Dedicated to the care of breast cancer and all breast conditions
Dr Sarah Rayne is no longer practising in
Johannesburg and this practice is closed.

These pages are for information only,
and current only until 2018
I’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer- help!
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I’ve noticed a lump in my breast
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I have breast pain               
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I need advice about breastfeeding
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This is the best known way of looking at the breast. A low-dose X-ray is taken of the breast whilst it is flattened to make sure as much as possible is seen. Normally pictures are taken from top-to-bottom (craniocaudally-CC) and side-to-side (medio-lateral-oblique-MLO) but extra views or magnified views can help get the right diagnosis. The pictures are then looked at by a radiologist specialised in reading mammograms, and they look for darker or lighter than normal areas and any differences between the two sides.

Mammograms tend not to be so useful for younger women, and routinely should not be carried out on women under 35 years unless there is a good reason. Be sure you ask and understand the reason why you are having a mammogram if you are young.

No test can offer 100% accuracy and in mammography there is a 10-20% false-negative rate. That means that some worrying areas or cancers will not show up on the mammogram and be missed. If you have a normal mammogram and still notice a problem, get further advice about how to proceed from your doctor.

If your breasts are dense or you have had previous surgery, reading the mammogram can be harder. Always take along any old mammograms you have- because it helps determine if any differences are new or old, and so keep copies of your mammogram yourself- ask for films or a disk before you leave after your appointment.