The doctor performs a thorough physical examination and asks about personal and family medical histories to determine the risk factors.. The doctor may also perform one or both of the following tests:
A mammogram is an x-ray that detects calcium deposits in the breast and changes in the breast. Early signs of cancer may include clusters of calcium specks (micro calcification). According to most doctors, women over 50 should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Mammograms should be done on women over 40 with a family history of breast cancer.
If a suspicious lesion is identified, a biopsy will be recommended.
A doctor must remove fluid or tissue from the breast if an abnormality is found on any of the tests and cancer is suspected. Your doctor may refer you to a surgeon or an interventional radiologist for further evaluation.
During the biopsy, tissue will be sent to the laboratory to be examined by a pathologist. The pathologist can determine if the biopsy specimen is cancerous or benign.
If cancerous cells are identified, further immunohisto chemistry staining are done to determine the type of breast cancer.