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.

Recently Answered

  • 3 Answers
    A
    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.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 3 Answers
    A
    A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    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.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Surgical Oncology, answered on behalf of
    The majority of breast cancers found by screening mammography are small and non-palpable. In contrast, breast cancers that are not detected by screening mammography tend to be much larger and usually are palpable. Breast cancer on mammography usually appears as a suspicious microcalcifications, a super-density with irregular borders, or an asymmetrical density compared with the other breast or the previous annual mammogram. On an ultrasound, breast cancer appears as a solid mass that is taller than wide with irregular borders or an angular or lobular borders. There is frequently increased vascularity within the solid mass and a shadow cast behind the mass.
     
    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another modality for breast imaging. Breast cancer usually presents on MRI as a contrast-enhanced lesion. Breast MRI probably gives the best three-dimensional assessment of the tumor mass and also allows doctors to evaluate whether there are satellite lesions. MRI is significantly better than mammography for evaluating the lymph nodes in the armpit, behind the muscle and along the internal mammary chain. And MRI screening usually is restricted to women with high risk conditions for developing breast cancer.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer face a whole set of fears as they go through various stages of anxiety and acceptance. Many are in a state of denial at first. This can quickly turn to anger and a feeling that their world has been turned upside down. Some women wonder what they have done to deserve this and are unsure about the best road to recovery. Eventually, reality sets in and treatment begins, which is when many women feel better and more in control of their disease because they are actively fighting it.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Clinical Genetics, answered on behalf of
    Men as well as women can carry breast cancer predisposing genetic mutations. Men with BRCA mutations face an elevated risk of breast cancer (5-7%). When investigating your family's medical history, you should never ignore a diagnosis of breast cancer in a male relative, or your father's (paternal) side of the family.

    All male breast cancer is not genetic. Genetics may be considered a risk factor, but it doesn’t mean that breast cancer is definitely due to genetic causes. Following a diagnosis of male breast cancer, individuals should consider genetic counseling to  map out the family tree, and discuss the possibility of genetic testing.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    How Is a Very Small Tumor Detectable?
    In this video, Elizabeth Feldman, MD from Reston Hospital Center explains what a wire localization is and how to find and diagnose small tumors in the breast. Learn more in this video.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Women under the age of 40 are usually not screened for breast cancer with mammograms and ultrasounds. In general, we don't recommend such screening unless these young women have a very strong family history of other personal risk factors that put them at a very high risk of breast cancer at a young age.

    Only 2% of all breast cancers are diagnosed in women age 40 and younger. However, the leading cause of cancer death in women under the age of 40 is actually breast cancer. Many young women with breast cancer are not diagnosed until the late stages of the disease and often have a more aggressive type of cancer.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    No, having a breast biopsy does not mean you have breast cancer.  A breast biopsy is a procedure in which your doctor removes a small amount of tissue or fluid from your breast in order to have it examined under a microscope for both cancer and non-cancerous lesions. A biopsy is usually recommended if there is a lump found or something suspicious is found on mammogram or ultrasound of the breast. So don’t delay getting the procedure done or just assume you have cancer, because a large percentage of time they are benign.
    Stay safe and remember my thoughts are with you, 
    Dr.Christina
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Plastic Surgery, answered
    Men, just like women, may have breast lumps. If this be the case, it should be clearly delineated and biopsied, as necessary, in order to determine malignancy versus gynecomastia, versus simple benign tissue.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    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
    See All 2 Answers