A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast tissue. The breast is carefully positioned and gently compressed between 2 plates to spread out the tissue evenly. An x-ray beam passes through the tissue and creates an image of the breast. In conventional mammography the images are stored on photographic film. New digital machines can now store the images electronically.

A mammogram produces less radiation than a standard chest x-ray.

Diagnostic mammography is an important component of triple assessment - the safe method that has evolved for investigating a breast symptom.

Screening mammography is the use of routine mammograms in well women to try to detect abnormal changes at an early stage.
Why do you need ultrasound and mammograms?

A mammogram uses x-rays to create an image of the breast whilst the ultrasound is based on sound waves. These procedures give us different views of the breast tissue. Some changes such as calcification and architectural distortion of the tissue are only seen on the mammogram, however we know that mammograms can miss 10 - 20% of breast cancer changes. Using both technologies minimises the chance of missing an abnormality.

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