Understanding Your Diagnosis
Diagnostic Procedures for Breast Cancer
It is important to remember that a lump or other changes in the breast, or an abnormal area on a mammogram, may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems.
A mammogram is an X-ray examination of the breast amd is used to detect and diagnose breast disease in women.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mammograms
Timing your mammogram when your breasts are not tender is important. In premenopausal women, this is usually one week after a menstrual period.
A breast biopsy is a procedure in which samples of breast tissue are removed with a special biopsy needle or during surgery to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A breast MRI is a procedure in which large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer are used to take detailed pictures of the breast in order to search for abnormalities that may signal the presence of cancer.
A breast scan is a procedure in which nuclear radiology is used to assess and diagnose various conditions, such as tumors, abscesses, hematomas, organ enlargement, and cysts, as well as organ function and blood flow to the tissue.
Ultrasound, or sound wave technology is used to examine breast tissue. It may also be used to assess blood flow to areas inside the breasts.
Stages of Breast Cancer
When breast cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will order tests to find out if the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This is called staging and is an important step toward planning a treatment program.