1. Breast ultrasound. A machine that uses sound waves to make pictures, called sonograms, of areas inside the breast.
  2. Diagnostic mammogram. …
  3. Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). …
  4. Biopsy.



Common tests & procedures


When radiologists look at a mammogram, they’re looking for three primary things:

  • Changes from what is seen in previous images
  • Calcifications
  • Masses

How does the doctor determine you have breast cancer?

  • Bone scan: Breast cancer can spread to the bones. …
  • CT scan: This is another type of X-ray for creating detailed images of your organs using iodine contrast. …
  • MRI scan: Although this imaging test isn’t a typical cancer screening tool, it’s effective for staging breast cancer. …
  • PET scan: A PET scan is a unique test. …

What tests detect breast cancer?

  • Advertisement swelling of all or part of the breast
  • Advertisement skin irritation or dimpling
  • Advertisement breast pain
  • Advertisement nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • Advertisement redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • Advertisement a nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • Advertisement a lump in the underarm area

How do I know if I have breast cancer?


The symptoms depend on where the cancer has recurred and may include:

  • A lump under the arm or along the chest wall
  • Pain that is constant, worsening, and not relieved by over-the-counter medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Bone, back, neck, or joint pain, fractures, or swelling, which are possible signs of bone metastases

More items…

How do you check for breast cancer?

See more

How is breast cancer detected?

Mammograms are commonly used to screen for breast cancer. If an abnormality is detected on a screening mammogram, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic mammogram to further evaluate that abnormality. Breast ultrasound. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of structures deep within the body.

How is breast cancer first detected?

A mammogram can often find or detect breast cancer early, when it’s small and even before a lump can be felt. This is when it’s likely to be easiest to treat. What are the main uses of mammograms? A screening mammogram is used to look for signs of breast cancer in women who don’t have any breast symptoms or problems.

What are the 5 warning signs of breast cancer?

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.More items…

Can a blood test detect breast cancer?

Blood tests are not used to diagnose breast cancer, but they can help to get a sense of a person’s overall health. For example, they can be used to help determine if a person is healthy enough to have surgery or certain types of chemotherapy.

What does early stage breast cancer look like?

Some common, early warning signs of breast cancer include: Skin changes, such as swelling, redness, or other visible differences in one or both breasts. An increase in size or change in shape of the breast(s) Changes in the appearance of one or both nipples.

How long does it take to detect breast cancer?

Recommended Screening Guidelines It can detect breast cancer up to two years before the tumor can be felt by you or your doctor. Informed decision making starting at age 40. Individuals should speak with their health care provider about the benefits of screening and when to start.

How long does it take for breast cancer to show on mammogram?

Among women with screen-detected cancers, the mean time from the initial screening mammogram to a breast cancer diagnosis was 18 days (SD = 14 days, range = 1–46 days) for invasive cancers and 20 days (SD = 13 days, range = 1–48 days) for in situ cancers.