mammomat.jpgBreast cancer is one of the most common diseases and causes of death among women today, and the possibility of testing positive for cancer is the most terrifying experience any woman would want to go through.

In our science and technology feature we look at how a machine that is now locally available, a Mammomat 3000 Nova works to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages


Personal self examination of the breast is one of the ways to detect breast cancer. Physical examination by a doctor or a physician also helps to detect this dangerous disease.


Sadly these methods are not very successful at detecting breast cancer in its early stages. Recent studies have shown that early detection of breast cancer with a mammography can reduce mortality rates by 30%.

The good news is that lives can be saved by early detection of breast cancer. Mammographic screening and diagnostic technologies are now available to more women than ever before, enabling physicians to detect suspected cancers at their earliest, most treatable stages.

Early diagnosis with digital mammography which was available abroad is now a part of the medical procedure at a local hospital in Harare.


Anesu Sabeta a Radiographer at the local health institution using the technology explains how the Mammomat 3000 Nova machine operates.

Mammograms can detect breast conditions as well as breast cancer. Breast cancers range from localised cancers or invasive cancers that can rapidly spread. The digital mammography passes X-rays through the breast tissue to the digital receptor which converts the X-ray energy to numbers, processes the numbers, and produces an image that can be viewed at a work station or sent to a film printer.

Digital mammography is used for both screening and diagnosis and the advantage of detecting breast cancer as early as possible is that there is greater probability that treatment will work or be successful if initiated early.


The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age just because the wear and tear of living increases the risk of genetic abnormality. A radiology specialist Dr Cummings Hove explains how the image from the mammomat is processed to reveal a patient’s condition passion.

Breast cancer elicits so many fears, including those relating to surgery, death and loss of body image. In both male and females the breast is composed of identical tissue which means breast cancer also occurs in men although it is less common, the reason being that oestrogen makes women more susceptible to this form of cancer.