Mammography is the process of using low-dose X-rays (usually around 0.7 mSv) to examine the human breast.
It is used to look for different types of tumors and cysts.
Mammography has been proven to reduce mortality from breast cancer.
No other imaging technique has been shown to reduce risk, but self-breast examination (SBE) and physician examination are essential parts of regular breast care.
In some countries routine (annual to five-yearly) mammography of older women is encouraged as a screening method to diagnose early breast cancer.
Like all x-rays, mammograms use doses of ionizing radiation to create the image.
Radiologists then analyze the image for any abnormal growths.
It is normal to use longer wavelength X-rays (typically Mo-K) than those used for radiography of bones.
At this time, mammography along with physical breast examination is still the modality of choice for screening for early breast cancer.