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What tests should I have before breast cancer surgery?

Before breast cancer surgery, tests that most people should have include a needle biopsy, and some women may need genetic testing and/or a breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Most people should meet with a comprehensive team including a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and plastic surgeon.

Tests you may have before breast cancer surgery include an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to assist in planning your surgery, to look for cancer in other areas of the breast or lymph nodes, and to evaluate the other breast more thoroughly. Genetic testing may be recommended depending on your family or personal health history. Often times no additional testing is needed before breast cancer surgery.

Your surgeon may order blood tests, an electrocardiogram and/or a chest x-ray in the days or weeks prior to your surgery. In addition, your doctor or nurse practitioner/physicians assistant will perform a physical examination to check your baseline health.

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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.