Mammography: A Special Imaging Method in Diagnostic Radiology

3550 Words15 Pages
Mammography: A special imaging method in diagnostic radiology Adam Purvis 1154987 Medical Physics 1E03 TA: Sarah McNeil Professor: Mic Farquharson Over the past two decades, mammography has become the central tool used to detect cancerous regions within the breast. This evolution has been enabled by advancements in the technology itself and its implementation into healthcare regulations of numerous countries around the world (Pisano et al., 2004). In its beginning stages, breast cancer is a relatively treatable disease, and increased awareness for both mammograms and self-breast examinations have led to earlier diagnoses. Studies suggest that increases in mammography screenings have been one of the main reasons that breast…show more content…
Because of this, mammography x-ray tubes must be calibrated differently than normal x-ray tubes due to the small differences of linear attenuation coefficients between normal tissue and tumour, shown in Figure 1. Therefore, in order to maximize the diagnosis of abnormalities within the breast, it is essential that the contrast between tissue and tumour within the breast is as high as possible when produced on the x-ray film. One of the ways that this is done is through manipulation of the energy of the x-ray beam. In Figure 1, it can be seen that attenuation differences between fibroglandular and cancerous tissue are highest at very low energies: approximately 10keV to 15keV (Bushberg et al., 2002). Adversely, attenuation differences drop off rapidly at higher Figure 5: Contrast percentage between normal and cancerous tissues within the breast versus energy of the x-ray beam (Bushberg et al., 2002). Figure 5: Contrast percentage between normal and cancerous tissues within the breast versus energy of the x-ray beam (Bushberg et al., 2002). energies: approximately 35keV or greater (Bushberg et al., 2002). Thus, at lower energies, a higher contrast is displayed. Appropriate subject contrast

More about Mammography: A Special Imaging Method in Diagnostic Radiology

Open Document