A mammogram is a special X-ray examination of the breast made with specific X-ray equipment that can often find tumors too small to be felt. A mammogram is the best radiographic method available today to detect breast cancer early. It can detect around 75% of cancers at least a year before they can be felt by the doctor or patient herself.
A woman may experience significant distress, anxiety, and fear associated with the mammogram and with the prospect of discovering a tumor. However, the procedure itself is relatively simple. Most breast disorders are not cancer, and even in the remaining number of cancer cases, more than 90% are curable, if detected early and promptly treated.
Although mammograms, like many other medical tests, are not 100% accurate, scheduling a regular mammogram represents the best radiological way to find breast changes early before there are any obvious signs or symptoms of cancer. Several studies show that mammogram can reduce breast cancer deaths by more than a third.
History of Mammograms
Mammography started in 1960, but modern mammography has existed only since 1969 when the first X-ray units dedicated to breast imaging were available. By 1976, mammography as a screening device became standard practice. Its value in diagnosis was recognized. Mammography continues to improve as lower doses of radiation are detecting even smaller potential problems earlier.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/7/2012
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