The mammography method is simply an x-ray of the breast. During the procedure, the breast is squeezed between two layers and thus the image is obtained. It is generally known as a painful method among women due to the compression. The experience of the mammogram is very important for a clear result.
Women aged 40 and over should definitely have a mammogram once a year, whether or not they have any problems. It is very important to have regular mammography in the diagnosis of early breast cancer. In women under the age of 40, mammography is not recommended unless there is a family history of breast cancer and there are no special symptoms. Although the age of starting mammography in those with breast cancer in their family is accepted as 35, this may differ depending on the breast structure of the person.
Mammography should not be performed during sensitive periods, as the breast will be compressed during the procedure. The week after the menstrual period is the most appropriate and correct time for mammography.
In breast ultrasonography, the ultrasound probe is lightly passed over the breast and sound waves are sent at this time. The images created by the sound waves are reflected on the screen and the breast tissue is seen. There is no age of onset like mammography. It is the most common method as it can be applied at any age. Since ultrasonography does not contain radiation, it can be used safely in pregnant women and children.
Detailed information about the masses in the breast can be obtained thanks to ultrasonography. It is used to distinguish the types of masses. Ultrasound plays an important role in whether the existing masses are at risk of cancer.
Ultrasonography is also the preferred method for detailed investigation of masses detected in mammography. It is done either alone or after mammography. It allows the mass detected after mammography to be evaluated from a different angle. In cases where a piece is required, biopsy is usually performed with ultrasonography.
Magnetic resonance (MR) method
It is a preferred method in all cases because it does not contain radiation. It is a helpful method for the negative results of mammography. Breast tissue and breast formations are monitored and recorded with the contrast material administered through the vein. MR method is not an alternative to mammography method. Generally, MRI is recommended for situations; Those who have breast augmentation surgery, suspected cancer, follow-up after cancer surgery, evaluation of the mass in cases where a mass is detected, and understanding whether there is a mass in the other breast and genetic cancer history.
Mammography or ultrasound?
Women do not want to prefer the mammography method because it is a painful method. Instead, they have an ultrasound done. However, contrary to popular belief, this is not the right choice. Mammography is the main imaging method and should always be performed with ultrasonography in women over 40 years of age in order not to miss a possible mass.
Since dense breast tissue and mass cannot be distinguished from each other in mammography in young women, mammography is insufficient. For this reason, breast ultrasonography is preferred instead of mammography in young women.