Optimisation of positioning and compression force in mammography
Mammography is considered the gold standard for screening and diagnosis of breast cancer, yet this is often associated with pain and discomfort. The pain/discomfort experienced during mammography is largely due to positioning and the compression applied on the breast. These two factors are heavily dependent on the practitioner (the person carrying out the mammogram) and because of this, it is subject to variation. This subjectivity can cause an undesirable variation in the standard of care and brings to question the consistencies and reproducibility of the mammographic procedure which relates directly to patient / client experience. This is particularly important in the screening environment where comparisons are made between current and previous imaging.
The aim of our work is to develop a standardised positioning and compression protocol for mammography. This may be an important step towards an individualised, and most importantly, reproducible and less painful compression experience for each individual client/patient, which could improve their experience. Improving client/patient experience may also reduce the rate of non-attendance within breast screening. A PhD is currently being undertaken to develop the appropriate angle for the image receptor for the medio-lateral view.
Team: Dr Katy Szczepura, Dr Claire Mercer, Professor Peter Hogg, Judith Kelly,Muniratu Osmanu (PhD student)