Full Field Digital Mammography
Full Field Digital Mammography

A Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) uses digital technology and x-rays to capture an image of the breast over a computer than on traditional film as in the case of analog mammography.

Like standard mammography, FFDM uses x-rays to produce images of the breast. The information is digital and the radiologist can alter the orientation, magnification, brightness and contrast of this digital image of the breast.

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What Is a mammogram?

A Full Field Digital Mammography (FFDM) uses digital technology and x-rays to capture an image of the breast over a computer than on traditional film as in the case of analog mammography.

Like standard mammography, FFDM uses x-rays to produce images of the breast. The information is digital and the radiologist can alter the orientation, magnification, brightness and contrast of this digital image of the breast.

How should I prepare for a Digital Mammogram?
  • The best time for a mammogram is one week following your period when your breasts are not tender.
  • Wear a comfortable 2-piece outfit.
  • Do not use deodorant, perfume, powder or ointment on your underarms or breasts.
  • For an accurate diagnosis, you are required to answer a questionnaire before the start of the examination.
How is a Digital Mammogram done?

The Digital Mammogram is performed by a specially trained female radiographer.

  • You will stand in front of the special digital x-ray machine.
  • The radiographer will lift each breast and place it on a platform that holds the digital imaging detector. Then the breast is gradually pressed against the platform by a specially designed, clear plastic plate.

There might be some slight discomfort but this will only last a few seconds when some pressure is applied to make sure the digital images show as much of the breast as possible. This pressure is not harmful to your breast.

Why is compression of the Breast necessary?
  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.
  • Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won’t be obscured by overlying breast tissue.
  • Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is imaged.
  • Hold the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.
  • Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of the image.
How often should I have a screening mammogram?

The Health Promotion Board of the Ministry of Health, Singapore, recommends that women aged 40-49 years have regular mammograms every year and women above 50 years of age, every two years.

Women who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer should see a doctor for advice. You may need to go for screening earlier and more frequently.

Limitation of mammogram

While mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancers available today, mammograms do not detect all breast cancer lesions. Also, a small portion of mammogram indicate cancer is present when it is not (called false-positive result).

Similarly, ultrasound breast examination, which is usually used as an adjunct to mammography, does not detect all lesions.

Questionnaire

Prepare yourself for a medical examination by downloading this questionnaire.

Full Field Digital Mammography is available at:

Radiology Department,
Gleneagles Hospital

6A Napier Road
Singapore 258500
(65) 6470 5730
Fax: (65) 6470 5749

Radiology Department,
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

38 Irrawady Road, Level 2
Singapore 329563
(65) 6933 1188
Fax: (65) 6933 0526

Radiologic Clinic
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre

3 Mount Elizabeth
#01-01/02 Mount Elizabeth
Medical Centre
Singapore 228510
(65) 6731 2727
Fax: (65) 6235 5279

Radiologic Clinic
Breast Imaging Centre

290 Orchard Road #07-04 Paragon
Singapore 238859
(65) 6732 1166
Fax: (65) 6732 5933

Radiologic Clinic
Gleneagles

6A Napier Road #02-25/26 Gleneagles Hospital
Singapore 258500
(65) 6476 1151
Fax: (65) 6471 1151

QUESTIONS?

Visit this FAQs page for more information.

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