Mammogram: Mammogram is a special X-ray of the breast used to detect breast cancer early. There are few risks associated with mammography. Mammograms may show suspicious areas of the breast, white spots, and microcalcifications. Risk factors for breast cancer include age, genetic predisposition, family history, medical history, fibrocystic breast disease, therapeutic radiation exposure, menstrual cycle, previous pregnancies, hormone therapy for menopause, oral contraceptive use, breastfeeding, alcohol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity.
Breast Lumps and Pain Breast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of breast pain and other breast changes. Causes of pain and lumps can include
- fibrocystic breast disease,
- premenstrual syndrome, cyclic mastalgia,
- normal hormonal fluctuations,
- onset of puberty or menopause,
- breastfeeding (nursing),
- estrogen therapy,
- chest wall tenderness (costochondritis),
- injury to the breast (trauma, after breast surgery),
- shingles (pain is only in 1 breast, usually accompanied by a rash),
- use of certain medications such as digoxin (Lanoxin), methyldopa (Aldomet), spironolactone (Aldactone), oxymetholone (Anadrol), and chlorpromazine (Thorazine),
- an infection in the breast (breast abscess, mastitis), and
- breast cancer.
Expert Views and News
- FDA Warns Against Thermography for Breast Cancer
- The Case for Early Screening Mammography
- Doctors, Patients Embrace Technology in Medicine
- Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy: Q&A
- Adding 3-D Mammograms May Improve Accuracy
- Fewer Women in 40s Getting Mammograms
- Child Cancer Radiation Raises Breast Cancer Risk
- Studies Point to Reasons for Mammograms in 40s
- Do False-Positive Mammograms Predict Cancer Risk?
- New Mammogram Benefits for Women in Their 40s
- CDC: Cancer Screening Below Target Rates
- Does Fertility Treatment Raise Breast Cancer Risk?
- Breast Cancer Death Rates Decline
- PSA Test May Help Check for Breast Cancer
- Mammogram Guidelines
- Breast Cancer Rates No Longer Declining
- False-Positive Mammograms Linked to Breast Cancer
- Women Who Skip Annual Mammograms