Mammography is a very useful test for the prevention of breast cancer. Its purpose is to detect the cancer before it becomes a tumor, so it can be treated more effectively. All women should have their breasts checked regularly. The frequency of screening depends on age and family history.
Mammography is performed with the help of a mammogram. Women who have no family history should have the so-called “reference mammography”, that is, the first mammogram between 35 and 40 years of age.
If there is a family history, mammography should be performed ten years earlier than the age at which the breast cancer appeared in the family.
Women between the ages of 25 and 30 years should not be screened with mammography for two reasons. Initially, the mammary gland is still very dense and examination may not yield useful findings.
In addition, the mammary gland is more sensitive to radiation, so radiation should be avoided as long as there are no serious reasons.
Young women who have no family history may undergo clinical examination and breast ultrasound.
When women are over 40, they should undergo mammography every year, as the risk of the disease is increased. Thus, if malignancy develops in the meantime, it is possible to be identified at a very early stage and increase life expectancy.
Mammography should not be performed during the 2nd phase of the menstrual cycle, i.e. 10-15 days before the next period. As the breast begins to swell after ovulation, there may be false findings. It is advisable to schedule mammography between the 4th and 10th days of the menstrual cycle, counting from the first day of menstruation and not from the end of the period.