Different Types of Breast Imaging

December 11, 2018

Breast imaging is more commonly termed as mammography and it is the most specific and specialized medical imaging which makes use of a low-dose x-ray system to view inside the breasts. The test is done prior to a woman starts experiencing the symptoms as it helps in early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases. X-ray radiography is a non-invasive medical test which helps healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat any medical conditions. Breast imaging is the key step in early detection of breast cancers because it can establish alterations in the breast up to two years prior to you or your medical practitioner can feel them physically. The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American Medical Association (AMA) suggest that every woman who is above the age of 40 must get a mammogram once a year. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) further suggests that women who have a hereditary case of breast cancer must consult their healthcare professional about what and when to start screening. There are different technologies of breast imaging and each has different methods of scanning, of which mammography has already mentioned above.

Breast MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging of the breast makes use of strong magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to generate the intricate pictures of the breasts from within.

Thermography – It is a noninvasive, painless high-tech clinical test and does not involve any exposure to radiation. This technique is most efficient for early detection.

Tomosynthesis – Digital breast tomosynthesis which is commonly referred as tomo is a 3D mammography. It is uses screening and diagnostic breast imaging tool to enhance the early signs of breast cancer.

Nuclear imaging – It is a process of developing images by detecting radiation from several parts of the body post a radioactive tracer material is given to the patient. The nuclear imaging expert construes the images to conclude the diagnosis.

Breast Ultrasound – This technique is used to examine if a breast lump is filled with fluid material and/or if it is a solid lump.

At the time of mammography, a particular skilled radiologist will position the breasts in the mammography unit and the breast will be put on a specific platform and squeezed with a clear plastic paddle.