Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram)
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Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram)

Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram) identifies early signs of breast cancer.

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Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram)

Overview

Understanding Mammograms

A mammogram is a specific type of breast imaging that uses low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early – before women experience symptoms – when it is most treatable. It is a non-invasive procedure that involves the breast being compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. Then, an x-ray captures black-and-white images of the breast that are displayed on a computer screen and examined for abnormalities.

Purpose and Benefits of Mammograms

The primary purpose of a mammogram is to screen for breast cancer. Regular mammograms are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt. Early detection through mammograms can lead to a greater range of treatment options, including less-extensive surgery and the use of chemotherapy with fewer serious side effects, or even the option of forgoing chemotherapy.

Conditions Detected by Mammograms

Mammograms are primarily used to detect breast cancer. They can reveal both non-invasive and invasive cancers. Non-invasive cancers are confined to the ducts or lobules and have not spread to surrounding tissues, while invasive cancers have spread to surrounding breast tissues. Mammograms can also detect calcifications, cysts, fibroadenomas, and other benign (non-cancerous) conditions.

Key Takeaways

  • Mammograms are low-dose x-ray scans used for early breast cancer detection.
  • They can identify both non-invasive and invasive breast cancers, as well as other breast conditions.
  • Costs for mammograms in the UK range from £100 to £200, with private insurance potentially covering some of the cost.
  • A referral is usually required for a mammogram, but self-referral options are available through certain platforms.
  • The procedure involves compressing the breast between two surfaces and can be uncomfortable.
  • Results are typically communicated within a few days, and normal activities can be resumed immediately post-scan.
  • Alternative imaging options include ultrasound, MRI, or biopsy, depending on symptoms and risk factors.
Help Choosing

Help Choosing

Typical Costs & Insurance

The cost of Breast Cancer Screening can vary depending on the Private Provider that you choose. Enter your postcode and click search to compare the cost of Breast Cancer Screening directly on Odycy to find the best Breast Cancer Screening prices near you.

The cost of Breast Cancer Screening may be covered by private health insurance plans, depending on the specifics of the policy. Check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered.

For those without insurance or if insurance doesn't cover the cost of Breast Cancer Screening, self-pay options are available.

If you need to pay out of pocket to cover the cost of Breast Cancer Screening then finding an affordable option is easier with Odycy - enter your postcode and search for the service you need. You'll be able to directly compare Private Provider prices from the best Private Provider's near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a breast imaging test using low-dose x-rays to detect cancer early.

How often should I get a mammogram?

It is generally recommended that women start getting regular mammograms at age 50, but those with higher risk factors may need to start earlier.

Can I get a mammogram if I have breast implants?

Yes, but it's important to inform the radiologist as special techniques may be required.

What should I wear to a mammogram appointment?

Wear a two-piece outfit so you can easily undress from the waist up.

Is a mammogram painful?

Some women may find the compression during the mammogram uncomfortable or slightly painful.

How long does a mammogram take?

The entire procedure typically takes about 20 minutes.

Can men have mammograms?

Yes, men can have mammograms, especially if they have symptoms or a strong family history of breast cancer.

What if my mammogram shows something abnormal?

If something abnormal is found, further testing such as additional imaging or a biopsy may be recommended.

Further Information

Scan Procedure

During a mammogram, your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue. Then, an x-ray machine takes black-and-white images of your breasts which are displayed on a computer screen and examined for signs of cancer.

Preparation for the Scan

Before a mammogram, it's recommended to avoid using deodorants, antiperspirants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or on your breasts. Metallic particles in these products could be visible on your mammogram and cause confusion.

What to Expect on the Day

On the day of the mammogram, you'll undress from the waist up and stand in front of an x-ray machine. Your breasts will be placed, one at a time, between two plates that will slowly compress them for the x-ray. Some women find this uncomfortable or even somewhat painful.

After the Scan

After the scan, you can usually resume your normal activities immediately. The images will be reviewed by a radiologist, and you'll receive the results within a few days.

Alternative Imaging Options

Other imaging options include breast ultrasound, breast MRI, or a biopsy. The choice of method depends on your symptoms, age, and risk factors.

Additional Resources

For more information on mammograms, visit the NHS website or the Breast Cancer Now website.

References

  1. "Breast Cancer Screening Mammography & Diagnosis." UChicago Medicine. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/types-treatments/breast-cancer/screening-diagnosis
  2. "Mammogram: Screening & Diagnostic." Advocate Health Care. https://www.advocatehealth.com/health-services/screenings/mammogram/
  3. "Breast Examination and Mammogram." City of Chicago. https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdph/provdrs/healthymothers_and_babies/svcs/get_a_breast_examandmammogram.html
  4. "IL Breast & Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP)." Illinois Department of Public Health. https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/life-stages-populations/womens-health-services/ibccp.html
  5. "Service: Breast Cancer Screen." Illinois.gov. https://www.illinois.gov/services/service.breast-cancer-screen.html

Odycy is a platform established by a team of experienced doctors and healthcare professionals dedicated to delivering professional, transparent, and dependable health information. Our mission is to empower patients by providing them with comprehensive resources to find, compare and book the highest quality healthcare services according to their individual needs. Our content is periodically reviewed by a panel of expert doctors, researchers, and editors. This rigorous review process ensures that the information we provide is accurate, current, and trustworthy, allowing you to make informed healthcare decisions with confidence.
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