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Mammography: Importance and Procedure

Mammography is crucial, especially for women aged 40 and above, as a means of early detection for breast cancer. Here’s an explanation for you.

What is Mammography?

Mammography is the process of capturing breast tissue images using X-rays. This examination is performed to detect signs of breast cancer, particularly lumps.

Regular mammography, when done consistently, greatly aids in the early detection of breast cancer. Early-stage breast cancer lumps are often undetectable by touch. Yet, if detected at an early stage, the cure rate for this disease remains very high.

As seen in the graph below, breast cancer detected at stages 0-1, where cancer cells have not spread to other areas within the breast or the body, yields a five-year survival rate of up to 99%.

Unfortunately, according to data from Indonesia, the majority of breast cancer cases in the country are detected at advanced stages, where the survival rate is much lower.

When Should Mammography be Done?

The risk of breast cancer in women increases with age and is highest in those aged above 50. Therefore, women are generally advised to undergo routine breast screening, especially mammography, starting at the age of 40 or 45.

Here are some important breast examination recommendations for women to consider:

  • Self-breast examination is recommended once a month.
  • Mammography once a year (for women aged 40-49).
  • Mammography once every 2 years (for women aged 50 and above).

Mammography can detect breast abnormalities 2 or 3 years before they can be felt by hand during a physical examination.

Usually, if symptoms such as breast lumps, discharge from the nipple, abnormalities in breast skin, or other specific symptoms occur, it indicates that breast cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage.

Mammography Procedure

Here’s what you’ll go through before, during, and after undergoing this procedure:

Preparation

  • Schedule your appointment. Mammography is best done one or two weeks after the first day of menstruation.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or possibly pregnant, breastfeeding, or have breast implants.
  • Avoid using deodorant, powder, lotion, or perfume on the day of the mammography examination.
  • You will be instructed to change into a gown and remove all jewelry during the examination, so it’s best to wear comfortable clothing.

Examination

  • You will be instructed to change into a gown and remove all jewelry.
  • You will stand in front of a specialized mammogram machine.
  • A technician will place one of your breasts between two special plates on the machine.
  • The position of the plates will be adjusted to compress the breast until it’s in a flattened position.
  • The machine will take images of the breast from several angles to produce detailed images of the breast tissue.

After the Examination

After obtaining images of both breast tissues, you will be instructed to wait for the results. If the images obtained are unclear, the technician may request to repeat the procedure. If the images are clear, the results will be handed over to a specialist doctor for further examination.

Mammography at Mandaya Royal Puri Hospital

One of the challenges in detecting breast cancer is the higher breast density among Indonesian women or younger women. This higher density makes it difficult for X-rays (mammography rays) to penetrate breast tissue, resulting in less clear images.

At Mandaya Royal Puri Hospital, mammography is performed using equipment equipped with 3D Tomosynthesis technology, which can capture breast images while moving automatically in two directions.

With this technology, clearer images are produced. Additionally, small breast abnormalities that may be obscured by normal breast tissue can now be seen from various angles (no longer obstructed).

Mandaya Royal Puri Hospital has a breast cancer center with complete equipment and experienced specialist. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us via WhatsApp Chat, the Book Appointment page, or the Care Dokter app, which can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store. In addition to appointments, you can also monitor your queue number and get other complete information there.

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