What is mammogram

Mammograms are used as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer in women who have no symptoms and to diagnose breast disease in women experiencing symptoms such as pain, lump, nipple discharge.

Who needs it?

We recommend African women over 35years to get a mammogram.Women in their 20s and 30s should have clinical breast exanination CBE as part of a periodic (regular)health examination by a professional preferably every 3years.Those with symptoms are also recommended to do breast ultrasound (sono mammogram).

The Machine

A mammogram unit is a rectangular box containing an x-ray tube .The unit is used only for x-ray examination of the breast.It also has a device that holds and slightly and slightly squeezes the breast during the test.

The Procedure:

After changing into a gown, a qualified radiographer will position your breast between 2 plastic plates attached to the machine .The plate squeezes the breast to spread it and ensure that there is very little movement during the test. Although the squeezing may produce slight pressure or minor discomfort, it lasts only a few seconds while the x-ray image is taken.

The Result :

The  images are obtained from the top and side of the breasts. Thereafter, a specially trained doctor will interpret and analyze the   images and give a report within 48hours .We can also arrange second opinions from other radiologists abroad (Canada,UK and USA)

How Do I prepare for the test:

.   The best time for a mammogram is one week after menstrual period

.   Do not wear deodorant ,talcum powder, lotion under your arms or breast on  the day of the exam .These can introduce tiny spots which may confuse the doctor during Interpretation.

.  Bring old mammogram results and  biopsies while coming.

.  Inform the radiographer doing the test if you are  pregnant, breast feeding or have breast implants and any previous surgeries

.  Discuss your concerns with our BWS support staff or your doctor

.  If your mammogram is abnormal, contact your doctor immediately and seek support from BWS counselor

Benefits:

Imaging of the breast improves a doctor’s ability to detect small tumors. When cancers are small, the woman has more treatment options and cure is more likely. Screening mammograms allow the detection of small abnormal growth in the milk ducts of the breast. These can easily be removed at this stage without harm to the woman.  It can also detect all forms of breast cancer and other changes in the breast up to two years before you or a doctor can feel them.

Risks and Limitations:

The radiation exposure during a mammogram tests very minimal especially whendone in specialist centers like ours 

    A small proportion of mammogram tests (5-15%)may not be conclusive and require additional mammogram or breast ultrasound.

  Since early and accurate diagnosis is key to survival of breast cancer, ensure your breast examinations (CBE), ultrasound and mammograms are done in specialist centers like ours.

BWS MODEL FOR BEST BREAST PRACTICES

.Monthly BSE from time breast buds appear

.BSE + CBE from 20yrs to death

.Add yearly ultrasound of breast from 25-35yrs

.Add yearly Mammography from 35yrs