Skip to content

    Breast Cancer Health Center

    Diagnosis & Tests

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    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.

    Today on WebMD

    Breast Cancer Overview
    From mammograms to living after treatment.
    Dealing with breast cancer
    Get answers to your questions.
     
    woman having mammogram
    The 3 latest tips to know.
    woman undergoing breast cancer test
    Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
     
    Resolved To Quit Smoking
    VIDEO
    Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
    Article
     
    Woman getting mammogram
    Article
    Screening Tests for Women
    Article
     
    serious woman
    Article
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    QUIZ
     
    what is your cancer risk
    Article
    breast cancer survivors
    Article