mammography, diagnostic procedure that uses low-dose X rays to detect abnormalities in the breasts. Tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography, is form of mammography that combines X-ray images taken at multiple angles to produce a single three-dimensional image. The early diagnosis of breast cancer made possible by the routine use of mammography for screening women increases a woman's treatment alternatives and improves her chances of surviving the cancer. Mammograms can detect tumors too small to be noticed on physical examination. The recommended timing for a baseline first mammogram and subsequent mammograms varies depending on a woman's risk for breast cancer, but several medical advisory groups recommend beginning at age 40 or 45 for a woman with an average risk for breast cancer.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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