When it comes to a mammogram, there is a lot of information on a decidedly 3-dimensional structure being compressed into a 2-dimensional view. For this reason, you may find your mammography technologist helping the radiologist by attaching various markers to your breast.
What are markers? Markers may be stickers, BBs or wires. These are designed to show up on the mammogram without hiding the underlying breast tissue. The markers are adhered to the surface of the skin to help locate a spot on a mammogram, such as a nipple, skin mole or scar. Markers may also be used to indicate an area of symptoms, such as a mass or pain point so that the radiologist knows the location of your area of concern.
Markers are not always necessary - the mammography technologist can provide a verbal or written description of skin findings or surgical scars that will suffice in many cases. Occasionally, a tech may need to repeat an image with a marker on a skin lesion, just to make sure the skin lesion matches the finding on the mammogram.
In short, markers are simple tools used to make the job of imaging the breasts a little easier and a little more accurate. Who would’ve guessed that something as small as a BB can assist a radiologist get you on the road to your best possible health?!
Originally published 12/2/13 on mammographykc.com.