A mammogram is a special x-ray of the breast that can detect cancers that are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel. Screening aims to detect breast cancer at a very early stage when cure is more likely. The amount of radiation needed to produce a clear mammogram (picture) varies with breast size and density. To avoid undue exposure it is highly desirable to use the lowest possible dose of radiation needed. You can consult with top breast cancer surgeon in Sydney to discuss about mammography and cancer treatment.
A mammography detects over 90% of all breast cancer though a negative mammography does not necessarily indicate its absence. Mammography and clinical examination are complementary and if there is strong suspicion of a palpable lesion, the only way to make a positive diagnosis is by having a biopsy.
The results of several large studies have convincingly demonstrated that breast cancer screening by mammography reduces mortality by approximately 30% in women older than 50 years. The American Cancer Society states that women of 40 to 49 years of age should receive screening mammograms every one to two years. Yearly mammography screening is recommended for women of 50 years and older.
However the risks of any screening intervention need to be evaluated as closely as the benefits. The risks associated with mammography screening for breast cancer include, radiation exposure, false positives, and over-diagnosis. The risk of radiation-induced breast cancer from screening mammography is estimated to be minimal