Mammogram fact sheet

MAMMOGRAM FACT SHEET

Information provided by Reach for Recovery

 

BlendabilityARE MAMMOGRAMS PAINFUL?
Mammography does compress the breasts and can sometimes cause slight discomfort for a very brief period of time. Patients who are sensitive should schedule their mammograms a week after their menstrual cycle so that the breasts are less tender.

 

DIGITAL VS. FILM MAMMOGRAPHY: WHICH IS BEST?
There are two kinds of mammograms: digital and conventional film. Both use X-ray radiation to produce an image of the breast. Conventional mammograms are read and stored on film. Digital mammograms are read and stored in a computer so the data can be enhanced, magnified or manipulated for further evaluation. There are no other differences between the two.
Studies show that in most cases, digital mammograms read by specialized radiologists are more than 20 percent more accurate at detecting breast cancer than traditional mammograms read by generalists.

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GO TO A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL FOR A CHECK-UP?
You should have a physical every year which should include a clinical breast exam and pelvic exam. If any unusual symptoms or changes in your breasts occur before your scheduled visit, do not hesitate to see the doctor immediately.

 

CAN WOMEN WITH BREAST IMPLANTS HAVE A MAMMOGRAM?

  • Yes, they can. The mammogram (breast x-ray) may not be as clear because the implants can obscure some of the breast tissue. Therefore, other tests may also be done.
  • Women with breast implants need to tell the radiographer that they have breast implants.
     

WHERE CAN I FIND A BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP?
Reach for Recovery is a national Breast Cancer Support Organisation.  Visit their website at www.reachforrecovery.org.za for contact details or contact the National Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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