What are the tests available to diagnose breast cancer?

There are many imaging tests used to help detect breast cancer - mammography is the most commonly used screening test and ultrasound and MRI are also used, often in conjunction with mammography. Tomosynthesis and contrast-enhanced mammography are 2 new mammogram techniques that show a lot of promise in detecting cancers in dense breast tissue that regular mammograms might miss. Breast-specific gamma imaging also may be helpful.

It is important to note that none of these tests can actually confirm a diagnosis - they can show abnormalities and give an idea of how suspicious the abnormality might be. For diagnosis, a piece of tissue is needed that can be examined by a pathologist. Typically a minimally-invasive needle core biopsy is performed to make a diagnosis of breast cancer.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.