Understanding Breast Cancer – Diagnosis

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,324
    Dr. Rebecca Zuurbier, M.D. and Dr. Jacqueline Eghrari – Sabet, MD discuss diagnosing breast cancer.

    Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet: Breast Cancer or diagnosis is a bit of a different story, you can present either with an abnormal mammographic finding and you'll be called back for additional imaging or your health care provider may have found an abnormality on your breast examination. In that case, first of all don't panic. Most findings on a mammogram or on a physical examination are benign, they are not malignant. However, you'll be probably subject to additional imaging, additional mammographic views may be obtained or they may ask you to have an ultrasound. An ultrasound is a pain less way, looking at usually masses in the breast to see whether or not, they are cysts. Cysts are merely sexofluid and they are not cancerist or precancerist. So ultrasound is very helpful because some lumps can just simply be a cyst. However, some lumps aren't and some Mammographic findings may not clear up with the additional mammographic images. So then what you do. In the old days, you used to go for surgery and now in fact, we don't recommend surgery unless we're treating breast cancer. Breast cancer can be diagnosed effectively, efficiently with minimal scarring and accurately with a technique called core biopsy. The object of core biopsy is to sample a lesion. If it's benign, it averts an unnecessary surgery, if it's malignant, it helps the surgeon decide, what kind of surgery they need to do subsequently. Core biopsy can be performed with finger tip guidance if you can feel it readily, it can be performed with mammographic guidance and we use a special table where you lye on your stomach and that's called stereotactic imaging using angled x-ray views to target the lesion. Core biopsy can also be performed with ultrasound guidance which is a preferred way whenever possible since it's accurate and you can visualize the lesion as your sampling it and it's much more comfortable for the patients since she is usually lying on her back. So that's the way to biopsy without having geared to surgery. 80% of the time, we do biopsies generally, they end up being benign. However, come patients do require surgery, the important thing to remember is if you have mammographic abnormality, or find an abnormality in your physical examination, don't panic, most of the time it is benign, but that leads a store next segment, what if it is breast cancer, what are my treatment options.