Elastogram is the name of a medical imaging test that helps to map stiffness and elasticity of soft tissues. The doctors can know a lot about the health of tissues from this information. This helps a lot in the diagnosis of breast cancer. The latest ultrasonic imaging technology combines with touch, the oldest form of breast cancer detection, in elastography.
In the past years, most of the women did a self-examination to detect any lump in the breast. There are now many methods of diagnosis like mammogram, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) along with the method of self-examination. It is possible to detect masses with the help of these tests. However, they show the lumps that are benign (non-cancerous) along with the malignant (cancerous) ones. The method a cancer specialist in Kolkata prefers to detect whether a lump is cancerous or not is breast biopsy. There are some risks involved in biopsies. There was a need for a reliable test able to detect suspicious areas as well as determine whether they are cancerous. That test is elastogram.
A healthy breast is flexible and soft, meaning that it is elastic. If the breast has a tumour, you will feel the presence of a hard and inflexible lump. The elasticity of cancer tumours is very low whereas benign tumours are flexible. The functioning of elastography is based on this property. In most of the cases where elastography was in use, it was able to tell when a tumour would be benign on biopsy. It has been found that the process of distinguishing malignant breast lumps from the benign ones will get much help from elastography. A place where an ultrasound machine is available is suitable for elastography. It can be a hospital, clinic, medical lab, imaging facility and a doctor’s clinic.
Before the Test
There is no need for any preparation before elastogram. Your cancer doctor in Kolkata or any staff member of the clinic will inform you if any special preparations are necessary. You have to wear a medical gown after removing your clothes. There is normally an opening in the front of the gown to help assessment of the breasts. Before and after the test you can eat and drink normally.
A radiologist will perform the elastogram. You will have to lie down on an examination table in a private room. You will have to expose the breast for scanning. The technician will apply a gel to that area and place a device called a transducer there and move it around. The device will send images to a monitor. The small features of breast tissues will show up in ultrasound images and work as position markers for the next process. It will also be visible if there are any lumps.
After this, your breast will be moved slightly by applying some pressure. After taking another ultrasound image, the computer will compare the two and produces a map showing how elastic the different regions are. This is the total process of elastogram.