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Further Testing

A mammogram image may show something that the radiologist wants to check with a follow-up test(s). It is normal to be a little scared, but it is important to know that most women who go for further follow-up testing do not have breast cancer.

1- Referral

You will be directly referred to one or more of the following places for additional test(s):

  • WRHA Breast Health Centre
  • Manitoba X-Ray Clinic
  • Radiology Consultants of Winnipeg
  • Brandon Regional Health Centre
  • Thompson General Hospital
  • Boundary Trails Health Centre
  • Health Sciences Centre

2- Follow-Up Test(s)

You will be provided with more information about your specific test(s), how to prepare and how you will receive the results by the place to which you are referred.

Most clients who need further testing have one or both of these tests:

A) DIAGNOSTIC MAMMOGRAM

A diagnostic mammogram experience is very similar to a screening mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram takes a closer look at a specific area of  breast tissue by:

  • taking x-ray images from different angles than the standard angles in screening mammography,
  • applying extra pressure to thin out a small specific area of breast tissue so it can be seen more clearly, or magnifying a specific area of breast tissue.
Mammogram

B) ULTRASOUND

A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the breast. During an ultrasound, a small amount of gel will be placed on your breast. A small probe (wand) will glide over the skin on your breast(s). The image can show if the lump is solid or filled with fluid.
Ultrasound

A small number of patients will need a biopsy in addition to a diagnostic mammogram and/or ultrasound. A biopsy removes a small piece of breast tissue for testing. There are two main types of biopsies.

A) ULTRASOUND CORE BIOPSY

An ultrasound core biopsy uses a needle to remove tissue for testing when a lump can be felt, or seen on an ultrasound.

  • A probe (wand) will be pressed against your breast to create an image and find the area of concern. You will feel some pressure on your breast.
  • A small amount of local anesthetic (freezing) is injected into your breast with a needle. You will feel a sting.
  • A small cut will be made in the breast area where the tissue will be removed.
  • You may hear a click as the tissue samples are collected (biopsy).
  • A bandage is placed over the skin opening.
Ultrasound Core Biopsy

B) STEREOTACTIC CORE BIOPSY

A stereotactic core biopsy uses a needle to remove tissue when an area is seen only on a mammogram.

  • A small amount of local anesthetic (freezing) is injected into your breast with a needle. You will feel a sting.
  • You will lie face down on a table and place your breast through a hole in the table. The breast is compressed in a mammography machine. You will feel some pressure in the breast.
  • A small cut will be made in the area of the breast where the biopsy needle will be inserted. A sample of tissue will be taken (biopsy).
  • A bandage is placed over the skin opening.
Stereotactic Core Biopsy

Other tests that may also be needed can include:

  • surgical consultation, or
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

3- Result

After your follow-up test(s), you will be notified by mail if/when you can return to BreastCheck for a screening mammogram. Most clients will have a normal follow-up test result. For more information about follow-up tests you can contact:

CancerCare Manitoba, BreastCheck 1-855-95-CHECK
Breast Cancer Centre of Hope 1-888-660-4866

 

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