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Mammography is a low-powered X-ray technique that gives an image of the internal structure of the breast. It is used to examine the breast for the early detection of cancer and other breast diseases.
For most women, the results of a mammogram will be good news. However, if you are called back to check an abnormal finding on your mammogram, try not to panic. An abnormal mammogram does not always mean that there is cancer. Often, it just means you will need follow-up tests to check if the finding is breast cancer.
It’s important to get follow-up as soon as possible. That way, if you have breast cancer, it can be treated as early as possible.
If you have an abnormal finding on a mammogram, the follow-up tests you will likely get another mammogram or breast ultrasound done. In some cases, more tests such as a breast MRI may be recommended.
If the finding is not breast cancer, no further testing is required and you return to your regular schedule of breast cancer screening with mammograms and clinical breast exams.
When A Biopsy Is Needed
If the finding looks like it might be breast cancer, the next step is a biopsy to check for cancer.
A breast biopsy is a simple procedure in which a small sample of breast tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for testing. Biopsies are the only way to evaluate if whether a lump or growth is cancerous.
If the biopsy shows no cancer, you return to your regular schedule of screening.
If breast cancer is found, it can be treated. Treatment of breast cancer may involve one or more treatment methods. These include:
- Targeted therapy
- Hormonal Therapy
The choice of treatment depends on several important factors such as the cancer type, stage of the cancer, size of the tumour in relation to the breast size, and the patient’s general health.