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A mammogram is a special type of low-energy X-ray of the breast, commonly used to detect breast cancer. A mammogram allows physicians to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. Mammograms can show tumors before they are large enough to be felt.
Screenings are quickly performed by a technician who places each breast between the two plastic plates of an X-ray machine. The plates flatten the breast to obtain a clear picture on a computer screen. Radiologists read the images and compare them to past mammograms as a means to detect changes.
SAMC uses digital mammography, allowing for mammograms to be stored electronically. Technology allows for image manipulation for clarity. Changing the contrast can provide improved visibility. The radiation is less in digital mammograms as opposed to traditional film mammograms. Because they are stored electronically, they are easily revisited and transmitted for further analysis when needed.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan is one of the most popular scanning exams because it utilizes multiple X-rays in a cross-sectional imaging technique, making it more reliable in spotting abnormalities as opposed to a plain X-ray. CT scans, which show a 3-D image of the body cavity being examined, are used to support or help establish a medical diagnosis. CT scans can help detect brain injuries, bleeding within body cavities, blood clots, strokes, tumors, tissue damage, blood vessel blockages, bone malformations and more.
CT scans are also used for preventive medicine as a means to diagnose patients with a high risk or family link to certain kinds of cancer and heart disease.
X-ray technology uses electromagnetic radiation to make images. The image is recorded on a film or radiograph, and is used to determine the type and extent of a fracture and to detect pathological changes in the lungs, stomach, intestines and other parts of the body. X-rays help physicians diagnose various diseases or ailments.
Plain radiographs are often called plain X-rays. Radiographs can be produced using a variety of imaging methods, and they all require exposing the patient to X-ray radiation. The image or picture is basically a shadow of the parts of the patient that absorb or block the X-rays. The image can be collected on photosensitive film, on a digital imaging plate, or seen live on a fluoroscope - sort of like an X-ray TV camera.
Radiographs are usually taken by a trained registered radiology tech. The resulting images are then interpreted by a radiologist who makes a diagnosis or suggests further tests.
Fluoroscopy, useful for catheter guidance, produces real-time images of the body employing a constant input of X-rays at a lower dose. Fluoroscopy is often used in image-guided procedures when constant feedback is required during the procedure.