Mammography technologists are specialists. Training in positioning is critical – remember we are taking a 3 dimensional object attached to the body and trying to compress it in order to image it - we can’t find breast cancer in breast tissue not included in the image! We can’t find breast cancer if there is motion on the image!
A new study showed that recently trained mammo techs are proficient at positioning. Training – not age or experience seems to be key.
Another controversial study in the news recently which had questionable results for mammography has been widely criticized by experts for poor mammography technique – including absent/ incomplete training of those performing the mammography.
Poorly trained people performing mammography = poor mammography = poor results.
Today in the US, regulations for mammography include regulations governing who can perform the test – the technologist must undergo initial training and must continue their education in mammography as long as they continue their work.
So, rest assured that your mammography technologist at your accredited facility has been trained to perform the test so that the most information is available to your radiologist. And don’t worry if that technologist is young - training not age is the key.
Originally published 3/21/14 on mammographykc.com.