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Breast Cancer Diagnosis Methods

April 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 170

Doctors use many tests to diagnose cancer and find out if it has spread as well as decide the most effective treatments. Even though imaging tests like the mammogram and breast ultrasound can find a suspicious area, they cannot tell whether the area is cancer. For most types of cancer, a biopsy (the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope) is the only way to make a definitive breast cancer diagnosis.

Breast cancer diagnosis cannot be done without a biopsy. The procedure of biopsy includes removing some cells from the suspicious area, either by a needle or via surgery, to observe them under a microscope. The type of biopsy depends on the size and location of the lump. If a biopsy is not possible, the doctor may suggest other tests that will help make a diagnosis.

Some of the tests done to confirm a diagnosis of breast cancer are:

• Diagnostic mammograms include taking x-rays are of the breast which are interpreted by a radiologist. Extra pictures focused on the suspicious area are also taken. Mammograms are usually a black-and-white picture of the breast tissue on a large sheet of film, but digital mammograms are another option which produces computer images instead of film. The images can be looked at from different angles, and the radiologist can enlarge and zoom in to look at any suspicious areas.

• Women who are known to be at high risk opt for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for breast cancer in. It may also be used for a closer look after breast cancer has been found. An MRI can show if your lymph nodes are enlarged, which may be a sign that they contain cancer. This can help detect the cancer's stage even before surgery. MRI is sometimes used to look for breast tumors that did not show up on the mammograms.

• Breast ultrasound uses sound waves to make a computer picture of the inside of the breast and is used to target a certain area of concern that was found on the mammogram or physical exam. Ultrasound is useful for looking at some breast changes and also helps tell the difference between fluid-filled cysts and solid masses. There is no risk of exposure to radiation during this test.

• Ductograms are sometimes used to find the cause of nipple discharge. A ductogram is also called a galactogram. In this test, a small amount of dye is put into one of the ducts in the nipple through a tiny plastic tube which can be seen on an x-ray, which can show if there is a mass inside the duct.

Through his articles, Youngrin wishes to inform and educate the readers about breast cancer treatments which will benefit those who are looking for useful information, For treatment log on to breast cancer diagnosis

Source: EzineArticles
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