What should I do if I or my doctor detects a mass in my breast?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

If your doctor detects a mass in your breast, you should immediately undergo screening diagnostic testing.  A mass in the breast should never be ignored as this can be a sign of malignancy.  Mammograms are the first line of diagnosis.  In order to detect a fluid versus cystic mass, an ultrasound may also be required.  Benign masses can be determined on mammogram and ultrasounds by board-certified radiologists.  If, however, there is any suspicion with microcalcifications or enlarging size, the radiologist may require an MRI or a biopsy.  Biopsies can include fine-needle aspiration, Tru-Core biopsies or direct excisional biopsies by a surgeon.  It is very important that masses be diagnosed and, if necessary, tissue biopsies be determined in order to determine malignancy versus benign.

Johns Hopkins Medicine
Administration

Your doctor will likely recommend that you get a diagnostic mammogram, which is a screening test for breast abnormalities. A radiologist will discuss the mammogram findings with you right after the test. If the findings need further investigation, your radiologist will recommend other diagnostic tests.

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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.