Mammography is a highly specialised area of breast imaging. It is defined by the quality of equipment used, the technical skills required to perform the procedure correctly and the expertise of the professional interpreting the mammogram.
A mammographer is a diagnostic radiographer who has specialized in mammograms. Maintaining excellent quality control is very important, resulting in earlier detection of breast cancer.
Several large studies conducted around the world show that mammograms can reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer for women ages 40 to 74, especially for those over age 50.
Early breast cancers can present in many different ways on a mammogram. Although an experienced physician can detect a palpable mass, mammography is able to detect a non-palpable lesion up to 3 years before it becomes palpable.
A mammogram, when performed by an experienced mammographer, is not a painful procedure. At most, it may be a little uncomfortable. However, the short-term discomfort outweighs the long-term benefits.