4 Types of Examination at the Doctor to Diagnose Breast Cancer
Although the chest examination itself can be done as an initial examination to determine the presence of a lump in the breast, breast cancer cannot be diagnosed without an examination or test at the hospital. Examination of breast cancer is done to ascertain the condition and stage of the spread of cancer in the body. Doctors can also do one or even more types of tests to get an accurate diagnosis so that the treatment is also right on target.
Test options for breast cancer
A diagnostic test or examination for breast cancer cannot be done alone at home. You need the help of doctors and medical personnel at home to make sure. The following are various tests or examinations to diagnose breast cancer that are commonly done:
1. Clinical breast examination
Before checking your condition with the help of medical devices, the doctor will first examine the breast with bare hands.
This test is called a clinical breast examination to see the shape, size, color, and texture of the breast to detect the possibility of cancer. For this reason, the doctor or nurse will usually massage the breasts in a circular motion to detect the location of the lump around the breast.
In addition to conducting tests to detect breast cancer, the doctor will also see lymph nodes in the armpits and upper collarbone. If there is swelling or lumps, the doctor will carry out further tests with other tests.
Mammography (mammography) is a test or examination to diagnose the presence of breast cancer, both in women who have or no symptoms.
Reporting from the American Cancer Society, mammography examination can often detect the presence of a lump of breast cancer when its size is still small and has not been felt if touched.
Mammography is done by taking tissue from each breast with X-rays. Taking pictures is done with the help of special tools. The tool used is in the form of a disc that will help support and squeeze the breast.
Not only from one side, the medical officer in charge will take pictures of breasts from several different angles. That way, the entire breast tissue can be seen. Abnormal areas in the breast will be seen because they usually have a different color from other areas.
When the mammogram (mammography picture) shows that there are different areas in the breast, the doctor will carry out further tests. This is because mammography alone is not enough to ascertain whether the abnormal tissue is cancerous or not.
The American Cancer Society recommends women to begin breast cancer screening procedures for the first time at the age of 40 to 44 years. Because, other than as a diagnostic tool, mammography can be a wise way for early detection of breast cancer.
Therefore it is important to routinely do a mammography examination considering the risk of breast cancer increases with age. It’s good to routinely mammography once a year when you reach the age of 45 to 54 years. When entering the age of 55 years and above, do mammography checks at least 2 years to prevent breast cancer.
But again, discuss and ask your doctor for advice about when the right time for you to start a mammography examination to detect breast cancer.
3. Breast ultrasound
It may be familiar to you to hear ultrasound or ultrasonography procedures. Similar to pregnancy ultrasound, breast ultrasound is a cancer screening test with the help of sound waves that can be seen on a computer screen.
When doing an ultrasound, the doctor will apply gel to the skin of the breast and aim a stick-like device called a transducer on its surface. During the examination, the transducer will be moved in the area of the skin around the breast, especially those suspected of having cancer cells.
Through the transducer, sound waves and echoes from inside the breast tissue will bounce off. This reflection will later be seen as a black and white image on a computer screen. Usually abnormal tissue in the breast looks like a white image that is different from the surrounding area.
Breast ultrasound can detect changes in the breast such as lumps or tissue changes. In addition, breast ultrasound can also distinguish lumps filled with cysts or fluid and solid mass that may be the forerunner to cancer.
4. Breast MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast is a breast cancer screening test using magnets and radio waves. The combination of the two will produce images in all parts of the breast and show the soft tissue very clearly.
MRI is often recommended for women who are at high risk for cancer. Usually women with a family history of breast cancer and have certain gene abnormalities whose risk is quite high.