WHAT IS A MAMMOGRAM?
Mammography Early Detection - Imaging of the breasts for early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.
- It is a procedure where a low dose x-ray system is used to examine breasts.
- The procedure is used for early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer and other diseases of the breasts in asymptomatic women, as well as in women experiencing symptoms and abnormalities such as lumps, pain or a nipple discharge.
- This procedure can also be done on male patients.
- During a mammogram specialized equipment uses a low dose of radiation to obtain images of your breast to evaluate for abnormalities or disease.
- A screening Mammogram would be a pro-active approach for early detection of breast disease without having any symptoms. Screening mammograms are usually done for women 45 years or older, or those with a history of cancer in the family would have screening mammograms from an age of 10 years younger than the age of when a relative was diagnosed at.
- A Diagnostic Mammogram would be done when you(the patient) are experiencing symptoms or concerns such as a lump, pain, skin dimpling or nipple discharge.
- Mammograms are currently one of the most successful tools for early detection of breast disease and can also be done on male patients.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- You will be asked to change into a procedure gown
- A specially qualified Radiographer, the mammographer will position your breasts on the imaging equipment.
- Breast compression will be applied to even out the breast an visualize all the breast tissue. The compression will be released when the image has been captured. Even though this is uncomfortable and sometimes painful it is a very important part of the procedure.
- Routinely 2 views per breast is done, but additional images may be done if necessary.
- Your results will be ready within an hour of you having the procedure. Your doctor will discuss the results with you.
- Should any further tests be needed it will be arranged with you.
HOW TO PREPARE
- You should have a referral note from your doctor for the mammogram.
- The procedure does not require authorization unless your medical aid scheme rules indicate so. You do remain responsible for any short falls or non-payments by your medical aid.
- Private patients are required to settle the account on the day of the procedure.
- You will have to complete a questionnaire that is relevant to the procedure. Answer this as honestly as possible for your benefit.
- If you have previous breast images and results available, please bring it with on the day of your procedure. (Not applicable if it was done at our practice)
- It is advised to not schedule the procedure a week before and the week of your menstrual period, as your breasts may be more tender during this time.
- Dress comfortably in shirt with pants or skirt. Do not wear deodorant, powders, or creams over your breasts and under your arms on the day of the procedure as this may appear as calcium spots on the images. Rather bring the products with to apply after the procedure.