Your doctor will advise for 3D mammograms to scan for breast cancer for your yearly or bi-yearly breast screening test to identify potential abnormalities, especially for women with dense breast tissues.
As a 3D mammogram develops images from multiple angles, it enables methodical examination of the breast regardless of the density. In the event of suspicious lumps or abnormalities, a 3D mammogram is useful to investigate the nature of the mass as well.
In order to ensure a comfortable screening experience, 3D mammogram machines are adorned with a flexible compression paddle that hugs the curve of your breast during the screening procedure.
How is a 3D mammogram done?
During the mammogram screening, your breast will be placed on the platform and gently pressured with the compression paddle. While the paddle exerts pressure, you may feel slightly uncomfortable during the process.
The scanner will then proceed to capture images of your breast tissues to form a 3D image for further analysis by your doctor. Depending on your results, your doctor might recommend additional tests such as an MRI scan, ultrasound or biopsy.
What do you need to prepare before a 3D mammogram?
- Before your mammogram screening, you are recommended to schedule the scan at least a week after the first day of your period as some women may experience breast tenderness, a common symptom that accompanies menstrual cycles.
- For an easier procedure, you should go for your screening in a comfortable two-piece outfit (preferably a t-shirt or tank top) as you are required to take your top and bra off for the scan.
- To prevent any external interference or misdiagnosis, it’s best to remove your jewellery or accessories and avoid applying perfumes or deodorants, especially on your breasts or underarms area.
It is highly recommended to attend mammogram screening at a 3d mammogram centre at least once a year for women above the age of 40.
For women aged 50 and above, it is essential to go for a mammogram screening every 2 years. Women that come from a background with a family history of breast cancer or are carriers of gene mutation such as BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, you are urged to get a mammogram at age 30 instead.
Women within these demographic groups are at a higher risk of breast cancer, which is why it’s strongly encouraged to follow a regular breast screening procedure for early detection. However, if you notice any unexpected lumps in your breast regardless of your age, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately.
Keep in mind that, at the early stages of breast cancer, there may not be any obvious indicators or symptoms, which is why routine breast examinations are crucial to identify cancerous cells in your breasts.
Delayed discovery can lead to detrimental effects and potentially serious repercussions; after all, cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body as well.
Therefore, having a yearly breast imaging is good for women, as cancer can be detected early. With the medical advancements today, breast imaging is not as painful as before.
Methods to help you cope with your emotions
During this tough period of time, you can consider these coping mechanisms to maintain a healthy state of mind:
Get someone to accompany you for your treatment sessions or check-up appointments
Having a physical pillar of support by your side while you’re undergoing your therapy appointments can significantly provide the courage and encouragement that you need. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help!
Do not hide away from how you’re feeling
Putting on a front to conceal how you’re feeling can be detrimental to your emotional health. Let your family and friends know whenever you need some alone time to process your emotions.
Engage a social worker, counsellor, therapist or attend a support group to sort out your emotions
Consulting an expert can help you to deal with those emotions and improve your mental state of mind.
Continue with your routine and lifestyle
When you’re inflicted with breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the activities you enjoy. Instead of completely eradicating your routine, you can modify your activities and lifestyle if it’s necessary.
Be informed and remain up-to-date about your condition
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your condition, raise them to your doctor. It is better to keep yourself aware and well-informed of your health status to prevent any misinformation that’ll cause unnecessary panic and stress.
Do not blame yourself
Most importantly, you should never feel responsible for your cancer. Keep in mind that cancer can happen to anyone, so you should never fault yourself for it!
Emotional toll breast cancer
Feeling as if you’ve lost control in many aspects of your life could also occur.
Confusion with sexual identity
Especially with mastectomy which involves the total removal of the affected breast, you might begin to question your identity as a woman. The confusing emotions and fear of losing your sexual identity might lead to a reluctance or even aversion to accepting treatment.
Depression and anxiety
Receiving news of breast cancer and undergoing the process can be a mentally exhausting journey.
Under these circumstances, it’s best to engage a therapist for an elaborate consultation to deal with potential mental distress.
Enduring the emotional turmoil that comes with breast cancer can make the patient feel alone in the process. Therefore, it is extremely vital to have a strong and reliable support system to accompany you through the experiences.
Body – Physiological changes
- Lumps or mass on the breast
- Irritated skin – itchy and susceptible to dryness and cracking
- Skin thickening
- Change of breast colour and size
- Inverted nipples
- Swelling and pain on the breast and underarm area
- Nipple discharge
- Excessive fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Drastic weight fluctuations
- Joint pain
- Body aches