Screenings and Tests

Screening and Testing for Breast Conditions

Doctors use physical examinations and imaging studies to locate and diagnose breast abnormalities. To learn more about your condition, a physician may:

  • Feel the characteristics of a suspected lump (texture, size, and relationship to the skin and chest muscles)
  • Look for changes in the nipples or the skin of the breast
  • Check lymph nodes under the arm and above the collarbones
  • Request imaging tests, including diagnostic mammography to look for masses and calcifications, or breast ultrasound to further evaluate information
  • Request a microscopic examination of any discharge other than breast milk from the nipples
  • Request a ductogram x-ray of the nipples if there is discharge
  • Request a biopsy of tissue removed from the suspicious area

Since imaging tests cannot always tell whether a lump is benign or cancerous, a biopsy may be used to remove cells for diagnosis. These include:

  • Fine needle aspiration: A very fine needle is guided into the suspicious area and a small sample of the tissue is removed.
  • Core needle biopsy: A larger needle is guided into the lump to remove a small cylinder of tissue.
  • Surgical biopsy: This surgical procedure is used to remove all or part of a lump.

To encourage women within the community to receive regular mammography screenings, we also provide a Mobile Mammography Unit offering the latest screening equipment and technology, delivered right to your company or retirement community’s door.