What is an Ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to view internal organs and produce images of the human body. Ultrasound scans for breast care are used to distinguish varies types of solid tumors and fluid-filled cysts. Sometimes, ultrasound is used as part of other diagnostic procedures,such as fine needle aspiration (also called needle biopsy).

What is Radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is the use of high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells, but cause as little harm as possible to normal cells. The radiotherapy is aimed at the affected area of the body and is very carefully planned. It can cause side effects and the most common is tiredness. The side effects will depend on the part of the body that is being treated.

What are the side effects of Radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy commonly causes side effects during the treatment. You may have reddening and soreness of the skin, discomfort and swelling of your breast and tiredness. These effects start to improve when your treatment ends. However, you may experience feeling tired for several months afterwards.

If you find a lump, consult your doctor immediately. Although 9 out of 10 breast lumps (90%) are benign, which means they are not cancers, the first symptom of breast cancer for many women is a lump in their breast. If necessary, your health care provider will refer you to a specialist breast clinic for further investigation. The clinic will be able to make an accurate diagnosis by performing a mammogram, ultrasound or by extracting a tissue sample to test for cancer cells.

One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage leads to an excellent chance of a successful recovery. Breast screening, along with a clinical breast exam, is the most effective way to detect cancer and to diagnose women who have abnormal changes in their breasts and most importantly those women that have no symptoms. Breast cancer is more common in women over 40 and breast screening using mammography or ultra sound can be vital in finding small changes in the breast before they develop into malignancy.

To make an appointment with the Khartoum Breast Care Centre contact us directly via contact us page or contact us using the details below.

Khartoum Breast Care Centre
Mamoun Beheiry Street
East Emtedad
PO Box 267
Khartoum, Sudan

T:   + (249) 183 730 219
T:   + (249) 183 730 220

E-mail: info@khartoumbreastcarecentre.org

You can also book a screening by visiting book a screening link in our website

A mammogram is an x-ray examination, designed to detect breast cancer. The test uses a special, low -dose x-ray machine to take pictures of the breasts and allow doctors to study lumps and changes in breast tissue.

Different types of mammograms

Screening mammograms - are for women who have no symptoms of breast cancer. Women over 45 should go for screening every two years.       

Diagnostic mammograms - are done when a women has a lump or symptoms of breast cancer.

Digital mammograms - are electronic images, which are acquired and stored directly into the computer.

Mammography is an x-ray of the breast. You will attend the radiology/x-ray department as an outpatient for your mammogram.

The mammogram is performed by a specially trained female radiographer who will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have about the examination.

The x-ray equipment is designed specifically for imaging the breast.

Preparing for the examination

You can eat and drink as normal. The only thing we ask is that you do not wear any deodorant, lotions or talcum powder. These can show up on the mammogram and look like a problem that is not really there.

Before the examination

You will be shown to a private cubicle and asked to undress above the waist and put on the gown provided.      

The radiographer will escort you into the x-ray room and will ask you to confirm your name, address and date of birth to ensure you are the correct patient.

The radiographer will talk to you about the examination and ask you to tell her any relevant information relating to your breast problem.  She will write this down on your records so it is available for the person reading the mammogram.

It is very important at this point to mention if you are pregnant, have breast implants or are taking anticoagulants (blood thinning tablets).

During the examination

It is necessary to take 2 images of each breast.  Even if the problem is only in 1 breast, the other breast will be imaged in order to compare them both.

Your breast will be placed on the x-ray machine and compressed with a paddle.  This is done from top to bottom on each breast and then a sideways picture of each breast will be taken in the same way.

The pressure may be uncomfortable but is brief and important for a good examination.

Some women with sensitive breasts may experience discomfort. If this is the case, schedule the procedure when your breasts are least tender. Be sure to inform the radiographer if pain occurs as compression is increased.

Breast compression is necessary in order to:

  • Even out the breast thickness so that all of the tissue can be visualized.

  • Spread out the tissue so that small abnormalities won't be obscured by overlying breast tissue.

  • Allow the use of a lower x-ray dose since a thinner amount of breast tissue is being imaged.

  • Hold the breast still in order to eliminate blurring of the image caused by motion.

  • Reduce x-ray scatter to increase sharpness of picture.

Time will be spent getting you into the correct position for the x-rays.  As a total of four x-rays are required, you are generally in the room for about 15 minutes.

After the examination

A further few minutes are needed while the radiographer checks the images to make sure they are of a high quality, she has all the information needed and no repeats are necessary.

You will be asked to dress and told where you need to go next.

The images need to be looked at and read by a Specialist Radiologist.  While this is done promptly it may not be possible for your images to be seen immediately after the examination.

The radiographer cannot give you any results.

Tumors in the breast can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign tumors are not as  harmful as malignant tumors:

Benign tumors:

Rarely a threat to life
Can be removed and usually do not return

Do not invade the tissues surrounding them
Do not spread to other parts of the body

Benign lumps do not turn into cancer.

Benign tumors do not need to be removed, however, some women prefer to do so, out of concern that they may confuse them with other lumps they may get in the future.

Malignant tumors:

Could be a threat to life

Should be removed but they may return
Can invade and damage nearby organs and tissues (such as the chest wall)
Can spread to other parts of the body

With malignant tumors, cancer cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor. They enter blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into all the tissues of the body.

The main treatments for breast cancer are surgery, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. You may have any of these treatments, or all of them, depending on your   diagnosis. Your oncologist will consider many factors when deciding how best to treat you. Factors that maybe considered:

Whether you have had your menopause

The type of breast cancer you have

The size of your breast tumor

The stage of development of your breast cancer

The grade of your cancer cells

Whether your cancer cells have particular hormone receptors

Your general health

Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. The aim of  chemotherapy is to do the maximum damage to cancer cells while causing the minimum damage to healthy tissue. Women with breast cancer may have chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the cancer or after surgery if the consultant thinks there is a risk of the cancer returning.

Chemotherapy drugs are usually given to you as an outpatient, either by injection into a vein (intravenously) or as tablets. Chemotherapy into the vein is given as a session of treatment,  usually over a few hours. This is followed by a rest period of a few weeks, which allows your body to recover from any side effects of the treatment. A complete course of chemotherapy is likely to take 4–6 months.

The side effects of chemotherapy vary and depend on the patient‘s treatment as well as on  the drugand dose. This is something your doctor will monitor. Fortunately, there are a number of effective means to manage side effects. Some side effects can be:

Hair loss
Mouth sores
Taste and smell changes

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