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[mamma + -graphy]
Radiographic imaging of the breast to screen for and detect breast cancer. Mammography detects about 85% to 90% of existing breast cancers and, along with breast self-examination and regular professional checkups, increases the rate of early breast cancer detection. Mammography detects more cancers when more than one radiologist interprets each image, a technique called double reading. The American Cancer Society and expert panels convened by the federal government publish guidelines for the frequency of mammographic evaluation in the U.S. Although these guidelines change occasionally, evidence shows that mammographic screening can reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer in women between 40 and 69.
SEE: breast cancer for table.
Palpable abnormalities of the breast that appear mammographically benign should nonetheless be further evaluated, e.g., with ultrasonography, fine-needle or core biopsy, or close follow-up examinations.
BREAST COMPRESSION DURING MAMMOGRAPHY