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5 things to know about mammography

The article is professionally consulted by Master, Doctor Nguyen Thuc Vy - Doctor of Diagnostic Imaging - Department of Diagnostic Imaging - Vinmec Nha Trang International General Hospital.
Mammography is an imaging technique that helps detect certain diseases related to the breast such as breast cancer. Mammography is a modern technique, the procedure is simple and completely harmless to health.

1. What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast to get a picture of the structure of the mammary glands, showing abnormal changes in the inside of the breast that aren't detectable on a regular physical exam. Currently, mammography is considered a method of detecting and screening for breast cancer, even when the disease has no symptoms.
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2. Who should have mammograms?


Women over 40 years old should have regular health check-ups and mammograms 1-2 times a year to screen for breast cancer and detect the disease when there are no symptoms.
● Women who have a close family member (including mother, sister or younger sister) with breast cancer before the age of 50, or have ever had breast cancer on one side, have fertility problems such as infertility, infertility or unable to breastfeed, have early menstruation and have late menopause (over 55 years old), mammograms should be done early and often to detect the disease in time.
● Women of any age who feel abnormal breast pain, nipple discharge, breast skin thickening, nipple retraction, abnormal nipple position, palpable breast lump should have a mammogram. as soon as symptoms appear to be diagnosed early.
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3. Mammography procedure


The procedure to perform a mammogram includes the following steps:
● Step 1: Bring the patient to the front of the scanner, can sit or stand.
● Step 2: Place the breast to be photographed on a flat surface. Use a plastic sheet to press against the breast and hold it in place. The purpose of breast compression is to thin out the mammary gland so that the mammary tissue can be viewed more easily, limiting image noise and X-rays affecting the breast.
● Step 3: To capture the entire mammary gland, can be taken from top to bottom (head and tail), inside out (horizontal) and slanted from the top inner corner (side view). These imaging positions will complement to be able to obtain a complete picture of the mammary gland.

4. Things to keep in mind before having a mammogram


Mammography should be done 1 week after the end of menstruation for breast cancer screening purposes, because this is the time when estrogen levels have decreased, breast tenderness is also reduced due to reduced water retention. Mammography should be performed during menstruation for the purposes of breast cancer diagnosis. Before and during the scan, the doctor should be informed about whether breast augmentation surgery or breast implants have been inserted. Do not use perfume, or apply cream, powder on the chest, underarms as this may give inaccurate results.
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5. Is mammography dangerous?


Mammography is an imaging technique that uses X-rays. Therefore, similar to other forms of X-ray, patients must be exposed to a certain amount of radiation during the scan. However, the amount of this radiation is very small and not dangerous.
In case the person to be taken is a pregnant woman, a lead layer will be taken in front of the abdomen to limit X-rays from affecting the fetus. Mammography is a modern diagnostic method, allowing the detection and screening of breast cancer in women of any age, when the disease has not yet shown any symptoms.
Invenia TM ABUS is the most modern breast cancer screening device in the world, now available at Vinmec Times City International Hospital (Hanoi) and Vinmec Central Park (HCMC). This is also the first machine in Vietnam capable of screening breast cancer with an accuracy of more than 90%. Meanwhile, current mammography methods in Vietnam have a detection rate of only 70%, especially for women with dense breast tissue, this number drops sharply to only about 42%.
Therefore, with the appearance of the Invenia TM ABUS system device with the support of 3D ultrasound technology and some imaging methods at Vinmec, it is important to screen for breast cancer in Vietnam.
At Vinmec International General Hospital, all image data of 3D breast ultrasound examination, mammography as well as magnetic resonance imaging of customers' breasts are stored on the PACS system for a long time. This system acts as an electronic medical record, convenient for monitoring and comparing lesions at subsequent visits to help improve the value of diagnosis and treatment.
If you have a need for breast cancer screening at Vinmec International General Hospital, you can contact the support hotline here.

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