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During the last half of the twentieth century, modern medicine was radically revolutionized. The many changes in the manner that patients are diagnosed and treated were the results of the many technological advances that have occurred. Some of the other improvements made were based on the exponentially rapid growth of computer technology, while others were simply the refinement of old technology. While many of these advancements are currently utilized frequently, others are underutilized. One technology that is often used less than it should be is mammography, with potentially deadly ramifications for women quite obvious. The purpose of this paper is to explore the technology of the mammogram.

Mammography is the most well known name for the technology of producing mammograms.

  • Mammography is utilized in the detection of breast cancer
  • Pictures are taken of breast tissue in numerous ways.
  • The most common method of mammography is the production of a mammogram through the use of x-ray penetration of the breast tissue to create a "film-screen" .
  • A mammogram can be produced in a number of other ways including:
    • Digital mammography with the aid of computers and ultrasound
    • CT laser mammography.

This technology is used by a number of different types of physicians. Generally, physicians who provide annual physicals for women, particularly over the age of forty, order mammograms as a precaution for the detection of breast cancer that is not detectable through examination. So, physicians who practice in the areas of general medicine, family practice, internal medicine, and obstetrics-gynecology. However, it should be noted that a small number of men develop breast cancer, but mammograms as screening instruments are not routinely ordered for males. For mammograms that yield positive results of the presence of tumors, they are then useful tools for oncologists and surgeons. For the most part, mammograms are read by radiologists who are specially trained to spot small tumors.

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