Cochrane review studies mammo discomfort

In a review of studies conducted to evaluate ways to reduce mammography exam discomfort, women's imaging vendor Hologic's MammoPad breast cushions were found to reduce pain, according to the Cochrane Collaboration of Oxford, U.K.

The review, published in the Cochrane Library, explored pain-relief possibilities that had been examined in various studies, including written or verbal information provided to women before mammography exams, the use of an analgesic taken before mammograms, and the use of MammoPad breast cushions positioned between the skin and the equipment during exams.

Seven studies involving 1,671 women were included in the review. Key findings of the review included the following:

  • Giving women information about the procedure prior to the mammogram may reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Increasing women's control over breast compression could reduce pain experienced during the procedure, though mammogram image quality was only maintained if the technologist controlled the first compression.
  • If the technologist reduced compression force of the mammogram, discomfort experience was unchanged.
  • Acetaminophen as a premedication did not affect the discomfort of mammography.

The review authors also found that women reported less pain when breast cushions were used, but x-ray image quality was lower for 2% of the women screened.

They cautioned that differences in interventions and inconsistency in measures, validation of pain scales, and assessment of mammogram quality mean that the results of the studies they examined cannot be combined.

Related Reading

Hologic unveils MammoPad promotion, October 2, 2007

Hologic completes BioLucent purchase, September 20, 2007

Hologic achieves record quarter, July 31, 2007

AIE wins Hologic licensing agreement, July 19, 2007

Hologic to buy mammo pad firm BioLucent, June 22, 2007

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