WHAT IS MAMMOGRAPHY (MAMMOGRAM, SCREEN FILM MAMMOGRAPHY [SFM]) TEST?
Mammography is a soft-tissue x-ray examination of the breast. Careful interpretation of these x-ray films can detect cancer, even before a lesion becomes palpable. Accuracy of breast cancer detection is approximately 85% and gives less than 10% false-positive diagnoses. It is believed that survival rates are improved with early detection of breast cancer. A xeromammogram provides the same information as a routine mammogram and has the same risks and benefits. However, xeromammograms are positive prints, unlike regular radiographs, which are negative prints. This test has four views: oblique, lateral, craniocaudal, and chest wall. At least two views of each breast should be performed, one of which should be of the chest wall. A newer digital technique called full-field digital mammography (FFDM) is approved for use in screening for breast cancer. Digital mammography has improved detection in clients with dense breasts, usually younger women. Use of computer–aided detection in mammography as decision support has <10% false positive rate.