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Mammography is a diagnostic method that uses a mammogram or special X-ray of the breast to detect and diagnose breast lesions like breast cancer. Breast cancer accounts for 14% of cancers in Indian women. It is reported that every four minutes, an Indian woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and one woman dies of breast cancer in every 13 minutes.
This particular type of cancer is on the rise, both in rural and urban India. But the good news is that despite being the commonest cancer in Indian women and one of the major causes of fatalities every year, breast cancer is completely curable—if detected early.
A timely diagnosis can spike the chances of a patient’s complete recovery from the ailment. Which is why mammography is so instrumental in breast cancer prevention.
It uses low-energy X-rays to view changes in the breast tissues and helps in detecting and locating the cancer so that proper treatment can be done. However, if you are planning to get one, it is always best to know what to expect.
Even if your preliminary mammography test shows some abnormality, it does not always mean that you have breast cancer. In such cases, you may have to undergo further tests like ultrasound, a follow-up mammogram and/or biopsy, as advised by your doctor.
Breast cancer is 100% treatable provided the diagnosis and treatment happens in a timely manner. It is important that you follow a healthy lifestyle, conduct self-examination of your breasts regularly, and immediately consult with a doctor if they have any doubts.
Most importantly, if you are above the age of 40, you must undergo mammography once every year, even if you don’t see any changes in your breasts.