Mammography is a specific type of imaging that uses a low-dose x-ray system and high-contrast, high-resolution film for examination of the breasts. Most medical experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer often is linked to early diagnosis. Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. [RadiologyInfo]
Mammography is the only proven imaging method to reliably detect small abnormal tissue growths that are confined to the milk ducts in the breast, called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), where it has been shown that there is a strong correlation between microcalcification clusters and malignancy. These early tumours cannot harm patients if they are removed at this stage.
In the UK, the Department of Health runs a continuous national breast screening programme, taking mammogram x-rays of women aged 50-64.
The MIAS MiniMammographic Database consists of the original MIAS Database (digitised at 50 micron pixel edge) that has been reduced to 200 micron pixel edge and clipped or padded so that every image is 1024 pixels square. There are 322 images in the database, representing 161 bilateral mammogram pairs with a range of abnormalities both malignant and benign, as well as normal images.