Publication date: 26.08.2019

Description of the examination

Mammography is a basic radiological examination of breast gland. It allows to early diagnose nodules of 0.5 cm diameter and the so called asymptomatic lesions. Breast examination by hand allows to detect tumours of over 1 cm in diameter. Diagnostic efficiency of mammography together with clinical examination by hand is valued on the level of 80-97%. It is particularly useful in screening tests. Apart from that mammography enables taking samples for microscopic examination, proper direction of a biopsy, intra-operative examination of resectioned material, objective chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy control in case of breast cancer.

Indications for the examination

  • Preventive examinations should be conducted:
  • In women over 40 years of age.
  • The break between examinations should be 2 years; after 50 years of age, mammography should be done every year,
  • In women with increased risk of nipple cancer (e.g. nipple cancer in the family, mammary displasia),
  • Before starting hormonal therapy
  • In case of suspicion of breast disease, with symptoms like: tumour, nipple or skin turning inward, nipple discharge, located pain, cyst, carcinophobia
  • Control after nipple removal
  • After pneumocystography and 6 weeks after breast cyst puncture
  • After radio- and/or chemotherapy for evaluation of tumour regression
    In case of ambiguous breast abscess symptoms: before treatment implementation, and 2 weeks after finishing antibiotics.
    The examination is ordered by an oncologist, a surgeon, a gynaecologist.

Preparation for the examination

The examination does not require any special preparation but it is recommended to be done in the first phase of menstrual cycle – till the 10th day of menstrual cycle. The patient gets undressed for the examination (upper part of the body). Images of both areoral glands are taken in two basic projections. In craniocaudal (CC) and mediolateral oblique view (MLO) under 45 degrees projections, the patient is standing. Examined breast is compressed between a detector and a plastic compression paddle. MLO projection is performed to detect lesions located deep in the breast, especially close to the thoracic wall and to detect lesions located in a Spence tail. and for armpit lymphatic glands evaluation. Mammography examination lasts about 10 minutes.