Breast cancer surgeons in the city of London are experts in diagnosing breast problems and use various techniques to detect cancer like diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasound, biopsy, breast magnetic resonance imaging, etc. This post will look at the different methods of diagnosing breast cancer.
The breast cancer surgeons in London will check both your breasts and the lymph nodes in your armpit for any lumps or other abnormalities that might have been formed.
It is an X-ray of the breast and is widely used for screening breast cancer. If an abnormality is detected, the patient is recommended to undergo a diagnostic mammogram for further evaluation.
This is preferred when the patient has a problem in the breast, such as lumps or abnormal areas in the breast when undergoing a screening mammogram. A diagnostic mammogram is a more detailed X-ray of the breast.
This technique involves a machine that uses sound waves to create images of the internal organs called sonograms. Breast ultrasound determines whether a new breast lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a body scan that uses radio waves and a magnet linked to a computer that makes detailed pictures of areas inside the breast. Before getting an MRI, the patient will likely receive a dye injection. Breast MRI does not use radiation to create images of the breast’s interior.
The biopsy test includes the removal of tissue or fluid from the breast that is then observed under a microscope or sent for further testing. Biopsies can be of different types like a core biopsy, fine-needle aspiration or open biopsy. It is the only definitive way of diagnosing breast cancer. So the doctor will use a specialised needle device which an X-ray or another imaging test may guide to extract a core of tissue from the abnormal area. A small metal marker may also be left at the breast site to identify it on future imaging tests easily.
The extracted samples are then sent to a laboratory to analyse and determine if the cells are cancerous. It also determines the type of cells involved in breast cancer, the intensity of the cancer, and if the cancer cells have hormone receptors or other receptors that may influence the treatment options.
In case breast cancer is diagnosed in a patient, other tests are also done to find if the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the breast and body. This process is called staging since it determines the stage of breast cancer by identifying if it is only in the breast or also found in lymph nodes under the arms or spread outside the breast. The stage and type of breast cancer help doctors determine the kind of treatment a patient needs.
Overall, mammography is the most effective method for early detection of breast cancer; hence is recommended for women above 50 years of age or those that are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. However, the top surgeons use a combination of regular mammograms, breast self-exams, clinical breast examinations, and other tests as the best way to detect breast cancer at its earliest.
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