examination on the first day of every month. If during the self-examination you discover anything unusual, such as a mass, shrinking of the skin or fluid flowing from your nipple you must contact us as soon as possible, or fill the contact form to book an appointment for a first examination and diagnosis!
Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a diagnostic method, without radiation. It must be performed before the middle of the cycle, so the breast tissue is not swollen from the progesterone and any finding could be easily identify. With this method, we could see cysts and masses in the breast tissue. It is very useful when we are having a dense breast tissue, especially in the younger women. It could be performed more often than the mammogram due the lack of radiation, but it cannot replace it!
Thermography: Thermography or thermal imaging of the breast is a non-radiation technique for detecting breast cancer. The principal which is standing upon is that the cancerous cells are having a high metabolic rate and blood circulation, so the skin above them is usually hotter than the healthy surroundings. There are many discussions about the efficacy and the detection rates of thermography. For sure, thermography cannot replace a mammogram test!