We should not assume that everyone knows of the different modalities that exist and that are employed for breast cancer screening.
The most commonly known test is called a mammogram. A mammogram is the name for which are in effect x-rays of the breast, though the amount of radiation needed to do this is higher than that of a single chest x-ray due to the denseness of the breast tissue. The breasts are clamped between 2 x-ray plates during the procedure which some women find uncomfortable. In the UK women between 50-70 are invited along for a mammogram once every three years by the NHS.
An ultrasound is much gentler and does not involve radiation or painful compression of breast tissue.
Breast MRi exists but there are few MRi locations that can perform this. This involves laying on your front in an MRi scanner with breast coils cupping the breast tissue. This is a safe and effective way to look for very small lumps, but is very expensive if sought privately.
Hand examination is very effective and free, and every women should do this to get to know what feels normal in their own breasts. There are many online guides explaining the procedure or your local nurse can teach you.
Breast Thermography is currently seen as an adjunctive tool to the above screening methods.
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The Rose Clinic Ltd.
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