How is breast cancer diagnosed?

a couple of women standing next to each other wearing a breast cancer ribbon in their shirts. Breast cancer is a serious cancer that should not be taken lightly. The condition can develop in the breasts of adult women at any age. However, the highest risk starts around the age of 40, which is the point at which doctors will strongly encourage women to have annual mammograms. Mammography is a specialized x-ray image that is used to look at the breast tissues and evaluate for signs of cancer. 

How is breast cancer diagnosed? 

A diagnosis of breast cancer can happen in several different ways: 

  • Mammogram – the most common way of finding breast cancer is through breast cancer screenings done with a mammogram. This x-ray image allows the doctor to see the tissues and glands in the breast to look for anything unusual that may indicate cancer. If there is a concern, a biopsy may be taken at a later date to test for cancerous cells.
  • Ultrasound – when we hear ultrasound, we often think of ultrasounds performed during pregnancy. However, ultrasounds can also be used to obtain images of the breast tissues and help a doctor spot an area of cancer that may be developing.
  • MRI – less common imaging techniques include the MRI. Not everyone is a proper candidate for an MRI, especially patients who have metal implants in their body. This is one way in which cancer can be spotted in the breasts.
  • Biopsy – if any diagnostic screenings show an area of concern, the doctor at Summit Healthcare may order a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure during which a sample of the tissue is taken and sent to a laboratory for further evaluation. This is how cancer cells can be found. If there are cancer cells present as expected, patients will then work with their doctor to discuss treatment options.

Schedule a mammogram with Summit Healthcare  

Are you ready for a mammogram? Call (928) 537-4375 to request a mammogram and well woman visit with our team. We are dedicated to providing screenings and diagnostics for women who are at risk of developing breast cancer in our state-of-the-art medical facility. We have four convenient office locations throughout the area offering comprehensive care.

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