Dr. Swapna Goday explains the various alternatives (adjuncts) to mammography

Lewisville, TX – Mar 14, 2020 –Mammograms help to screen and diagnose breast cancer. They use x-ray imaging to look for any abnormalities in the breast cells. Mammograms can detect early-stage breast cancers that haven’t presented symptoms. There are two types of mammography – conventional and digital mammography. Digital mammograms are more advanced compared to traditional mammography, and they use less radiation.

“Sometimes mammograms may miss some cancers, and when this happens, doctors may recommend alternative screening tests,” explained Dr. Goday. “Mammograms can have limitations in providing accurate results since they vary in sensitivity and specificity. Their sensitivity and specificity can be influenced by various factors which may lead to false diagnoses.” said Dr. Goday.

Here are some of the potential alternatives to mammography:

  • Elastography – This is an examination carried out to check the breast’s elasticity. Most breast tumors have low elasticity, and an elastography test can help to determine whether the patient will need a biopsy or a screening test when a mass is found in the breast.
  • Thermography – Breast thermography is a test that evaluates the temperature of the skin over the breast. It is a radiation-free procedure that helps to look for breast cancer. It provides physiologic information on suspicious areas of the breast.
  • Molecular breast imaging – Breast specific gamma imaging (BSGI) can identify breast cancer with very impressive diagnostic performance. It uses nuclear medicine to image the breast through high-resolution breast specific gamma cameras. It has a sensitivity of up to 100% with a specificity of up to 95%.

“Women at high risk of developing breast cancer and those with dense breasts need a screening method that offers accuracy to avoid misdiagnosis,” continued Dr. Goday. “Aside from mammography, doctors can also use these adjuncts to mammography for better results. Sometimes patients will require additional screening to confirm the initial results. Consult your doctor regarding the appropriate screening method for you.”

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