Diagnosing and More…

Breast cancer is often first suspected when a lump or a change is found in the breast or, when an abnormal area is seen on a mammogram. Most of the time, these findings don’t turn out to be cancer. However, the only way to know for sure is through follow-up tests.

This section describes how breast cancer is diagnosed and the factors that affect prognosis and guide treatment.

Follow-up after an Abnormal Mammogram

For most women, the results of a mammogram will be good news. The mammogram will show no sign of breast cancer.

If your mammogram does show something abnormal, you will need follow-up tests to check whether or not the finding is breast cancer.

Take heart that most abnormal findings on a mammogram are not breast cancer. Sometimes follow-up tests show something less serious like a benign (not cancer) breast condition. And, sometimes they show the breast tissue is normal.


 

Follow-up after an Abnormal Mammogram

 

For most women, the results of a mammogram will be good news. The mammogram will show no sign of breast cancer.

If your mammogram does show something abnormal, you will need follow-up tests to check whether or not the finding is breast cancer.

Take heart that most abnormal findings on a mammogram are not breast cancer. Sometimes follow-up tests show something less serious like a benign (not cancer) breast condition. And, sometimes they show the breast tissue is normal.

Learn more about benign breast conditions.

Follow-up tests

There are different types of follow-up tests. If you have an abnormal mammogram, the follow-up tests you will have depend on the recommendations of the radiologist. Sometimes, a follow-up mammogram (may be called a diagnostic mammogram) or breast ultrasound is done.

If the finding does not look like breast cancer (for example, it is a cyst), no further testing is needed and you return to your regular schedule of breast cancer screening with clinical breast exams and mammograms.

In some cases, additional tests such as a breast MRI may be recommended.

If the finding looks like it might be breast cancer, the next step is a biopsy to remove some of the tissue to check for cancer. If the biopsy shows no cancer, you return to your regular schedule of screening with clinical breast exams and mammograms.


Biopsies


 

What is a Pathology Report

Information provided by Susan G. Komen

http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/Diagnosis.html