What happens if something abnormal is detected during the screening test?


To determine if cancer is present, your doctor may order one or more of the following imaging tests:

  • Diagnostic mammogram

  • Breast ultrasound

  • Breast MRI

If a finding is benign when it appears on these tests, you may not need to take further action. If these tests do not clearly show that the finding is benign, a biopsy may be necessary. In a biopsy, a small amount of tissue is removed under local anesthesia so that it can be examined in a laboratory. During a breast biopsy, one of the following image-guided procedures is used:

  • Ultrasound-guided breast biopsy. Uses ultrasound to visualize a lump in the breast. Using real-time ultrasound imaging, a radiologist will advance a needle to the site of the abnormality and remove some of the tissue for evaluation under a microscope. The biopsy procedure is usually quick, but it may take several days before the final tissue analysis (pathology report) is ready.

  • Stereotactic. X-ray guided biopsy produces images of the breast at different angles with a digital x-ray mammography machine. Using these images, a computer calculates the exact location of the abnormality in the breast. A radiologist will advance a needle to the site of the abnormality and take tissue samples for further evaluation.

  • MRI-guided breast biopsy. Produces images of the breast with an MRI machine that also helps the radiologist guide a needle to the site of the abnormality to remove a tissue sample.

The anatomic pathology specialist examines the removed tissue sample and makes a final diagnosis. Depending on the unit, your radiologist or specialist will share the results with you.

It's up to you! Don't miss your breast screening!

Chequeo de mama

Breast Self-Examination

Periodic breast self-exams can be an important way to detect breast cancer in its early stages, when it is most likely to be treated successfully.

Although there is no test that can detect all types of breast cancer early, most physicians believe that performing a breast self-exam in combination with other breast screening methods can increase the chances of identifying any signs of breast cancer early.

Over the years, there has been debate about the importance of breast self-examination in detecting breast cancer early and increasing the likelihood of survival. For example, a 2008 study of nearly 400,000 women in Russia and China reported that breast self-examination has no significant impact on breast cancer survival rates and may even cause harm by performing unnecessary biopsies (taking and examining suspicious tissue).

Because of the continuing uncertainty caused by this study, the American Cancer Society no longer recommends breast self-examination as a screening tool for women at average risk for breast cancer.

However, around the world, many physicians still consider breast self-examination to be a useful and important screening tool, especially when performed in combination with regular physical examinations by a physician, mammography and, in some cases, ultrasound and/or MRI.

Each of these screening tools works differently and has strengths and weaknesses. Breast self-examination is a simple and free tool that you can use regularly and at any age.

It's up to you! Don't miss your breast screening!

Chequeo de mama