Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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If you find any of the breast cancer signs in you, immediately visit a doctor for verification. If doctor will find cancer in your breast, they will want to know at what extent your cancer has reached. The extent of the spread of your cancer is termed as the breast cancer stage. Doctor will undergo breast cancer diagnosis in order to suggest a precise treatment as per your stage of cancer.

Life expectancy of breast cancer is a way to know average number of years a person may manage to survive after proper breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. In breast cancer diagnosis, staging plays an important role, since it decides the spread of cancer (whether it's spread in other parts of body like liver, lungs etc). Your physician may undergo imaging and blood tests (like CA 15.3 Test)to study your breast cancer stage. Decisions regarding treatment depend on these studies.

What is the initial step of breast cancer diagnosis?

The initial step in the work up of breast cancer is generally a physical examination performed by a doctor. Ultrasound and mammography are the significant tests that are essential during physical examination. In order to confirm the taken estimations, impression for tissue is taken by through biopsy. Biopsy helps to confirm the presence of the disease.

Procedures of breast cancer diagnosis:

There are two basic procedures for diagnosing breast cancer:

  1. Imaging
  2. Biopsy


It is the basic step to diagnose breast cancer and to estimate the extent of spread as well as stage of cancer in the patient.

Imaging is done by using three methods:

  1. Ultrasonography
  2. Mammography
  3. Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Based on these examinations, your doctor will verify which treatment will work on you and which additional tests and therapies you need to undergo.
  1. Ultrasonography: In this process high frequency sound waves are used to identify whether the lump is solid or filled with any type of fluid. In order to find the answers about specific area in the breast, this test can be performed along with MRI or diagnostic mammography. Since sound waves are used instead of X-rays, you can get lot of different information which is corresponding to the mammogram.
  2. Mammography:
    • Diagnostic mammography:Breast Cancer Diagnosis This type of mammogram is used for getting solution for the problem rather than just for screening. In case, if a lump is found in the breast of the patient, that particular area is triggered to be examined precisely. This can also be done when some specific finding is seen for longer time. A diagnostics mammogram is modified by considering the case of the patient and is carefully administered by a radiologist, who construe the images and verifies whether any further tests are needed or not.
    • Screening Mammography: A mammogram is defined as a low dose of X-ray. It is used to detect the cancerous cells in the breast. A screening mammogram gives two images of each breast. If a mammogram shows something suspicious or is unclear, additional mammograms with various views may be taken or required. For all women over 40 years, annual screening is recommended.
  3. Breast MRI: MRI refers to magnetic resonance imaging, is used specially to detect any abnormalities in the breast. Each test provides several images of breast with different views. It includes cross sectional view in three directions (top to bottom, side to side, front to back), which are then examined by the radiologist. It is non-invasive and does not involve any type of radioactivity. This technique does not create any harm to the health. It is considered that such non-invasive tests are helpful for the development of studies related to the investigation of the behavior of tumors. This also contributes for selecting an appropriate treatment for them. Breast MRI is a developing method, but it should not be used as an alternative for the other diagnostic and standard screening procedures such as mammograms, biopsy, clinical and self exams or fine needle aspiration.


Another method for breast cancer diagnosis is biopsy. This method is helpful to know if any abnormal tissue or lump is present in your breast. In this process a pathologist, surgeon or a radiologists removes a small portion of suspicious tissue from the breast. This sample of tissues is examined under the microscope for estimating the presence of cancer cells.

Biopsy can be performed in three ways:

  • Stereotactic Core Biopsy: This procedure is less invasive method to get the samples for diagnosis. It this procedure your breast is compressed and the tissues are removed with a biopsy needle. It is similar to the mammogram. This biopsy does not cause any significant scarring and can heal in very short time period.
  • Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Biopsy: In this procedure a sample of women's breast lump is taken, this procedure may produce a small mark n the location. FNA often helps to get the results of the lump diagnosis within two three days.
  • Needle (Wire) Localization Biopsy: This process involves the use of wire and needle in order to locate the abnormal lump in the breast. When your mammogram shows abnormality, needle localization can be helpful. This is an outpatient type of biopsy, which is performed in two steps in one day.

These are the types of breast cancer diagnosis that are generally used to detect the presence of cancer in the patient's breast.

Breast cancer breakthrough is a kind of exploration or finding based on reliable research. Breakthrough can be related to various aspects like breast cancer cure, diagnosis, or care pattern.

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