Diagnostic, detailed, medical, imaging, women-focused.
Breast cancer is a major health issue and the role of imaging is early diagnosis.
The general aim is to enable early treatment of breast cancer to improve survival rates and to reduce the need for aggressive treatment such as mastectomy.
Mammography is the most important imaging procedure for breast cancer detection and diagnosis.
It can be performed in a screening setting or a diagnostic setting.
Screening is performed periodically in order to find small cancers before they are detected through self-palpation or clinical breast examination. Mammography is performed every one, two, or three years from the age of 40–50 years until around 70–75, depending on regional screening programmes.
Diagnostic mammography is performed in patients presenting with clinical symptoms
such as a palpable lump, nipple discharge, skin thickening or retraction, or nipple
retraction, in order to diagnose or exclude breast cancer.
NEW MAMMOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES:
TOMOSYNTHESIS AND CONTRAST-ENHANCED SPECTRAL MAMMOGRAPHY
Both techniques are intended to overcome some limitations of mammography by
reducing summation effects (tomosynthesis) or by increasing contrast differences
(CESM), especially (but not only) in women with denser breast tissue.
In these women, tumours can be masked due to overlying breast tissue, and lackof contrast to the adjacent normal breast tissue is common. So far, these techniques have mainly been proposed as an adjunct to mammography in women with inconclusive findings in their initial mammograms, with interesting results.