Saturday, September 7, 2013

Useful Information About Mammography San Diego CA Residents Need To Know

By Helene Norris

Mammography is a special technique that involves the X-ray imaging of breasts to detect any abnormalities or tumors that may be present in the breasts. It has been successful in the reduction of cancer related deaths by facilitating early detection of potential signs and symptoms. Patients are encouraged to gather information about the various services of mammography San Diego CA centers provide.

It can be used for diagnostic or screening purposes. The goal of screening procedures is to detect breast cancer before the onset of clinical signs. Diagnostic mammography is performed to investigate changes such as unusual skin appearances, nipple discharge, nipple thickening. It is performed to investigate suspicious occurrences on a screening mammogram.

Women are encouraged to ensure they get screened for this condition. It is important to consult a doctor to find out the appropriate time to take this test. This test is particularly recommended for women who are nearing menopause and those with a family history of breast cancer. It can be complemented by magnetic resonance imaging which is even more effective.

There are various risks associated with mammography. Exposure to these rays for a long period of time may be harmful to patients. The accuracy of mammograms in detecting breast cancer depends on the skill of the radiologist and breast density. It is not accurate in younger women who have more tissues since it is difficult to interpret the mammograms. This technique is less effective for the abnormalities located in tricky areas.

There are certain things patients are advised to check prior to the procedure. It is important to search for a certified facility that offers quality services. Substances such as deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions and perfumes should be avoided since they may interfere with the results. Painkillers may be used to minimize any discomfort.

During the procedure, the patient is given a special gown and then told to remove jewelry worn around the neck and any clothing from waist up. The patient is required to stand before the machine designed for this purpose. The technician adjusts the platform and places the breast on it. The patient is then positioned to allow a clear view of the breast. A small amount of pressure is applied on the breast to spread out the tissue. The procedure lasts for about thirty minutes.

The mammograms are interpreted by a radiologist. The radiologist makes recommendations based on the results obtained. If cancerous conditions or any areas of concern are noted on the mammogram, follow-up care, treatment or further tests are recommended. Possible findings include calcification, distorted tissues, lumps or masses. These conditions may require specialized tests such as biopsies and magnetic resonance imaging tests to make a conclusion.

A cancer crisis can be a very traumatizing experience for the patient and the entire family. In addition to the rigorous treatment process, it causes emotional, financial, spiritual, appearance, relational and occupational changes and challenges. The services of mammography San Diego CA based health centers offer facilitate the early detection of breast cancer to prevent these challenges.

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