Advancements in Mammography

Annual Advancements in Medicine Section

From minimally invasive surgical technologies to innovative appproaches to rehabiliation and beyond, new research in the medical field is optimizing care for patients and doctors alike. Read on to discover the latest in revolutionary treatment options.

Routine screening mammograms can help women catch signs of early breast cancer and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Understanding Mammography

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, accounting for 30% of all new female cancers each year in the United States. However, when caught early, it is also one of the most treatable, thanks to mammography. This diagnostic technique uses x-rays to produce images of the breast, and recent advancements have made screening more accurate than ever.

New Solutions

Mammography technology has advanced significantly since it became common practice in the mid-20th century. Today, tomosynthesis mammography offers digital x-rays that create three-dimensional pictures of the breasts. These detailed images have improved the detection abilities of mammography, leading to faster and more accurate diagnoses.

What to Expect

woman getting help from a medical professional with a mammography

During a mammogram, a specially designed x-ray machine will apply gentle compression to the breast to obtain a clear picture of the breast tissue. Images of both breasts will be captured from two angles, top to bottom and side to side. Afterwards, your radiologist, a doctor trained to read mammograms, will evaluate the images for signs of cancer or other problems.

Benefits to Patients

Mammograms are crucial to catching early breast cancer. The American College of Radiology, Society of Breast Surgeons, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommend all women to start receiving preventative screening mammograms beginning at age 40  to ensure early signs of cancer are caught as soon as possible so treatment can begin.

An Expert Weighs In

“Since the early 1990s mammography has decreased mortality related to breast cancer by nearly 40%. Studies have and continue to show that screening mammography saves lives. One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one in six breast cancers occur in the women in their 40s. Now with the widespread use of tomosynthesis, or 3D mammograms, smaller and more subtle cancers are being found, often when the disease is at a much earlier stage. Finding breast cancer early, the goal of mammography, significantly increases the chance for long-term survival. This is why we strongly recommend yearly screening mammography beginning at age 40."

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!