Breast cancer diagnosis is essential since it helps the patient in taking the right steps to controlling the condition at the right time.
At the initial stages of the breast cancer, there are no distinct symptoms available. This is the reason why ladies are advised to undergo regular breast cancer examination.
The diagnosis of the patient uses any of the following procedures to help in discovering the problem. Once some symptoms are detected, the physician uses further screening methods to establish the condition better.
Breast cancer diagnosis methods
The increasing application of the screening mammograms is making identifying breast cancer simpler. Nonetheless, there are some breast cancers that are not detected through the mammogram. This can be as a result of the fact that the test was not done in the correct manner. Besides, the device is not 100% perfect hence there are some conditions that it is not capable of detecting.
Among the most common breast cancer diagnosis signs is development of a new mass or lump.
Normally, hard, painless but irregular edged mass of flesh is normally associated with cancers but breast cancer mass is an exception since it can be soft and rounded.
The mass can also be painful. Any kind of lump formation on the breast should be checked by a professional healthcare expert.
Additional symptoms for identifying breast cancer include:
- Inflammation of part or the entire breast
- Dimpling or skin irritation
- Severe pain in the breast or nipple
- Retraction of the breast nipple
- Thickening, reddening and scaliness development on the nipple or entire breast
- Discharge of other contents apart from breast milk
In some instances, breast cancer can spread to the lymph nodes adjacent to the collar bone or underarm. This causes a swelling in the regions. This can happen even before other symptoms have been identified.
Breast cancer diagnosis techniques
Clinical breast exam
Women aged between 20 and 30 years should ensure to undergo clinical breast cancer examination annually when going for their physical checkups. If irregularities are observed during this examination the patient is screened using more advanced methods such as mammograms and ultrasound technologies.
Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
This breast cancer diagnosis method reveals more details regarding the health status of the breast than other methods such as the mammograms hence making it a suitable supplementary screening method. The method does not use compression technology used by mammograms. In addition, the technology is rather costly and less widespread than mammograms.
Elastography breast cancer examination method
This is a new technology, which is still under development, for imaging the breast tissue. The technology is thought to be more efficient than the latter when it comes to identifying benign cancers. The technology can detect cancerous lumps even with no biopsy conducted.
Pathology method of identifying breast cancer
In this breast cancer diagnosis method, fluid or tissue sample is taken and tested by pathologists for cancerous growths. The ductal leverage, commonly referred to as Pap smear, involves drawing sample of fluid from the breast or cancerous swellings and screening them for cancerous cells signs.