Mammography

Definition - What does Mammography mean?

Mammography is a type of x-ray imaging used to examine breasts for signs of breast cancer. Mammography can be used as either as a diagnostic tool to investigate symptoms or abnormalities, or as a screening tool for those who don't have abnormalities or symptoms. Some employers offer mammography screening services in the workplace.


WorkplaceTesting explains Mammography

Mammography can be separated into two categories: diagnostic mammography and screening mammography. Diagnostic mammography is utilized to investigate abnormalities or symptoms in the breasts including lumps, changes in skin appearance, nipple discharge, or pain. This type of mammography is a more involved process as it takes numerous images from many different angles. Screening mammography is done on those who don't have a personal or family history of breast cancer, and are not experiencing any symptoms or noticeable abnormalities. Screening mammography is important in the early detection of breast cancer as lumps in the breasts are sometimes not detectable with self breast exams. Workplaces may offer screening mammography services as part of health insurance coverage or at health fairs because of the high level of noncompliance this exam typical has, meaning that it is often suggested by physicians, but avoided by patients, in part due to misconceptions about the test and in part due to fear of a false positive. Also, early detection of breast cancer not increases the odds of successful treatment, but also combats the staggering costs that can be involved in treating advanced breast cancer. Recent advancements in mammography include 3D modeling but most insurance coverage does not cover this type of imaging yet.

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