Mammography or mammogramis a specific type of imaging study (X-ray) which is useful for detecting breast diseases, especially breast cancer in early stage. An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive and painless medical test that is helpful for diagnosis and treatment of several medical conditions. During an x-ray the part to be tested is exposed to a small dose of ionising radiation to produce pictures of tissues and organs inside of the body. It is oldest and most commonly used type of medical imaging. A major concern with xrays is exposure to radiation but mammography can be used as a screening test for breast cancer as the amount of x-ray exposure during mammography is limited.
Mammogram is done with a special kind of imaging machine. It uses low-dose X-ray beams to examine the breasts for abnormality. As mammography detects breast cancer in early stages the cancer is likely to be smaller, with limited spread to lymph nodes and adjacent tissue and more likely to be responsive to treatment as compared to cancers detected by women through self-examination. A mammogram can either be screening or diagnostic mammograms.
Digital mammography and computer-aided detection are recent advances in mammography. Mammography is useful for not only detecting breast disease but can also in selecting the right form of treatment and has helped to save many lives.
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