What You Really Need to Know about Cancer

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Breast cancer diagnosis – The importance of early diagnosis


Breast cancer diagnosis at early stage is a very important part in treating and curing the disease. As mentioned in our previous articles, every cancer shows off with different signs and symptoms. However, breast cancer signs and symptoms are very obvious at early stage and can be diagnosed easily. For breast cancer diagnosis, oncologists carry out various investigations based on the age, suspected breast cancer type, severity, medical conditions and previous test results.

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Self Examination for breast cancer diagnosis 

Self examination is the best method to detect whether there is an abnormal growth or mass or any changes in breast skin, color, texture, stiffness, and nipple tenderness, breast tenderness, whether there is any discharge coming out from nipple, etc. If these signs and symptoms are found when doing self examination it is an urge to refer a doctor and seek medical opinion.

Diagnostic Mammogram for breast cancer diagnosis

breast cancer diagnosis using mammogram examination
A mammogram is also known as x-ray of the breast. There are two types of mammograms; Screening mammogram and diagnostic mammogram. Diagnostic mammogram is taken when there are signs and symptoms of breast cancer, like having a mass or lump in one of the breast and also diagnostic mammogram is taken if there are abnormalities in the breast in the screening mammogram.

MRI for breast cancer diagnosis

MRI is used as one of the investigative method for breast cancer diagnosis. Along with mammogram MRI is used to detect or examine highly suspected area of the breast. It is used to measure the actual size of the lump or mass. But from MRI only it  cannot be concluded whether the mass is malignant or benign. Patient has to undergo further investigations like biopsy.

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breast cancer diagnosis using mammogram

Breast Ultra Sound for breast cancer diagnosis

Ultra sound for breast cancer diagnosis is not much recommended if diagnostic mammogram is done already. Ultra sound is usually done to investigate specific area of breast following the abnormalities found in the particular area of breast from mammogram. It helps to differentiate between a cyst and a solid mass or a lump and sometimes help to differentiate cancerous mass and benign mass.

Biopsy for breast cancer diagnosis

biopsy for breast cancer diagnosis
Biopsy for breast cancer diagnosis is done when abnormalities are found in basic investigations like MRI, Mammogram, etc. Biopsy of breast lump or mass is the only way to find whether the mass or lump is cancerous or benign. In order to do the biopsy procedure,  a sample tissue from mass or lump is taken out and examined under the microscope for any cancerous cells. There are three types of biopsies, they are fine needle biopsy, core or large needle biopsy and surgical biopsy.

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There are other investigations like ductograme, nipple discharge examination, Ductal lavage and nipple aspirations which are very helpful for diagnosing breast cancer.

According to recent researches early diagnosis of breast cancer helps in treating the condition. 

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