Screening mammography changes breast cancer from a deadly disease to a manageable condition.
In line with international benchmarks, it is recommended that women over the age of 40 have a mammogram once a year. The screening interval is an important consideration. The longer the screening interval (i.e. the period of time between screening visits), the more cancers are discovered in the interval between screening visits and the less the benefit will be to the patient, as cancers could have been detected earlier.
High quality mammographic screening by specialised centres with stringent quality control is the best method proven to decrease breast cancer mortality by early detection.
Ultrasound of the breast is not a primary screening tool, but plays an important role in the further characterization of abnormalities identified at mammography.
Correct interpretation of a mammogram is crucial and it is therefore essential that the practitioner is not only experienced in his/her field, but remains at the forefront of scientific and technical advances in breast health.