What Is A Breast Cancer Screening

What Exactly is a Breast Cancer Screening?

It’s a scary notion for nearly all women – and a terrifying reality for many. Breast cancer. We don’t even like saying the words…However, it behooves you as a woman to know all you can about the disease so that you can best protect your health. So here you’ll learn about breast cancer screenings, what they are, what they entail and what they can tell you.

A breast cancer screening is the medical screening of asymptomatic (no symptoms), apparently healthy women for breast cancer with the goal of achieving an early diagnosis should disease be detected. Screening tests are used to find breast cancer before it causes any warning signs or symptoms. Health professionals can find breast cancer early when the chances of survival are highest. Hence, regular breast health screenings (along with follow-up tests and treatment if diagnosed) reduce your chances of dying from breast cancer.

The Breast Center of Maple Grove offers several types of breast cancer screening exams, including:

Mammogram — A mammogram is a picture of your breast taken with a safe, low-dose X-ray machine. While screening mammograms are routinely administered to detect breast cancer in women who have no apparent symptoms, diagnostic mammograms are used after suspicious results on a screening mammogram or after some signs of breast cancer, such as lumps, alert the physician to check the tissue.

Breast Ultrasound — Ultrasound imaging can help to determine if an abnormality is solid (which may be a non-cancerous lump of tissue or a cancerous tumor) or fluid-filled (such as a benign cyst) or both cystic and solid. Doppler ultrasound is used to assess blood supply in breast lesions.

Breast Biopsy — A breast biopsy is a test that removes tissue or sometimes fluid from the suspicious area. The removed cells are examined under a microscope and further tested to check for the presence of breast cancer. A biopsy is the only diagnostic procedure that can definitely determine if the suspicious area is cancerous.

Breast Wire or Seed Localization — Breast seed localization is a procedure in which a tiny metal seed, about the size of a sesame seed, is placed into abnormal breast tissue to mark its location. It may be done if the abnormal tissue is too small to be seen or felt by touch. The seed contains a small amount of radiation. If the tumor is non-palpable, a procedure called wire-localization or radioactive seed localization will be performed just before surgery. A radiologist will use a mammogram, breast ultrasound or breast MRI as a guide and insert a very thin wire or radioactive seed into the breast in the area of the abnormality.

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy — A stereotactic breast biopsy is a procedure that uses mammography to precisely identify and biopsy an abnormality within the breast. It’s normally done when the radiologist sees a suspicious abnormality on your mammogram that can’t be felt in a physical exam.

Ultrasound Guided Biopsy — An ultrasound-guided needle biopsy is an outpatient procedure to obtain a tissue sample of an abnormality discovered on a radiology scan. This is one type of “image-guided” biopsy, which combines the use of ultrasound with either a Fine Needle Aspiration or Core Needle Biopsy.

If you need a breast cancer screening or other breast imaging service in Minneapolis, consider The Breast Center of Maple Grove for your needs. A premier breast health center, we welcome both walk-ins and appointments. Call to schedule today: (763) 398-6370.