Tests and Treatment for Breast Cancer

Here are the tests for breast cancer diagnosis:

1. Physical Breast exam. The doctor will do a physical exam of the breasts and lymph nodes near the breasts (armpit) to check for lumps/abnormalities.

2. Breast ultrasound. The use of sound waves to image the structures inside the body to look for lumps, etc.

3. Mammogram. This is an X-ray test of the breast to look for abnormalities.

4. Biopsy. When other tests show a problem, a sample of breast cells may be taken to make a definitive diagnosis.

5. MRI of the breast. Uses radio waves and a magnet to image the breast’s internal structure.

When breast cancer is diagnosed, other tests may be performed to determine treatment course and prognosis. They may include: a breast MRI, a bone scan, another mammogram (to look at the other breast or more tissues), complete blood count test, a CT scan, or a PET (positron emission tomography) scan.

The stages of breast cancer range from 0-IV. 0 means the cancer is contained to the milk ducts and is noninvasive. IV means the cancer is metastatic and has spread.

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