Mammography is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early when it can most effectively be treated. It plays a central part in the early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast long before you or your doctor can feel them.
If breast cancer is found early, you are less likely to have a mastectomy (removal of your breast) or chemotherapy. Regular screening may prevent deaths from breast cancer.
When is the best time to perform mammogram screening?
Between day seven and day ten of your menstrual cycle if you are not using any contraceptive methods.
How to prepare for a mammogram screening:
- Do not wear neck jewellery
- Avoid using deodorants, lotions or perfume under your arms and breasts
- It is recommended to wear a two-piece outfit and flat shoes
- You can drink, eat and take your medications as you normally do
- Speak to your doctor about options to help manage any pain or discomfort
Who has to do mammogram screening?
- 40 years old or above: once every two years
You are under 40 but have:
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- First degree family member female or male with breast cancer
- Two non-first degree family members with breast cancer
- Strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer
- Known genetic mutation in your family
- Had radiation to chest area while young for another cancer (e.g. leukaemia)
The breast imaging units use state-of-the-art facilities including digital mammography and tomosynthesis (DBT) known to increase breast cancer detection rates. Various image guided procedures such as biopsies, fine needle aspiration, marker placement and wire localisation can also be carried out, under local anaesthesia and with minimal discomfort.