Breast cancer is one of the most frequent cancers, with one of the highest mortality rates globally. In 2021, over 287,850 females in the United States were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, with 51,400 new cases. This condition affects one out of every eight women nowadays. As per the doctor, regular checks and proper monitoring can prevent this disease from happening. Considering the facts along with awareness, upgrading mammography education is one of the biggest solutions. We all know, that mammography is the most difficult of all imaging modalities to conduct correctly, and it may be extremely challenging. Every patient has a unique body habit, making correct alignment difficult, if not impossible, every time patient.
What is Mammography education?
Mammography is a type of medical imaging that involves using a low-dose x-ray device to see into the breasts. The breast tissue is gently squeezed between the X-ray machine for the screening procedure. A mammography exam helps women discover and diagnose breast diseases early. Mammography education is a curriculum that teaches the above techniques of imaging and evaluation with low-dose x-ray devices.
Importance of mammography education:
Building the requisite abilities in numerous areas of breast imaging and mammography practice requires a bridge between theory and practice. Breast positioning, instrumentation, procedures, and communication between the radiographer and the patient are all important. Mammography education produces highly skilled professionals. It teaches to rely on each profession’s unique skills. It promotes teamwork, where everyone is engaged and understands how to work as part of a team so that all the different practitioners can contribute to breast cancer early detection.
What are the procedures taught in mammography education?
Digital mammography, computer-aided detection, and breast tomosynthesis are three recent breakthroughs in mammography.
- Digital mammography: The x-ray film is replaced with electronics that transform x-rays into mammographic photographs of the breast, also known as full-field digital mammography (FFDM). These technologies are similar to those used in digital cameras, and their efficiency allows for better photographs with less radiation. These breast images are transferred to a computer for the radiologist’s evaluation and long-term archiving.
- Computer-aided detection (CAD): It looks for anomalous areas of density, mass, or calcification in digitized mammographic pictures that could signal cancer. The CAD system highlights these spots on the pictures, signaling the radiologist to examine them deliberately.
- Breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a sort of advanced breast imaging in which numerous images of the breast are acquired from various angles and rebuilt (“synthesized”) into a three-dimensional image set. In this way, 3-D breast imaging is similar to computed tomography (CT) imaging, which reconstructs the body in three dimensions using a series of thin “slices.”
According to studies, many radiography teachers/mentors complain about not having enough time to teach mammography considering all the new modalities, technical advancements, and upgrades. Theoretical lectures and practice with a phantom on mammography equipment are only scheduled for a few hours.
Using the knowledge gained from mammography education to improve different screening and evaluation approaches lowers the risk of death in patients with breast cancer. It can detect all forms of breast cancer, including invasive ductal and lobular cancers. It boasts a doctor’s capacity to spot tiny cancers and the patients are saved.