Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Beyond a breast exam or mammogram, there are various tests and methods for doctors to diagnose and track progress of breast cancer. The process involves imaging and lab tests, including ultrasounds, MRIs, a breast biopsy and even bones scans to locate tumors and stage the cancer. A medical oncologist or breast surgeon help explain a breast cancer diagnosis and provide treatment options. Learn more about diagnosing breast cancer with expert advice from Sharecare.

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    A Nursing, answered on behalf of
    How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) Diagnosed?
    Inflammatory breast cancer is diagnosed during an exam due to visual signs, says Laurie Rudolph from Reston Hospital Center. Learn more in this video.
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    Are there any additional risks in 3D mammography?
    Overall exposure to radiation from a mammogram is very minimal, especially when compared to the benefit it provides in screening for breast cancer. Watch as Jamie Caughran, MD, FACS, of Mercy Health, explains the risks of both 2D and 3D mammograms.

    Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
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    A , Health Education, answered

    Ask your doctor what is the location of your breast cancer tumor. When you ask about your tumor’s location, you’ll need a little tumor-site lingo. Think of your breast as if it were a pie marked into four even pieces called quadrants. The four breast quadrants are (1) upper outer quadrant, (2) lower outer quadrant, (3) upper inner quadrant, and (4) lower inner quadrant. Tumor locations are expressed as straightforward descriptions.

    Your treatment plan will be determined, in part, by the tumor’s location. Studies have shown different prognoses and survival rates according to the location of the tumor. For example, according to a study published in 2007 by the Annals of Surgical Oncology, tumor location in the lower inner quadrant is an independent and important prognostic factor for early-stage breast cancer. There is growing evidence that tumors of the inner quadrants (especially the lower inner quadrant) metastasize more often.

    If you have an inner-quadrant tumor, be sure to ask your doctor specifically about it. Discuss with her all your treatment options. Ask where you can get additional information on studies done on tumor location and prognoses.

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    There is no doubt that breast cancer can run in families, so it's likely that there is a hereditary factor. It is important to note that only about 10 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history. Just because one of your relatives had breast cancer does not mean you are absolutely fated to develop it.

    Scientists have identified two genes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, that seem to be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. In fact, five to ten percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will be carriers of one of these mutations.

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    How does family history affect my risk of breast cancer
    Family history is often a cause of many cancers. Accordingly, it can increase the risk for breast cancer, says Tejas Raiyani, MD. In this video, learn about the importance of family history.
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    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to show differences between normal and abnormal tissue. For most women at high risk for breast cancer, screening with both mammograms and MRI should start at age 30 (or an age determined by the woman's healthcare professional) and continue for as long as a woman is in good health.

    For an MRI scan, you lie in a specially designed structure that houses the magnetic field. Contrast material is injected into your veins, and the MRI image shows the dye coursing through the blood vessels in your breasts.

    This test is used to detect cancer, determine the extent of disease, monitor response to therapy and screen women at high risk for breast cancer.
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    Benefits of genetic testing for the BRCA breast cancer genes include enabling people to make better treatment decisions for themselves, and potentially saving the lives of family members.

    Researchers found that younger women with breast cancer are increasingly choosing testing to determine if they are carriers of genetic mutations (BRCA 1 and 2) that place them at increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

    Because of testing one person, doctors have essentially been able to catch cancer earlier or prevent a cancer diagnosis in that person's relatives by what is called cascade testing, or testing other family members. This testing gives people the tools to really put them at the best chance to catch cancer early or lower their risks.
     
    This content originally appeared online at Baptist Health South Florida. https://baptisthealth.net/baptist-health-news/breast-cancer-patients-opting-genetic-testing/?cat=life
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    Digital breast tomosynthesis, also called three dimensional  (3D) mammography, uses low-dose radiation to create images of breast tissue that are sliced into 8 to 15 views. The computer system then transforms the views into 3D angles of the breast. The density of the breast tissue determines the number of slices. The denser the tissue, the more slices, or views, the computer generates, providing radiologists and technicians clearer views of and through the tissue.

    The 3D technology gives a clearer picture of breast tissue, especially in women with dense breasts. It allows the doctor to "see through" overlapping breast tissue so that masses are more readily seen. The other important benefit of 3D imaging is the reduction in recall rates -- having to call people back for additional mammographic views or supplemental tests -- which greatly reduces a person's anxiety.
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    The pathologist determines if the cells studied under the microscope are cancerous (malignant), precancerous (premalignant: at high risk of becoming cancerous), or benign (harmless).

    If you are told it’s benign, don’t just run out the door to celebrate. You still want a copy of the pathology report, because there’s one key term you need to look for: atypical hyperplasia. If you have this, you have an increased risk of breast cancer in the future. Most pathologists now know how important this is and comment on it in their reports. But don’t take any chances. If your report says “hyperplasia of the usual kind,” then you’re probably fine.

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    Contact your radiation doctor if any of the following problems occur when you have a breast catheter:
    • Your temperature is 100 degrees F or higher. Take your temperature twice a day.
    • You have increasing pain, redness, or swelling at the catheter site.
    • You notice large amounts of fluid draining from the catheter site. A small amount of pink or yellow colored fluid is normal.