Mammograms are valuable for breast cancer screening and diagnosis
Mammograms are a type of X-ray technology that can help screen for and diagnose breast cancer. Because early detection is key when it comes to treating breast cancer, our San Antonio OBGYNs encourage women to learn more about these important tests for breast cancer screening.
Screening mammograms are important for early breast cancer detection
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women age 40 and over have an annual screening mammogram. This test can detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. Women who have certain risk factors may need to begin having screening mammograms at an earlier age. Our San Antonio OBGYNs will speak with each woman about when she will need to start receiving an annual mammogram.
Technicians can perform screening using traditional film-screen mammography or digital 3D techniques. During a screening test, an X-ray technician places a woman’s breast between two plates that are attached to the mammography machine. The plates squeeze together to compress breast tissue, providing a clearer image to review.
Diagnostic mammograms can help when there are signs of breast cancer
When a radiologist spots something that may be a mass, lump or calcification in an image, they will ask the woman to return for a diagnostic mammogram. The technician can also perform these mammograms using traditional film-screen technology or 3D technology. Both methods provide the radiologist with a more detailed view of the breast tissue where they saw the suspicious area during screening.
3D scans provide additional benefits for certain women
In the past, technicians performed all mammograms using film-screen technology. Newer, digital breast tomosynthesis, known as 3D mammography, stores images on a computer screen instead of on film. This allows radiologists to manipulate and enlarge images to get a closer look. 3D mammograms are particularly beneficial for women who have dense breast tissue.
Our San Antonio OBGYNs encourage women to have mammograms because early detection is vital in the fight against breast cancer. Contact us for more information.