Before Mammography Began
Breast cancer today is the second leading reason of cancer death in the US and the most wise-spread non-skin-related malignancy in the country. Over 180 000 new cases of the disease are discovered every year and up to 40 000 women die from it in the same period of time. Today the best chance to cure the cancer is to detect it at early stages, and the situation is likely to be the same until a way to treat all the women regardless of the stage the disease is discovered is found.
As far as 50 years ago there was a little chance to discover breast cancer at the early stages, as there were no developed technologies for the screening of population. Still, advances in technology made their way into this sphere and in the beginning of 1900s X-ray imaging was first used for the disease detection. Still, mammography wasn’t discovered until 1960s, as for it images of higher quality were necessary so as to interpret them more easily.
So, before mammography began there were the following ways of breast cancer detection: in 1931s Jacob Gershon-Cohen discovered that studying normal breasts under all conditions could improve understanding of the cancerous breasts, and in 1940s Stafford Warren developed stereoscopic system for tumor identification. In 1940s and 1950s breast self-examination was the most common way of early diagnosing. In 1951 Charles Gros made a radiological unit designed for examination of breasts.
Since 1960s the history of mammography began, which greatly reduced the death rate for this disease and gave hope to thousands of women worldwide. Today the procedure is well-established and has run through many improvements. It is commonly prescribed as a preventive measure for all the women older than 50 and successfully helps in saving lives.