By Dr Shilpy Dolas , Oncology
Breast cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the breast, usually in the ducts (tubes that carry milk to the nipple ) and lobules (glands that make milk). It occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare. Almost 15 % cases are of Breast cancer recorded all over the world yearly.
Whether you’ve never had breast cancer and want to increase your odds of early detection, you’ve recently been diagnosed, or you are in the midst of treatment and follow-up, you know that breast cancer and medical tests go hand in hand.
These days, doctors use imaging tests to take pictures of the inside of your body. Imaging tests can be used to look for cancer, find out how far it has spread, and to help see if cancer treatment is working.
These tests send different energy waves(like x-rays, radioactive particles, sound waves or magnetic fields. It’s a method to check what is going inside the body. The body tissues bring changes to the energy patterns to make an image or pattern. By observing these pictures the health care provider can check is there any changes in the pattern which may be responsible for the cause of cancer.
What are image testing used for?
- They are used to check cancer in its early stages, when it hasn’t spread much and the person has no signs of cancer. This is called early cancer screening.
- They can be done to check to look for a lump (tumor) if the person shows symptoms. To check whether it is caused by cancer or by some other disease.
- They help in finding out whether a tumor is cancerous or not. This also gives an idea to the doctor that a biopsy is needed or not ( in a biopsy, a small piece of tissue is taken out & observed under the microscope.)
- A biopsy is necessary to know to ensure that the change is the cause of cancer.
- This also shows where the tumor is lies, even when it is deep in the body.
- It also tells in which stage the cancer is ( to understand how much it has spread out in body )
- It also helps in finding out the stage of cancer (figure out if and/or how far cancer has spread).
- It helps to plan out the treatment and where the radiation therapy should be given.
- It also shows does the tumor has shrunk, stayed the same, or grown after treatment. It helps in getting an idea about how well the treatment worked for the cancer care treatment
- It helps in finding out if cancer came back (recurred) after treatment or not.
Types of Imaging Tests
Many different kinds of scans are used to get images of what’s happening inside the body. Some of the more common types of imaging tests, how they are done, and when you might need them can be found in these sections:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
- Breast MRI
- X-rays and other radiographic tests
- Nuclear medicine scans
If one observes any signs of breast cancer and needs to get a thorough check up can go for any image testing technique suggested by the doctor. Hopefully, the above information is helpful.
Happy Living Healthy Living !!!