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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Mammography is a non-invasive radiographic procedure which enables the entire breast tissue to be examined. It is most often used for the diagnosis or screening of breast cancer.

Malignancy may be indicated by:

  • spiculated lesions with ill-defined margins
  • asymmetric areas of density and distortion
  • skin thickening
  • circumscribed lesions with well or poorly defined margins
  • calcifications - variable in size, distribution, form, or density


  • approximately 5% of clinically palpable carcinomas are not detectable
  • the method is less accurate in women below the age of 35 years, whom have more dense breasts
  • successive mammograms incur a cumulative radiation dose which in itself may be carcinogenic

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