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Breast Cancer Health Center

Diagnosis & Tests

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Early detection can be a big plus in treating breast cancer. Learn about breast cancer tests and diagnosis. Due for a mammogram? Please make your appointment now.

Diagnosis

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better it may be for the patient’s long-term health. Get a brief overview of the tests that can help detect breast cancer.

For women at normal risk of breast cancer, self-exams, clinical exams, and mammography starting at 40 may screen for breast cancer. Abnormal results or high-risk women may need earlier screening or additional tests. Read more.

Tests

Do you do regular breast self-exams? While some cancers are too tiny to feel, and most lumps aren’t cancer, self-exams are a proactive way to help take care of yourself. Learn how.

A clinical breast exam is a breast exam performed by a health care professional. It’s a basic part of women’s check-ups, starting at age 20. Find out what to expect from a clinical breast exam.

A mammogram is a special type of X-ray taken to look for abnormal growths or changes in breast tissue. It’s a key tool in breast cancer detection, though no test is perfect. Learn more here.

Most abnormal mammogram results aren’t breast cancer. But more testing is needed to make sure. The bottom line: Don’t panic, but do get the follow-up tests.

Do you find mammograms uncomfortable? Don’t skip the test; just learn how to handle it better. This video explains how to deal with mammogram discomfort.

Doctors sometimes use ultrasound images to check whether a breast lump is a cyst (a fluid-filled sac that is not cancer) or a solid mass. Read more here.

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. Learn how breast MRI is used to help detect breast cancer.

When doctors perform a biopsy, they remove cells from a suspicious mass to see if it’s cancer. This article provides an overview of breast biopsies.

This type of breast biopsy generally uses a needle, not surgery. Learn what’s involved in minimally invasive breast biopsy.

In a sentinal node biopsy, doctors check a few lymph nodes under the arm to see if cancer has spread into the lymph system. Learn what’s involved in a sentinel node biopsy.

Ductal lavage checks cells from the milk ducts for precancerous cells. Read about it here.

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