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Mammography

Everything about Mammography
Mammography

A mammography screening has a crucial role in the early detection of breast cancer. Mammography is a special breast X-ray examination, which can detect early cancerous lesions as small as half a centimetre in diameter. Don’t fall for life-threatening misbeliefs: a mammography examination does not have any side effects, and only causes minimal radiation exposure.

Types of mammography
CONVENTIONAL MAMMOGRAPHY

Mammography aims to rule out cancerous lesions and to detect them at an early stage. Regular mammography is recommended annually or every two years over the age of 40-45 – even without complaints. If you experience unusual symptom or you have a family history or other risk factors of breast cancer, mammography can be performed at younger age and more often, if recommended by a specialist.

How is mammography performed?

The five-minute-long examination is usually performed in a standing position. For a good scan quality and to minimise radiation exposure, the breasts are compressed with the help of special plastic discs, then a bidirectional X-ray scan is taken. Conventional mammography examination is not painful, but compression of the breasts may be unpleasant.

COMPLEX BREAST EXAMINATION

Complex breast examination is recommended for women over the age of 40-45 at least every two years, and besides X-ray mammography – which is the gold standard from a diagnostic point of view – it includes tactile breast examination by a specialist, ultrasound examination, and the examination of the surrounding lymph nodes. This is the most comprehensive examination type and the safest way to make sure everything is alright with your breast health.

In the Affidea centers, we also pay attention to the details: you only have get undressed once for the three examinations.

Special types of Mammography
BREASTINSIGHT Mammography – an ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE-assisted mammography

Affidea is the first in Hungary to offer artificial intelligence-assisted mammographys: even the smallest lesions are easier to detect with the help of the Transpara™ decision and diagnosis supporting software. This ensures a more precise, more reliable and faster diagnosis. Artificial intelligence can be used in digital mammography and digital mammography with tomosynthesis.

Upon request, an AI-based software will also “check” your scans in addition to a well-prepared radiologist, just choose the artificial intelligence-assisted mammography when booking an appointment.

BREAST TOMOSYNTHESIS

3D mammography with tomosynthesis is the upgraded version of the 2D mammography. During a breast tomosynthesis, we do not only scan one direction of the breasts, but depending on the breast size, a series of approximately 50 slices is made, each with a thickness of 1 millimetre. The resolution of these images is outstanding, and they are entirely shadowless.

Who is breast tomosynthesis recommended for?

Breast tomosynthesis is recommended for women with full, glandular breasts; furthermore, this type of examination can be performed problem-free in those with breast implants.

Tasks to do before the examination

It is practical to have the mammography examination performed the week after menstruation for a better evaluation. The examination does not require any preparation, you only have to wipe off cosmetics, creams from the skin beforehand.

CONTRAST-ENHANCED MAMMOGRAPHY

Contrast-enhanced mammography is one of the most modern methods of breast diagnostics, which is available in Affidea Váci Greens Health center since the end of 2018. It should be performed if a lesion that needs further examination was found with the conventional examinations. It is also used for control examinations after surgery, as well as for the imaging diagnostic differentiation between re-occurrence of the disease and scar tissue after surgery.

How is contrast-enhanced mammography performed?

The breasts are compressed for a few seconds with the help of a special plastic disc; contrast medium is injected into the previously inserted venous cannula, then four dynamic scans are made of both breasts. The examination is performed in a standing position. The injected contrast medium enables a more accurate imaging and diagnosis.

The 10 to 15-minute-long examination provides the specialist with detailed information similar to that of a breast MRI examination. The contrast medium accumulates at pathological lesions, so not only the lesion, but also its exact location and dimensions are visible.

Our patients are examined in the calmest possible conditions to relieve the discomfort caused by the compression of the breasts and anxiety due to the examination: they can choose calming pictures on the LCD displays placed in the examination room; sound effects and/or music also help relaxation.

When is it recommended?

It is worth performing the examination, if mammography or histological examination has previously confirmed a lesion, whose treatment (surgery, drug therapy) depends on the location or dimension of the lesion. It is practical to have the examination performed the week after menstruation for a better evaluation of the scans.

Tasks to do before the examination

The contrast medium might put a strain on unhealthy kidneys, so kidney function must be checked before the examination with serum creatinine and eGFR values. (You may bring a recent laboratory result, or the examination can be performed at Affidea)

IMPORTANT TO NOTE

You must not eat 4 to 6 hours before contrast-enhanced mammography; furthermore, if you take regularly prescribed medication, consult your physician, because the examination might affect the way the medicine is taken.