Mammography, which has a device in our hospital, is widely used as an auxiliary diagnostic test to determine the location and characteristics of a suspicious mass in the breast during breast examination. In addition, routine mammography is recommended as a breast cancer screening test at regular intervals for women who have no risk factors for breast cancer, have no complaints, and whose annual breast examination is normal.

The first thing that should be noted at this stage is that adding a careful breast examination to the mammography examination is extremely important in increasing the possibility of early diagnosis. In our hospital, breast examination is performed by our General Surgery Specialist, who is very experienced in this field.

Why Routine Mammography?
Breast cancer is a common type of cancer in women. Although statistics from country to country may vary, in most countries breast cancer ranks second after lung cancer among the causes of cancer-related death in women.

Statistics show that one in every 12 women will get breast cancer at some point in their life, and one in every 25 women who contract the disease will die because of it.

The purpose of screening tests is to try to understand beforehand that a disease will occur or to catch the disease in its early stages. This makes a significant contribution to reducing problems that may arise due to the disease.

The reason why doctors strongly recommend mammography to women at regular intervals is that thanks to this screening test, breast cancer can be diagnosed early and the risk of death due to the disease can be reduced by 70%.

How Often Should Routine Mammography Be Performed?
Today, it is recommended that screening mammography be performed for women who do not have risk factors for breast cancer, starting at the age of 40, every 2 years until the age of 50, and then annually.

If a problem is detected in the breast examination performed during annual routine gynecological examinations, or if the woman detects a problem during her monthly breast examination and this problem is confirmed by a doctor’s examination, mammography is renewed.

Routine mammography is not recommended for women younger than thirty years of age, as imaging is difficult due to the dense breast tissue, and the risk of breast cancer is very low.

Problems in breast tissue in young women are usually clarified by breast examination and breast ultrasonography.

Routine mammography intervals are applied according to the scheme determined by the General Surgery Specialist in women who have a family member with breast cancer or who have various risk factors for developing breast cancer.

How and When to Do It?
Mammography should be performed at a time during the menstrual cycle when breast tissue can be visualized best. This period is during the first week when menstrual bleeding begins, when hormone levels are still relatively low.

Mammography is an examination that consists of compressing both breasts and taking films at various levels and sections with the help of a special x-ray device called mammography device.

The purpose of compressing the breast tissue during mammography is to obtain better quality images and to minimize the radiation dose the woman will receive.

The X-ray images obtained are then evaluated by a Radiology Specialist and a report containing the findings and recommendations is prepared.

The Radiologist usually takes into account images from previous years when making his evaluation. For this reason, it is extremely important that mammography films and reports are kept regularly and presented to the Radiologist.

Mammography Report
While examining the images obtained, the Radiologist takes into account various features in these images: Whether there is a mass appearance in the breast tissue, areas of calcification within the tissue, the density of the breast tissue and the distribution of density within the breast tissue, the thickness of the breast skin, the condition of the armpit lymph nodes, the report to be written. are the basic determining features. When no findings suggestive of breast cancer are detected, this is usually reported as “normal mammography findings.”

In case of abnormal findings in the images, the Radiologist usually gives guiding suggestions in the report he writes. In the presence of an image suggestive of cancer in the breast, this situation is usually stated in the report as “further examination is recommended”.

When a mass is detected, the phrase “ultrasound examination is recommended” is frequently seen in mammography reports in order to determine whether this mass is a cyst or not.

The final decision on whether the mammogram is normal or not is made by the doctor who has performed the breast examination and knows the woman’s medical details.

Breast Ultrasonography
Nowadays, in most cases, mammography and breast ultrasonography are performed together. The most important reason for this is the ability of breast ultrasonography to clearly distinguish between cystic and solid formations in the breast tissue.