Breast Screening Options Overview

8 Jan

Breast Screening Options Overview

Currently in NZ, there are a number of options available for women who want to check the health (or otherwise) of their breasts

They include:

*  Breast awareness in which a woman (and/or her husband/partner) becomes familiar with the normal size and shape of her breasts so that if she notices any changes, she can visit a health professional for advice.

*  Annual breast examination with a health professional.  A breast examination by a doctor or specially trained nurse offers a way by which breast cancers may be detected.

*  Mammography which is the use of x-ray radiation to take images of the breasts.  The resulting images are then examined by a radiologist for signs of cancer or other abnormalities.

*  Thermography which is the use of special cameras which record the heat (infrared radiation) which is emitted from the breasts.  The data gathered is then analysed by computer as well as reviewed by a specially trained doctor.

*  MRI:  MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a diagnostic tool that uses radiowaves and a powerful magnetic field and can produce very detailed images of the breasts and other parts of the body.  It involves the use of a contrast medium based on salt of an element called gadolinium.   The test is very expensive and not normally used as a screening test for this reason.

Disclaimer:  Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other health professional.  Readers are urged to think carefully about the risks and benefits of different breast screening options and to seek additional information if necessary.  Inclusion of  links to other websites on this site does not imply endorsement of that organisation by nor does it imply endorsement of by any other organisation or company.