Mammography at AHN
Mammography is one of the first lines of defense in the fight against breast cancer. A mammogram is simply an x-ray picture of the breast. Routine mammograms – which generally begin at age 40 – can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease. This is known as a screening mammogram.
Diagnostic mammograms can also be used to check for breast cancer after a sign or symptom of the disease -- such as breast pain, thickening of the skin, nipple discharge or a change in the size or shape of the breast -- has been found. This type of mammogram is called a diagnostic mammogram.
Diagnostic mammogram can also be used to evaluate changes found during a screening mammogram or to view breast tissue when it is difficult to obtain a screening mammogram because of special circumstances, such as the presence of breast implants.
Mammography benefits patients through earlier detection and treatment of cancer, and can actually help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer in women ages 40 to 70.
Experts agree that getting a high-quality screening mammogram and having a clinical breast exam (an exam done by a health care provider) on a regular basis are the most effective ways to detect breast cancer early. As with any screening test, screening mammograms have both benefits and limitations. For example, some cancers cannot be detected by a screening mammogram, but may be found by a clinical breast exam.