2017-10-19 / Neighbors

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

producing stereoscopic images of the breast with X-rays. He also championed the importance of comparing both breast images side-by-side.

Raul Leborgne, a radiologist from Uruguay, conducted his own work on mammography and, in 1949, introduced the compression technique, which remains in use today. By compressing the breast, it is possible to get better imaging through the breast and use a lower dose of radiation. Also, compression helps spread the structures of the breast apart to make it easier to see the individual internal components. Compression helps to pull the breast away from the chest wall and also to immobilize the breast for imaging.

Advancements in mammogram technology continued to improve through the 1950s and 1960s. Texas radiologist Robert Egan introduced a new technique with a fine-grain intensifying screen and improved film to produce clearer images. In 1969, the first modernday film mammogram was invented and put into widespread use. The mammogram process was fine-tuned in 1972 when a high-definition intensifying screen produced sharper images and new film offered rapid processing and shorter exposure to radiation. By 1976, the American Cancer Society began recommending mammography as a screening tool.

Through the years, mammography became a great help to women looking to arm themselves against breast cancer. Thanks to improvements in early detection and treatment, breast cancer deaths are down from their peak and survival rates continue to climb.

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