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Reasons, Procedure and Results of a Mammogram Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Reasons for Mammogram Testing

A mammogram procedure is used to check for the possibility of breast cancer. A mammogram screening test is usually advised in most women and should be undertaken once every year. There are some women that are endowed with a gene that is the BRCA gene, which is responsible for a person developing breast cancer. People that have screened positive for this gene need to get tested regularly to ensure that they are not actually developing the disease. The first signs that any woman needs to look out for is a lump on her breast and any kind of discharge from the nipples when not lactating. Lumps are a very good sign of a possible breast cancer and therefore, a woman should take the time to check herself once every month.

Procedure

A mammogram is a test that goes even further than self examination. A mammogram is basically a form of x-rays and tomography. A digital mammogram or MRI sequencing can also be used but irrespective of the type of technology that is used a major part of the procedure remains the same. The procedure begins with a woman placing her breast on a plate or a metal device and then flattening the breast to get a wider field of view. A series of x-rays or other images are then taken and later reviewed by the physician. If there is any kind of abnormality that is detected in the breast, then the next step is to convince the patient to come in for additional testing. This additional testing includes performing a biopsy on the affected nipple or area of the breast. The fluid and the surrounding cells that are sucked into the syringe are then examined under a microscope. A cytology should then reveal the type of cells that exist in the breast and any abnormalities that could exist.

Test Results

When a woman’s mammogram results come out positive, the next stage is deal with the cancer. Cancer treatments include chemo and radiation therapy. These are some of the traditional treatments that are used. Other more radical treatments include the use of the reolysin virus that selectively targets tumor cells and lyses them. This is a very promising treatment but one that is still under much scrutiny for efficacy and because of this, it is also quite an expensive therapy that is usually not covered by any kind of medical insurance plan. Surgery and mastectomies are the last option with breast cancer.

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