Mammography Essay

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Advancements in the field of science and technology have played a vital role in the wellbeing of human beings. As the technology and techniques evolved in the field of Medical Imaging the diagnosis become easier and earlier detection of any abnormality allowed a timely cure resulted in saving many human lives.

Cancers are one of common cause of human deaths all over the world in both men and women. Breast Cancer in particular is one of the most common cancer in women, many factors could contribute in the development of cancer including Age, lifestyle (consumption of Alcohol or drugs), and Inheritance of gene from mother. According to the statistics published by World Health Organisation over 1.68 million cases of breast cancer
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Mammography is a special type of X-Ray that use low dose of X-Rays and Breast compression to capture maximum amount of breast tissues.

Mammographic technique is used in two ways i.e. Screening and Diagnostic.


Screening helps in the early detection of breast cancer and improves the chance of treatment and survival. This is achieved by taking images of cranial-caudal (CC) and medio-lateral-oblique (MLO) position. Assessment is done by projecting the images together to see any abnormalities.


Diagnostic mammography is performed on patients with clear symptoms like discharge etc. or on patients screened positive during the screening mammography, to detect the precise size or location of abnormalities.

Diagnostic mammograms would consist of multiple images taken from multiple locations / angles, this may include latero-medial, madio-leteral etc. however this will depend on the particular problem / symptoms with an individual.

Mammograms are then assessed manually using large scale monitors (if digital image are available) or using films of both breasts together to observe their symmetry, size, density and glands distribution. More comprehensive assessment is done of any masses, densities or
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MRI is expensive and requires special equipment and technicians which makes it less accessible for everyone. Another limitation of MRI is that it cannot detect calcium deposits in the female breast which could be a symptom of breast cancer. Having said that MRI is useful in many breast cancers related diagnosis like MRI guided needle localisation biopsy and MRI guided vacuum assisted biopsy.

MRI is also very useful in accessing the results of treatment like Chemotherapy. It also enables the detection of the cancer in the palpable mass which isn’t visible in mammography.

Breast Specific Gamma Imaging.

As we have established the challenges related to the diagnosis in dense breasts using traditional mammography. Breast Specific Gemma Imaging (BGMI) is an other technique to overcome this challenge. It is rather a physiologic method insisted of autonomic for diagnosis. This technique uses radioactive drug Technetium (99mTc) sestamibi injected intravenously and a high resolution gamma camera specifically designed for breasts. The diagnosis is based on the comparison of radiotracer uptake between normal and cancer
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