Health Information

Understanding Your Diagnosis

  • How Does My Doctor Know I Have Breast Cancer?
  • Breast Cancer: Diagnosis

    It is important to remember that a lump or other changes in the breast, or an abnormal area on a mammogram, may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems.

  • Mammogram

    A mammogram is way to look at your breast using X-rays. It is used to find and diagnose breast disease in women. Your healthcare provider may order a mammogram if you have a breast problem such as a lump, pain, or discharge from a nipple. Your provider may also order one as a screening test. The test can look for breast cancers, benign tumors, and cysts before they can be felt.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Mammograms

    Timing your mammogram when your breasts are not tender is important. In premenopausal women, this is usually 1 week after a menstrual period.

  • Breast Cancer: MRI and Early Detection
  • Breast Biopsy

    A breast biopsy is a procedure in which samples of breast tissue are removed with a special biopsy needle or during surgery to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.

  • Breast Cancer: Tests After Diagnosis

    After a diagnosis of breast cancer, you will likely have other tests. These tests help your healthcare providers learn more about your cancer. They can help show if the cancer has grown into nearby areas or spread to other parts of the body.

  • Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Breast Scan

    A breast scan is an imaging test to look at your breasts. It is used when a mammogram has not given your health care provider enough information.

  • Breast Ultrasound

    Breast ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to look at your breasts. It can help your healthcare provider find breast problems. It also lets your provider see how well blood is flowing to areas in your breasts. This test is often used along with mammography.

  • Breast Cancer Overview

    Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women in the U.S. Once breast cancer occurs, cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body, making it life-threatening. The good news is that breast cancer is often found early, before it has spread.

  • Breast Cancer: Grades and Stages
  • Can I Survive Breast Cancer? What Is My Prognosis?

    Prognosis is the word your healthcare team may use to describe your chances of recovering from cancer. Or it may mean your likely outcome from cancer and cancer treatment. A prognosis is a calculated guess. It’s a question many people have when they learn they have cancer.

  • Finding Out You Have Breast Cancer