Breast cancer is a horrible disease which affects millions of women and men every year. Nearly everyone in their lives knows someone affected by breast cancer. Did you know it affects almost ten percent of women above the age of forty years? While we are conducting massive research into it, the causes of this killer cancer are still largely unknown.
While we don’t know much of what causes it, there are ways for you to get properly screened before the cancer takes root. These would include self examinations and professional examinations with a mammography viewer, or PACS workstation. Here are some methods and steps to get you screened for breast cancer.
Screening mammograms are designed for women with no real, significant symptoms. These range from a lump to a black or bloody nipple discharge. Women experiencing any of these symptoms should schedule a diagnostic mammogram, which must be performed by a physician.
Diagnostic mammograms are done under the direct supervision of a radiologist. This type of mammography involves the verification, localization and characterization of breast abnormalities and uses a multitude of tools to evaluate these abnormalities.
Digital mammography, such as that done on PACS workstations and the mammography web viewer, is the latest technology achievement in the early detection of breast cancer. New digital capabilities allow tools like the mammography workstation and mammography viewer technologists to immediately view images on a mammography web viewer. These PACS workstations reduce the amount of wasted time spent in the imaging suite as well as the need for retakes.
Preparation for mammography using a mammography viewer or PACS workstations requires just a few simple steps from the patient. They mostly all involve communication with the radiologist performing the mammogram.
• To help minimize discomfort during a mammography under a mammography workstation, schedule your mammogram to take place one week after your period. Your breasts tend to be less tender during this time.
• If at all possible, bring previous mammogram results with you. A list of where and when you had previous mammograms is also acceptable.
• On the day of your examination, do not wear any type of talcum powder, deodorant, lotion or perfume under your arms or on your breasts. These substances can cause blemishes on your mammogram making the images harder to read. Aluminum flecks in some powders and deodorants can mimic micro-calcifications on the x-ray image. You don’t often have this problem with PACS workstations but they still ask that you don’t.
• Try to wear a two piece outfit. This way you only have to remove your top and bra for the mammography viewer examination. Other clothes such as a blouse which buttons in the front is also acceptable since it can be easily removed.
• Try not to ear any jewelry. If you do have jewelry on, be sure it can be easily and quickly removable. This is especially true with PACS workstations procedures requiring you to lie face down.
If you have questions concerning the mammography viewer test procedure, discuss these issues with your doctor beforehand.