The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the WHO, state that breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world. It was estimated by the Global Health Estimates that around 508,000 women died in 2011 due to breast cancer. 19.3 per 100,000 women in East Africa, 88.9 per 1000,000 women in Western Europe etc. have been affected with breast cancer, some at the early stage, and some at the end-stage.
However, breast cancer survival rate varies worldwide.
A regular health check-up and monitoring are required to keep an arm’s length from the diseases to expand in our body. In underdeveloped countries, women neglect their health due to innumerable factors such as cost and awareness. Mammogram screening is essential for women to help prevent breast cancer, and keep a close eye on overall health.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-Ray of the breast. Typically, low energy X-Rays are used to help diagnose breast cancer in women. X-Rays will detect early stages of cancer, masses, or any kind of microcalcifications. The origin of mammography can be traced back to the discovery of X-rays in 1800.
How are mammograms performed on women?
Breasts are compressed using a mammography unit while parallel plate compression evens out the thickness of breast tissues to increase the quality of images so that the X-Rays penetrate. During mammography, both heads to foot view as well as the angled view are taken. Women are advised not to apply deodorant, perfumes or even talcum powder before the test as it may show white spots in the test.
Mammograms mainly fall into two major types- screening mammograms and diagnostic mammograms.
- Screening mammograms consist of four standard x-ray images performed on patients with no symptoms.
- Diagnostic mammograms are performed on patients with symptoms, breast implants, breast reduction, and patients with a family history of breast cancer.
What are the common types of mammograms?
- Conventional mammograms are the ones where a low dose of X-ray beams helps to examine breasts and diagnose for early stages of cancer.
- Digital mammography tests are done where the traditional X-Ray film is replaced with a digital chip to record images. They are also known as full-field digital mammography; this method is faster, easier, and less painful.
- 3D tomosynthesis mammography, simply called 3D mammography, is a very advanced method allowing physicians to distinguish masses of tissues that can be cancerous. This method views breasts from a series of layers that allows the radiologist to more accurately interpret images.
- Unilateral and bilateral tests are also another variety where the former examines one breast and the later is the examination of both breasts.
How much does a regular mammogram cost?
The estimated national average cost for a regular mammogram is $400. Mammogram cost with insurance is usually between $10-$35. For uninsured patients, the price may shoot up to $212 on an average, depending on the type of mammogram someone is going in for. Physicians will bill for a mammogram using CPT code 77065, 77066, or 77067, depending on which kind of mammogram you have done.
A 3D mammogram screening cost is pretty high in every country because of its accuracy and use of advanced technology. The average cost of a 3D screening is $100. In some cities, certain medicare companies have started covering the cost of the 3D mammogram screening.The cost of a mammogram for a single breast is less than the cost for both breasts.
The fact that mammogram costs can vary from cities to clinics around the world, you must know of costs beforehand. Regular mammogram/3D mammogram costs vary for multiple reasons as you just read above- the types of clinics you visit, whether one is insured, whether there are any hidden costs, or whether you are going for a mammogram in a community clinic, or a hospital. Awareness must be spread among people more about breast cancers and the fact that an early examination can prevent the complications of it.
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