Breast Cancer Diagnosis: Common Myths About Mammography You Must Not Believe

Breast cancer diagnosis: Mammography test is the procedure which helps in early detection of breast cancer in order to make breast cancer treatment successful. It is important to detect breast cancer at an early stage to reduce the turmoil which the patient has to experience.

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Breast Cancer Diagnosis: Common Myths About Mammography You Must Not Believe

Mammography test helps in early detection of breast cancer


Highlights

  1. It is important to detect breast cancer at an early stage
  2. Mammography helps in early detection of breast cancer
  3. Mammography is a completely safe and effective treatment

Breast cancer is one of the major health concerns among women across the world. Prevalence of breast cancer has increased globally. It surely demands early screening and detection for it to be managed and treated effectively. It is the increased awareness for breast cancer which has led to increased conversation about the importance of mammography test. Mammography is the procedure which helps in early detection of cancer in order to make breast cancer treatment successful. It is important to detect breast cancer at an early stage in order to reduce the turmoil which the patient has to experience. Early diagnosis is also important because breast cancer does not show any symptoms. The cancerous cells are too tiny to be recognized. It is only once they start multiplying to form tissues which then grow large enough to be felt as a lump. It is after the formation of lumps that breast cancer becomes visible in the later stage. A mammogram operates by producing images of breast tissue through radiographic techniques. The images help in identifying the abnormalities by showing lumps present in the breast, including cancer. Mammography is considered to be highly beneficial as it is the only procedure which can detect micro calcifications - the early signs of breast cancer. Mammography can identify cancerous tissues at least 2 years prior to any physical detection by doctors.

breast cancer

Mammography helps in early detection of breast cancer
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Can Mammograms Detect Breast Cancer?

It is the increased awareness about breast cancer which has made people realise the importance of mammography and breast cancer treatment. And while many people have switched to mammography test because of increased awareness, many are still reluctant to undergo the screenings because of the myths and fears attached to it.

Myths about mammography

The most common myth about mammography is that the radiation emitted from the mammogram may result in breast cancer. Also, it is myth that undergoing the mammography test is a painful procedure. Many people are also of the belief that one need not get screened for breast cancer before the age of 40. Many consider mammography as unsafe and ineffective. Moreover, there are many women who are simply afraid of undergoing a test like mammography. They live in constant fear of being positively diagnosed with breast cancer.

Also read: 6 Best Foods To Cut Breast Cancer Risk

Another myth is that women who do not have breast cancer in family history need not worry about getting mammography annually. As per the American College of Radiology, annual mammography is important for all women above the age of 40, irrespective of breast cancer symptoms or breast cancer being in their family history. Early detection is the key in breast cancer diagnosis. Early-stage breast cancer diagnosis is known to have five-year survival of 99%, while last stage have survival rates of only 24%.

breast cancer

Many women are afraid of mammography test and being diagnosed for breast cancer
Photo Credit: iStock

Many women do not get their mammography simply because of the reason that it was not prescribed to them by their doctors. This again is a myth about mammography. As mentioned above, annual mammography is important for every woman above the age of 40, irrespective of your doctor prescribing it.

In response to such common myths, medical experts have confirmed that the radiation passed during mammogram is completely safe. The radiation passed in mammography is lesser than general X-ray radiation, and does no harm to the body.

Also read: Breast Cancer: Everything You Need To Know

The modern mammography equipment works in a way that it produces high quality breast images with lower doses of radiation. The equipment is now designed with better compression modes in order to make the procedure much less painful. In the present times, there are also a few modifications in usual mammography X-ray images taken on plain films. X-ray images of breasts are captured on a film based cassette. This cassette is further processed in a processor and is reviewed on a film.

How digital mammography works?

Lately, mammography images are being taken on computer screens. This procedure is known as digital mammography. Digital mammography works better for more dense breasts. It imparts lower doses of radiation as compared to conventional mammography. X-ray beam in digital mammography is converted into digital data, which can be stored in electronic servers for being used at later stages in a number of ways.

x ray

Radiations passed in mammography are lesser than radiations passed in an X-ray
Photo Credit: iStock

Breast 3D tomosynthesis is highly equipped and digitally-advanced equipment for mammography. This breast cancer treatment provides high-quality images of breast tissue in 3D. This treatment is believed to be a quantum leap forward in detection of breast cancer.

When it comes to 3D mammography, they myth is that people consider it the same as traditional mammogram. However, the truth is that as compared to 2D mammography, 3D mammography displays more images of the breast and in thin sections of the breast tissue.

In order to convince more number of women for mammography, medical device manufacturers are now working towards providing equipment which provides a simple and convenient examination of breast cancer. They are working towards more advanced technology for breast cancer diagnosis. 



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