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Further Testing

It is important to know that about 9 out of every 10 women who go for further tests will not have breast cancer.

Further tests are a part of routine screening. Benign (not cancer) breast changes are the most common reason for abnormal results on a screening mammogram.

Most women who need further tests will be sent for either:

  • a diagnostic mammogram or

  • an ultrasound.

Diagnostic Mammogram

Mammogram

A diagnostic mammogram experience is very similar to a screening mammogram. The diagnostic mammogram takes a closer look at a specific area 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 the breast tissue so it can be seen more clearly, or
  • magnifying a specific area of breast tissue.

You will feel pressure on your breast similar to a screening mammogram.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound uses sound waves to make an image of the breast. During an ultrasound, a small amount of gel will be placed on your breast. A transducer (small hand-held unit) will glide over the skin on your breast(s). Differences between cysts and other kinds of lumps can be seen on an ultrasound.

A small number of patients will need a biopsy. A biopsy removes a small piece of breast tissue for testing. There are three main types of biopsies:

1-Ultrasound Core Biopsy

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 needle will be inserted into the area of your breast where the tissue will be removed. You will feel a sting. An ultrasound transducer (small hand-held unit)will be pressed against your breast to find the area of concern. You will feel some pressure on your breast. A small cut will be made in the breast to place the biopsy needle. You may hear a click as the biopsy tissue samples are collected.

2-Surgical Biopsy

Surgical biopsy

A surgical biopsy is done by a surgeon who removes a small piece of breast tissue in the operating room or clinic. You will be given medicine through an IV in your arm to sedate you. You will feel a sting in your arm when the IV is inserted. Oce you are sedated, the surgeon will remove a part of the breast tissue.

2-Stereotactic Core Biopsy

Stereotactic biopsy

A stereotactic core biopsy uses a needle to remove tissue when an area is seen only on a mammogram. A needle will be inserted into the area of your breast where the tissue will be removed. 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 breast to place the biopsy needle and take the biopsy.

You may be referred to one of the following places for these tests:

Winnipeg

WRHA Breast Health Centre
Manitoba X-ray Clinic
Radiology Consultants of Winnipeg

Brandon Brandon Regional Health Centre
Thompson Thompson General Hospital
Winkler/Morden Boundary Trails Health Centre

For more information about follow-up tests you can contact:

CancerCare Manitoba, BreastCheck

Breast Cancer Centre of Hope

Manitoba Cancer Navigation Services

After more tests most clients will have normal results and can return to BreastCheck for their next screening appointment.

 

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