WHY?


The mamma cancer (breast cancer) is the most frequent cancer type seen in women whereas 1 of each 8 women faces breast cancer in a stage of her lifetime. The success parameter in the treatment of breast cancer is the early diagnosis. The performed studies show that the success percentage of the treatments for breast cancer diagnosed in stage 1 is 100% whereas this percentage comes as 22% for the treatments towards the breast cancer diagnosed in final stage. The breast cancer causes nearly no symptoms detectable by the patient in the early stages. However, all the women shall undergod mamma scanning if the aim is to detect this cancer in early stages and succesfully treat the same. The only effective technique with proven success for the scanning of the breast cancer is mammography.

When?

The American Cancer Association, American Radiology Association and American Mamma Imaging Association recommend women to undergo mammography scanning once in a year starting from the age of 40.

How?


The only single method is mammography for scanning the breast cancer. The ultrasound, magnetic resonance (MR) etc. methods may be used as complementary techniques to mammography when deemed necessary. These are not proven to be effective on their own in cancer scanning. The mammography is performed under 4 different techniques in the present times whereas it is of essence that the patient knows the advantages and disadvantages of each technique.

Film Mammography: The first technique used. The images are printed on a black and white film and kept in this manner. The images are not transferred to the computer environment. Many techniques basing on printing the film demonstrate several restrictions whereas the printed film may lose its quality by time. The radiation dose is greater than the new techniques at hand.


Computerized Radiography (CR) Mammography:
It is mostly known as “semi-digital” mammography in Turkey. The images are formed on a digital casette and transferred to the computer. The images may be saved in digital environment and not face quality losses. However, this technique also includes greater radiation doses than the novel techniques; and also the image quality is lower than both the novel techniques and, even, the former film mammography technique.
Full Area Digital Mammography: It is one of the most actual techniques. The images are directly sent to the computer and analysed in computer environment. The images are saved in digital environment whereas face no losss of quality. The image quality is superior and the radiation doses are lesser than the former techniques. However, all these three techniques face a sinister disadvantage which that the tissues in the mamma may overlapse and hide the problematic tissues in within or leaving them at the rear. Thus, small tumors then can be concealed in the mamma tissue whereas this makes harder or fully prevent the diagnosis/detection of certain early stage cancers.

Three Dimensional Mamma Tomosynthesis:
This is the newest technique developed for mammography works. This method is fully digital and forms the thin sectional views of each mamma varying from 60 to 100 views. These are transferred to the computer. The mamma is examined section by section whereas this ensures to easily distinguish the small tumor tissues hidden in the other mamma tissues. The widest study conducted for this technique has compiled 3 years data from 33.000 patients in total and concluded the following results for the mamma tomosynthesis technique:

• The lesions are more easily characterized whereas the patients are lesser recalled in future for the examinations on such lesions
• The cancer detection percentage is increased
• The lesions represent the real pathologies in more increased percentages with regard to the patients recalled for the examination of the detected lesions. That is to say, more accurate decisions of recalling are given.
• The percentage of the patients diagnosed as cancer but after a healthy mammography check has been decreased.
The radiation dose of this technique is nearly the same with the dose exposed through the standard mammography performed with most actual devices.