FAQs On Breast Cancer Screening

What Is Breast Screening?

Breast screening aims to find breast cancer early by using an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel.

What Is a Screening Test?

A screening test is performed as a preventive measure to detect a potential health problem or disease before the presentation of any clinical symptoms.

What Is the Purpose of Screening Tests?

The purpose is to detect the disease at an earlier stage so as to treat it effectively, even before it starts to harm the body.

What Is a Screening Mammogram?

A screening mammogram is an x-ray of breast used to find breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer. It usually involves two x-rays of each breast.

During the procedure, the breast is placed between two plastic plates and compressed to flatten and spread it. This may be uncomfortable for a few ladies; however it is necessary to get a good picture of breast tissue. Breast ultrasonography done at the same time complements the mammography findings.

How Often Should I Have Screening Mammogram and Clinical Breast Examination?

There are no guidelines prescribed by the Indian health department. The various guidelines by the American cancer society, NHS in UK which usually recommend that women aged 45 – 69 years with mammography alone or mammography and an annual clinical breast examination.

Younger and older women, those at high risk because of factors family history, should consult a specialist about the breast cancer screening.

What Is Clinical Breast Examination?

A clinical breast examination is a physical examination of breast by a health care provider. He will palpate (examine) each breast to locate for lumps or changes in texture of breast tissue, will look for nipple discharge and will check for any lymph nodes under the arms.

Should I Worry From Radiation of Mammogram?

Modern mammography equipment is designed to use low levels of radiation, usually about 0.2 rads per x-ray. The benefits of mammography far outweigh any risk from radiation exposure.