Area To Be Examined

Raise arm

X-ray machine

X-rays

Compressed breast

Technician

POSITION OF BREAST During the procedure

Your breast is compressed between the plastic cover and X-ray plate. X-rays pass through the breast tissue onto the plate.

X-ray machine

Plastic cover

X-ray plate

Mammography

Mammography uses X-rays (p. 39) to detect abnormal areas of breast tissue. It Is used as a screening test to detect signs of breast cancer and is also carried out to investigate breast lumps. Mammography is offered every 3 years from age 50 to 65. The breast is positioned in the X-ray machine and compressed so that the breast tissue can be easily seen on the X-ray. Two X-rays are usually taken of each breast. The procedure is uncomfortable but lasts only a few seconds. If an abnormality is detected, you will need further tests such as aspiration (see Aspiration of a breast lump, opposite) to determine the cause of the abnormality.

Plastic cover

X-ray plate

X-ray machine

Compressed breast

Technician

POSITION OF BREAST During the procedure

Your breast is compressed between the plastic cover and X-ray plate. X-rays pass through the breast tissue onto the plate.

X-rays

X-ray machine

Continued from previous page

Do both your breasts feel lumpy?

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