Diagnosis of Breast Cancer helps not just in detecting the deadly disease but also helps in preventing this tumor to grow bigger. A few years back, diagnosis of breast cancer was only possible with the help of common symptoms the disease shows. However, thanks to the modern science and technology, numerous upgraded medical techniques help doctors to diagnose breast cancer at a very early stage.
These days, several tests for breast cancer are conducted to detect any unwanted tumors. These tests may then depend upon the symptoms faced by the patient as well as the stage at which the breast cancer has reached. As we have seen in our previous post How Breast Cancer, the tumor of breast cancer is usually diagnosed in older ages. However, there is no such hard and fast rule to it. The disease can even be diagnosed at an early age. Hence, periodic screening test are often suggested to patients who have a medical history of the same.
Let us now take a look at some of the most common and highly preferred examinations for the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Breast Self-Exam: This is one of the widely used breast examination techniques that help you in detecting the tumor in its early stage. However, while some of the tumors are too small to feel as well as some swellings are not cancers, self-exams help you take care of yourself to a great extent.
Clinical Breast Exam: Clinical breast exams are usually conducted by your health care provider. During these exams your breast are checked for any change in size, shape, symmetry and lumps. They may also examine with the change in color, skin rashes, redness and dimpling.
Mammogram: Mammogram is one of the widely used technical methods used to detect breast cancer. It is nothing but a special type of X-ray which help in diagnosing the presence of any lumps, abnormal growths or changes in the breast tissues.
Breast Ultrasound: Usually known as sonography, ultrasound technique makes use of sound ways to outline a part of body. This test is often carried out in support to mammogram. Any positive results in mammogram test are confirmed using the breast ultrasound diagnosis method.
Ductogram: This test is often performed to detect the actual cause of abnormal nipple discharge. This exam makes use of a plastic tube that is placed at the opening of the duct. Then an X-ray image is taken that helps in identify the presence of any mass inside the duct.
Nipple Discharge Exam: Nipple discharge exam is performed to check the fluid discharged under a microscope. This helps in detecting any abnormal cells thus confirming the disease. However, not all nipple discharges are cancerous but it is still recommended to perform this test if you have any.
Ductal Lavage and Nipple Aspiration: This test is developed for patients who have a medical history of breast cancer and is performed even if the patient faces no symptoms of breast cancer. The test usually undergoes microscopic tests of fluid collected from the nipples.
Biopsy: Biopsy is a sure shot technique to confirm the presence of breast cancer and usually acts as a substitute to mammogram, ultrasound and other tests. In this technique a suspected part is removed and checked under a microscope.
Bone Scan: The bone scan test during the diagnosis of breast cancer is performed only if the disease is detected in the later stages. This examination helps in detecting whether the tumor has spread into the bones. This is a better diagnosis method used than X-rays.
Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan): This test is used to create numerous cross sectional images of your body. The CT scanner machine rotates around your body and takes may pictures that are then studied by the experts to check for any abnormal changes.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI scan is used to detect the breast cancer as well as to check whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This diagnosis method makes use of radio waves and strong magnets to take pictures of the body.
It is always recommended to carry out periodic checkups to avoid detection of breast cancer in later stages. The above tests and examinations help in the perfect diagnosis of breast cancer. Hence, you may often ask your health care provider about these test when you visit for your checkup. Hope the above information helps you in educating you on breast cancer and prevents you from this deadly disease.