Breast screenings are a range of medical tests and exams used to detect breast cancer in women with no symptoms. Breast cancer screening is essential because it can detect cancer early and become easier to treat and cure. There are various types of breast screenings which include mammograms, clinical breast exams, breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds, etc. Visit the Boise mammography center to learn more about breast screenings.
Different types of breast screenings every woman should know about
There are various types of breast screenings, and every one has its own functions.
A mammogram is a medical X-ray used to determine if there are any cancer cells growing in the breast. It involves compressing the breast between two plates and taking pictures from different angles. The images produced by mammography can detect lumps or other abnormalities that may be signs of breast cancer, including small calcifications that may not be detectable through physical examination.
Mammograms are helpful for cancer treatment as they can detect it early before spreading to other body parts. Regular mammograms are recommended for women starting at age 45 and then annually from age 45 to 54 years. After that, women can continue annual mammograms or switch to every two years.
- Clinical breast exam (CBE)
During a CBE, the healthcare professional will carefully feel the breast tissue and underarm area to check for any lumps, abnormalities, or changes. They may also look for skin texture, color changes, or any nipple discharge.
CBEs are usually done during a routine breast cancer screening exam or if a woman reports breast symptoms such as a lump, pain, or nipple discharge. They can also be done as a follow-up test after an abnormal mammogram or other breast imaging test.
- Breast ultrasound
A breast ultrasound medical test uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the breast tissue. Breast ultrasound is used to determine and treat abnormalities, like lumps or masses, which can be signs of breast cancer.
- Breast MRI
Breast MRI contains magnetic fields, radio waves, and a computer to create a detailed image of the breast tissue. Breast MRI is generally used after mammography and ultrasound, particularly for women with a high risk of developing breast cancer. It can provide more detailed information about breast abnormalities’ size, shape, and location. It can be helpful in detecting small tumors that may not be visible on a mammogram or ultrasound.