What you need to know

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breasts. It allows images to be taken from inside the breast using X-rays and to detect any anomalies. This examination is performed by a radiologist.
Screening mammography:
Mammography is systematic for women over 50 years of age to detect breast cancer. It is also recommended for younger at-risk women with a family history.
Sometimes, the radiologist can complete this examination with an ultrasound examination that allows him/her to analyze this lesion more precisely.
** Diagnostic mammography:**
This examination is performed when a patient presents symptoms that may suggest breast cancer such as a discharge from the nipple, a ball in the breast or a redness of the skin. This mammogram includes basic and complementary images focused on suspicious areas.
Mammography is recommended for women over 40 years of age.


Duration of hospital stay
1 day.
You leave the hospital the same day.
Average length of stay
Based on mammography results


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Before the treatment

No preparation is necessary before a mammogram. It is advisable not to apply cosmetics (cream, perfume…) and not to wear jewellery.
This test is performed while you are in the first part of the menstrual cycle (ideally between the 8th and 12th day after the beginning of your period). The breasts are then easier to examine and less painful.
On the day of the examination, if you are taking medication, it is not necessary to stop it, but you should report it to the radiologist. It is not necessary to be fasting.
it is essential to bring back your old pictures so that the radiologist can compare them.

What does it involve?

A mammogram is a breast X-ray that uses very small amounts of X-rays. Mammography consists of a tube that sends X-rays and a desk. Each breast is successively compressed between 2 plates to spread the mammary gland for a more precise study of it and avoid overlapping images. It is usual to divide the breast into 4 quadrants: superior-external, superior-internal, inferior-external and inferior-external. An image of face and profile per breast is made.
The sensation of compression of the breast is unpleasant for some women but it only lasts a few seconds.
Mammography lasts on average 10 to 15 minutes, the results are immediate and are transmitted to you by the radiologist.
The only potential contraindication is pregnancy. Under certain conditions, when the breasts are too dense, mammography is less effective (teenager, young woman, breastfeeding). A breast ultrasound is then used.


After the treatment

The entire procedure takes between 25 and 30 minutes.
Mammography is an examination that helps guide the doctor in his/her diagnosis.
The BIRADS system (ACR) is used to classify mammographic images into several categories:
• ACR 0 : waiting classification, when additional investigations are required
• ACR 1: normal mammography
• ACR 2: there are minor anomalies (i.e. not serious) that do not require additional monitoring and examination
• ACR 3: there is a probably minor anomaly for which short-term monitoring (3 or 6 months) is recommended
• ACR 4: there is an undetermined or suspicious anomaly
• ACR 5: there is an anomaly suggestive of cancer
Sometimes percutaneous biopsy sampling is required.

About Mammography

• Low-dose X-ray exposure
• Cancer may be present but remain undetected by mammography
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