All women of reproductive age know that an obstetrician-gynecologist and a mammologist should be visited regularly. It is necessary to undergo a full-scale examination every six months in order to timely detect the development of pathological processes. Due consideration should be given to breast screening. Today, treating specialists offer several methods of research. What is better: mammography or breast ultrasound?
Modern methods of breast examination
As they say, progress does not stand still, and now a woman can choose a convenient way to diagnose her for a breast examination. Treatment specialists suggest four basic methods that complement each other:
- MRI of the mammary glands;
- ultrasound procedure;
Ultrasound and mammography are widespread among women of childbearing age. Let's see what method of diagnosis is better to choose. What is mammography?
Mammography is an examination of the mammary glands by X-ray irradiation. The doctor receives four pictures in various projections. Even the slightest modifications in the tissue layers of the mammary gland are displayed on these images.
Mammography allows to detect neoplasms of benign and malignant type. X-ray images show even insignificant accumulations of calcium salts in the tissues. For the detection of such seals mammography is considered the only informative and optimal diagnostic method.
How is mammography done?
Doctors-mammologists say that this procedure is practically painless. A woman may experience discomfort only when squeezing the breast. Diagnosis is as follows:
- For research uses a special apparatus consisting of two plates.
- The mammary gland is placed on one plate, which is pressed down from above by the second plate.
- The doctor takes four pictures of different projections, while changing the position of the breast and plate.
The results of the study, as a rule, are prepared within a few days. How to prepare for breast mammography?
According to specialists in the field of medicine, mammography of the mammary glands does not require special preparation. However, before undergoing a diagnostic procedure, a woman should consider the following aspects:
- inform the doctor about the presence of pregnancy or lactation;
- do not use moisturizers for body or perfume;
- Do not wear jewelry around your neck.
Many women are interested in which day of the menstruation cycle they can undergo a mammogram. It is best to select the time of the diagnostic procedure in advance. As a rule, mammography is recommended for 6-12 days of the menstrual cycle, because throughout the entire period the mammary glands are modified. If the procedure is scheduled urgently, the day of the cycle is not taken into account.
The principle of ultrasound examination of the mammary glands
Doctors advise women under the age of 35 years to systematically undergo breast ultrasound. In this regard, representatives of the fair sex have a number of questions: how to prepare, on which day of the cycle it is better to do an ultrasound and how is the procedure performed? Let's look at all the key aspects in order.
How to prepare for an ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan can be carried out as a separate procedure or in conjunction with other diagnostic measures. This procedure does not require special preparation. If a woman plans to make an ultrasound diagnosis in advance, then it is best to do it on the 5th-12th day of the menstruation cycle. If menstrual flow is absent or an ultrasound scan is needed urgently, the day of the cycle is not taken into account.
Find out how to prepare for the abdominal ultrasound.
What information can be obtained from the study?
After the diagnostic procedure, the attending specialist performs decoding. Norm is when it is established that there are no abnormalities in the mammary glands.
During ultrasound, you can detect a number of pathological processes and diseases, for example:
- neoplasms of benign nature (cysts);
- malignant tumors;
- pathology of breast vessels.
In addition, be sure to do an ultrasound during pregnancy, the schedule of procedures you can find in this article - When doing an ultrasound during pregnancy
The course of the breast ultrasound procedure
Ultrasound diagnosis of the mammary gland is carried out by analogy of transabdominal ultrasound. A special transparent gel is applied on the chest. The procedure is performed using an apparatus equipped with a head, through which information is displayed on the monitor. The duration of the study takes no more than half an hour, during which time the attending specialist will perform the decoding of the received informative data.
What is better to choose: mammography or breast ultrasound?
As already mentioned, women prefer to undergo a study of the mammary glands through ultrasound diagnosis or mammography. What is the best way to choose?
Benefits of Mammography
Mammograms are recommended for women over 40 years of age. Such diagnostics can be done no more than once every two years. With its help, it is possible to identify tumors of different nature, cysts and mastopathy at an early stage of development. It is strictly not recommended to undergo X-rays during pregnancy and lactation.
The advantages of breast mammography include:
- informative diagnosis of papillomas and cysts;
- full research of milk ducts;
- obtaining information on the accumulation of calcium salts in the breast;
- the ability to determine the nature of tumors, their size and pathologies of tissues.
The advantages of ultrasound
In the reproductive age of women, the mammary glands are quite dense, so X-ray irradiation cannot illuminate them. It is best to undergo breast ultrasound before 40 years. At an early age, mammography can trigger the development of malignant neoplasms, but only if there is a predisposition to it.
The advantages of ultrasound include:
- identification of pathologies and neoplasms in the early stages of development;
- the possibility of researching tissue layers and lymph nodes adjacent to the mammary glands;
- the possibility of accurate puncture and biopsy studies;
- absolute safety for health (this procedure is carried out during pregnancy and lactation).
Recommendations of specialists
Treatment specialists advise systematically examining the breast: an ultrasound scan can be done every six months, and a mammogram can be done once every 2 years. Such examination methods can be assigned as a separate diagnostic procedure or in combination with other measures for a full-scale study.
Before the appointment of the examination, the doctor must conduct a visual inspection. At the consultations, an obstetrician-gynecologist or a breast doctor will talk about the main aspects of the preparation and set a date for the procedure, taking into account the day of the menstruation cycle. Be sure to tell your doctor about the presence of implants in the chest.
A woman should look after her health carefully, regardless of age. Remember that timely examination and detection of diseases of the mammary glands in the early stages is the key to effective treatment and prevention of complicated consequences.