Doctors often examine breast cancer through a physical examination and many tests to accurately diagnose the disease. Breast cancer screening will help you see if the cancer has spread beyond the breast to the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary lymph nodes). At the same time, the doctor also approves these tests to give appropriate treatment.
When examining breast cancer, the doctor will first ask about your age, health status, family history, medical history, and current symptoms. They also directly examine the breast and axillary lymph nodes for lumps or other abnormalities.
If so, the doctor will also order necessary imaging tests to check for abnormalities in the breast to screen for breast cancer.
Tests During Breast Cancer Screening
Tests commonly used to diagnose breast cancer include:
If you have breast problems, such as a hard lump or an irregular-looking breast area, your doctor may order a mammogram. This result is abnormal, you will need further diagnostic X-rays, which are more detailed scans to further evaluate the abnormality.
Breast Cancer Screening With Breast Ultrasound
Breast ultrasound is also one of the more commonly used tests for breast cancer, especially for young women because their breast tissue is thicker, X-rays can be less effective.
Ultrasound is a method that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of structures deep within the breast. An ultrasound can help differentiate a new breast lump that is a solid mass – more likely cancerous or just a fluid-filled cyst – that is not usually cancerous.
Biopsy is the only definitive way to help definitively diagnose breast cancer. The doctor will use a specialized needle, guided by X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to remove a part of the tumor that is suspected to be cancerous. Then analyze whether it is cancer, how dangerous the cancer is, and whether the cancer cells have hormone receptors or other receptors that could affect treatment options. Are not.
There are different types of biopsies when examining breast cancer, including:
- Fine-Needle Aspiration: The doctor will use a fine needle to take a sample of cells without removing any tissue.
- Core Biopsy: A tissue sample is taken from a tumor in the breast using a large needle.
- Vacuum-Assisted Biopsy (also called a breast biopsy): uses a needle attached to a vacuum tube, gently takes a sample and clears blood from the area.
During a breast cancer screening, your doctor will use an MRI machine to create detailed images of areas inside the breast. Before your breast MRI, you will be given a contrast injection.
Breast Cancer Screening To Determine The Stage of The Disease
After an accurate diagnosis of breast cancer, the doctor will order more tests to determine the stage of the disease, see if the cancer cells in the breast have spread to other parts of the body. Can or not. This helps them make an accurate prognosis and provide the right treatment.
Breast Cancer Stages From 0 to IV
- Stage 0: The tumor has not spread beyond the milk ducts.
- Stage I: Cancer has spread to nearby breast tissue.
- Stage II: Tumor is less than 2cm in size and has spread to axillary lymph nodes or smaller than 5cm but has not spread to axillary lymph nodes.
- Stage III: Cancer has spread beyond the breast, invading nearby tissue and lymph nodes, but has not spread to distant organs. This stage is also known as locally advanced breast cancer.
- Stage IV: The cancer has spread to distant areas such as the bones, liver, lungs, or brain.
Tests During Breast Cancer Screening
- Blood test for cancer markers
- X-ray of the other breast
- Breast MRI to determine the treatment plan, monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
- Bone scan
- Computed tomography (CT) chest and abdomen
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Chest X-ray
- Liver ultrasound
- Lymph node biopsies
Not all women have to have these tests, your doctor will make appropriate indications depending on the specific condition you are experiencing.