Essay on Technology in Medicine

Submitted By MMurrell90
Words: 1009
Pages: 5



Technology has increased the healthcare field drastically. Beginning in 2014 all health records must be electronically processed. Technology can make insurance claims easier. Medical faculty will be able to maintain files with specific software which can access all the patients’ data. No physical storage would be needed such as file cabinets. A mammogram is a form of technology used to detect abnormalities in the breast. The process, guidelines, and risks have changed throughout time. I will briefly discuss its use, the technique, the statistics, latest updates, and the positive and negatives of a mammogram.
A mammogram is an x-ray screening of the tissue in the breast for any abnormalities. Having a mammogram performed doesn’t mean that you have breast cancer although it would help to be screened before the mass becomes enlarged. Health professionals determine whether a lump can be a gland, a harmless cyst, or a tumor. There are many common advantages to a mammogram. Just because a woman has a mass doesn’t mean that she has developed cancer. A normal change in the breast can be mistaken for cancer. Breast infections, nipple discharge, and painless, movable, round lumps are often mistaken for a mass. Another common mistaken factor is one breast being larger than the other. Damaged fatty tissue is also included.
The disadvantage to a mammogram is the uncomfortable method. This way generally causes discomfort, soreness, and pressure. It is done with a device that compresses and flattens the breast. Each breast is x-rayed in two different positions, from top to bottom, and from side to side. When the image is viewed the breast tissue appears white. The fatty tissue appears darker and translucent. The diagnostic mammogram is different from the screening mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram focuses specifically on an area of tissue that has appeared abnormal. A screening mammogram is done for women who haven’t been screened but show possible defects.
A defect doesn’t mean that you have cancer either. Another route may be performed to determine exactly what the abnormality is. A breast biopsy can be recommended. The mass can be described as having a well-defined border and a smooth surface. Another appearance is a star-burst shape. Ultrasounds distinguish the inside of the mass. The disadvantage to the mammogram is discovering a mass described above and developing cancer in either breast.
There are many symptoms that some women may ignore, which causes’ the cancer to spread. A lump or thickening in or near the breast or underarm is a common symptom. A change in the form, size or contour of the breast is another known factor. A change in the feel or appearance of the skin on the breast or nipple is a sign too. The skin may become puckered, scaly, inflamed, or dimpled. Any area that is apparently different from any other areas on the breast is a red flag. There is no real purpose for self-examination according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTK).

Statistics show that there are various possible factors that determine the risks factors of breast cancer; which result in a mammogram and further treatment. In 1940 the lifetime risk for developing cancer was 5% or 1 in every 20 women. ACS estimated the risk to be 13% in 2012 or more than 1 in 8. 75% of women have no known risk factors. 77% of women diagnosed are over the age of 50. 50% are 65 and older. Direct family history to a first degree relative who has breast cancer in either or both breasts is a known risk also. Genetics is an important factor. 85% of women with inherited alteration are at moderate risk for developing breast cancer. Caucasian women are currently at the highest risk. Cancer of the ovaries, cervix or the uterus can lead to cancer also. Women alcohol users who consume 2-5 drinks daily are at a high risk also. The most vital thing to