MRS502 Breast Imaging (16)

This two session subject commences with breast embryology, anatomy, physiology, pathology at both a microscopic and macroscopic level, and epidemiology. Students will gain a thorough understanding of breast disease, including causes, prevention and management as well as being able to recognise normal and abnormal variants of the breast. In addition the subject introduces students to mammographic techniques and protocols as required for breast imaging. Ancillary and specialised techniques, such as breast tomosynthesis, lesion localisation, interventional procedures and alternative imaging modalities are studied, as well as image analysis, including radiographic and mammographic image interpretation, with review criteria. All aspects of mammography imaging will be covered as well as principles and techniques of MRI, ultrasound and sentinel node scintigraphy. Students will develop the theoretical knowledge and skill set to enable them to perform as competent, independent mammographic technologists within a multidisciplinary breast care team.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: MRS502. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Dentistry and Health Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Only available to students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Mammography and Master of Medical Radiation Science (with specialisations).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to synthesise the normal anatomical relationships of the breast, both micro and macroscopically with the images visualised in the practice of mammography.
  • be able to evaluate the effects of hormones on the breast, in particular, during puberty, pregnancy, lactation and involution, as well as cyclical changes in the resting breast.
  • be able to explain both benign and malignant disease under the following headings: i. disease aetiology, mechanics and clinical manifestations; ii. pathological tests used to identify and evaluate the disorders; iii. current methods of treatment.
  • be able to examine the theory of positioning techniques used in mammography, including standard and specialised positioning and apply these in clinical mammography practice to a consistently high standard.
  • be able to critically evaluate images and recognise normal and abnormal variants on the basis of their mammographic properties and apply the principles of image quality control in order to avoid, rectify and identify problems.
  • be able to critically evaluate the role of various imaging procedures and apply their procedural use as appropriate to a given examination.
  • be able to explain the rationale of the use of interventional and sonographic examinations under suitable guidance and supervision and critically evaluate the role of alternative modalities and the future applications of such.
  • be able to use and undertake research skills such as literature searching, review, critique and apply evidence-based breast imaging research within a range of contexts.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Breast anatomy
  • Breast physiology
  • Pathology of the breast
  • Radiographic Techniques and Procedures: history of mammography; role of mammography in diagnostic workup and screening; standard positioning techniques; assessment 'work-ups', special views; use of compression; the augmented breast.
  • Tomosynthesis
  • Management of breast disease
  • Interventional Examinations: Pneumocystography, galactography; localisation procedures ; stereotactic procedures; fine needle aspiration biopsy; core biopsy; hookwire, and specimen radiography.
  • Mammographic Image Quality Control: criteria for evaluation of films; film interpretation and review techniques; benign and malignant lesion characteristics; CAD (computer-assisted detection).
  • Sonography: role of ultrasound in breast examinations/suitability of screening vs known or suspected pathology; basic mammographic characteristics of the normal breast ultrasound image; technique: patient communication, reference to "chronological map" approach, solid vs cystic differentiation; image analysis: benign lesion characteristics, malignant lesion; characteristics, associated signs of breast carcinoma; basic elements of 'sonographic' reporting.
  • Alternative and Complimentary Modalities in Breast Imaging: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); Computed tomography (CT); Nuclear medicine; Visible light

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.