You may have a screening test to look for breast cancer. (Screening tests help your doctor look for a certain disease before any symptoms appear.) The earlier
breast cancer is found, the more easily and
successfully it can be treated.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast. MRI is
a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide
pictures of the inside of the breast. It may be used as a screening
test for women who are at high risk.
If your doctor thinks that you
have breast cancer, you may have other tests, including:
ultrasound. You may have an ultrasound of the breast
if a lump is found during a clinical breast exam or on a mammogram.
MRI of the breast. This is sometimes used to get more
information about a breast lump or to evaluate problems in women who have
breast biopsy. If a lump is found in your breast, your
doctor will need to remove a small sample of the lump (biopsy) and look at it
under a microscope to see whether any cancer cells are present.
Other tests may be done to help with treatment decisions. These include:
Estrogen and progesterone receptor status. The hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate the growth of
normal breast cells as well as some breast cancers. Hormone receptor status is
an important piece of information that will help you and your doctor plan
HER-2 receptor status. HER-2/neu is a
protein that regulates the growth of some breast cancer cells. About 20 out of 100
women with breast cancer have too much (overexpression) of this
Gene tests for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. These tests can show your chances of the cancer coming back. This can help your doctor tell whether chemotherapy is likely to work for you.