Mammography is a specialised x-ray technique for imaging the breasts. It is utilised to screen for breast cancer, and to investigate symptoms such as a lump, tenderness, nipple discharge or skin changes.
If you experience breast tenderness at any stage during your cycle, it is advised that you try to avoid scheduling your mammogram appointment during this time wherever possible.
On the day of the examination, please do not wear talcum powder or deodorant as these can interfere with the interpretation of the images.
For your comfort during the examination, we recommend you wear a two-piece outfit and remove any jewellery from your head and neck.
You will be asked to change into a gown provided, removing clothing from the waist up, and you will be escorted into the mammogram examination room.
Please describe any breast symptoms you have to the mammographer at the beginning of your examination.
For each projection, your breast is placed onto a platform then compression is applied to hold the breast in position whilst images are taken. This process allows for accurate definition by spreading out overlapping glandular tissue. You may feel mild discomfort for only a few seconds.
It is very important that you bring any previous mammography imaging to your appointment. This enables our radiologists to perform an accurate comparison. Minor changes in the appearance of the structures in your breasts are of great importance when detecting issues and it can mean an earlier detection of abnormalities.
- Your original referral or request form
- Medicare and any Government concession pension or health care cards
- Previous relevant imaging
During a mammogram, you will receive a small dose of x-ray radiation. The benefits of detecting disease are believed to outweigh any potential risks from receiving such a small dose. Please advise the mammographer if you are, or think you may be pregnant or if you are currently breastfeeding.
Breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D digital mammography, is an advancement on the traditional 2D mammogram.
Tomosynthesis allows our specialist radiologists to examine your breast tissue very precisely in thin slices (typically one millimetre in thickness) and improves the detection of invasive breast cancers by 40% due to the reduction of overlapping structures in each image slice.
This allows for smaller cancers to be more easily detected within the denser glandular breast tissue. Tomosynthesis has allowed for a decrease in the need for additional mammographic views and a reduction in the need for unnecessary breast biopsies.