To diagnose any breast abnormality, your doctor may perform any of the following tests:
- Mammogram- This is an image of the inside of your breast captured either on film like an X-ray or as a computerized digital image.
- Ultrasound - In a breast ultrasound, high frequency sound waves exposed to breast area produce pictures of the inside of the breast, similar to an X-ray. This allows your radiologist to distinguish between a solid mass (benign or malignant tumors) and a liquid mass (cyst).
- MRI- MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio frequency waves to project a very detailed picture of the inside of your breast onto a computer.
- Biopsy - For a biopsy, your doctor removes tissue from the inside of your breast to examine under a microscope. There are a variety of methods your doctor can use to obtain this tissue sample.
- Pathology - After your doctor draws a sample of your affected breast tissue, a pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope, classifies your tissue sample, and makes make a diagnosis.
- Staging Workup - Breast cancer staging is a system that describes the size, growth and type of your tumor.
This cancer is so rare that often your pathologist will ask for confirmation by a second pathologist.