MARK THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK THOMAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Breast examination. Radiologist positioning a woman's breast before taking an X- ray of the breast (mammogram). The breast is compressed between an upper plastic cover and a metal X-ray plate (not seen). This spreads out the breast tissue, resulting in a clear X-ray of the area. Usually, two X-rays are taken of each breast. The X-rays are examined for tumourous growths. If a tumour is picked up on an X-ray, a biopsy (tissue sample) can confirm whether it is cancerous. This type of screening can detect tumours at an early stage, when they are more easily treatable.
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