Breast Cancer Screening


Breast cancer screening is mandatory test you should undergo if you suspect that you are affected with breast cancer. This type of cancer is also referred to as ‘malignant breast neoplasm’ which is a cancerous state. This condition originates from the breast tissues mostly in the internal layer of milk duct (lobules) that are responsible for supplying milk to these ducts during lactating period. Here are some screening tests that may help you confirm whether you are suffering from breast cancer.

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Some of these screening tests have been found helpful in diagnosing the disease subsequently treating it. On the other hand some tests are done only to determine the prevalence of the disease. In this article you will get to know some common breast cancer screenings that are used in detecting breast cancer.

There are two most common tests suggested for breast cancer patients namely Mammogram and CBE or Clinical Breast Examination.

Mammogram:
A mammogram is a breast screening technique wherein X-ray image is obtained of the affected breast. This test is helpful in detecting cancerous tumors that are too miniscule to be felt. A mammogram test may also help in determining abnormal or affected cells or the affliction. It also helps in diagnosing DCIS abbreviation of (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ), which may turn to an invasive cancer in case of some females. The ability and result of mammogram screening may depend on the tumor size, breast tissues density as well as the skill and experience of the radiologist. Mammogram can work better in case of older women ageing over 50, than younger women below the age of 50. This is perhaps due to denser breast tissues of younger women. These tissues appear as white as tumor in mammogram output, which makes it difficult to detect the cancerous tumor in distinction with the tissue.

CBE or Clinical Breast Exam:
Clinical Breast Exam or CBE breast cancer screening is usually performed by certified doctors or other skilled health care professionals. The doctor may touch and carefully try to feel the cancerous lump or other issues on the breast or underarms. It is essential to determine any lumps or changes with your breasts; if you find any such abnormalities consult your doctor immediately. In case any other breast cancer screening depicts any abnormalities then follow-up tests or treatments may be required. To know more about the prevalence of the disease, ultrasound technique may be used. However, ultrasound itself is not a screening test that should be initially done for detecting breast cancer.

There are some other breast cancer screenings that are being evaluated under clinical trial which includes some of the following techniques:

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging:
Magnetic resonance imaging is also referred to as MRI. In this kind of screening technique magnet and radio waves are utilized and a computer prepares a series of detailed images recorded during the tests. This procedure is also sometimes referred to as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging or NMRI. To your information, in case of MRI, x-rays are not used.

In case of females with inherited risk of developing breast cancer, it is studied that MRI breast cancer screening is more effective as compared to mammography in locating the cancerous tumor. Due to high sensitivity of MRI, it is often that results depict abnormal condition even if occurrence of cancer is absent. Studies related to breast MRI in females, with inherited risk of cancer, are still ongoing.

For female with moderate risk of breast cancer, Magnetic resonance imaging can be opted as a supplement to the diagnosis. Here are some situations wherein MRI can be used.

• MRI can be used to efficiently locate lumps remaining in the breasts after a surgical treatment or radiation therapy
• Magnetic resonance imaging can be used to detect lumps or engorged lymph discovered during CBE or clinical breast examination or even during self examination.
• MRI can also be used to determine appropriate surgical procedure for a patient with specifically understood breast cancer.

Tissue Sampling:
Breast tissue sampling is another breast cancer screening. In this screening method a tissue sample from the breast is taken for examining it under microscope. In some experiments and studies it is understood that unusual breast fluids or abnormal cells are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. There are ongoing experiments conducted in order to analyze whether breast tissue sampling can be used to detect breast cancer at its initial stages or indicate any formidable sign of possible breast cancer before its onset.

Breast cancer screening Recommendations:

Some risks are associated in undergoing breast cancer screening. Hence, before undergoing any screening ask your doctor about best screening tests. Some screening may not be helpful in case the affliction is fast growing. In some cases there are chances that you may get incorrect results. Breast cancer screening may also depict negative results wherein a woman may not live for longer time. This may dishearten the affected individual and have psychological affects. It is believed that many reports indicating occurrence of breast cancer turns to be false. However, irrespective of the consequences, if any abnormalities related to breast are experienced, one should consider undergoing breast cancer screening immediately.

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