- Diagnostic imaging, General

The 6 Most Common Diagnostic Techniques For Breast Cancer in America

The United States has the highest rate of breast cancer in the world. Breast cancer in America is even indicated as the second most common cancer, after skin cancer. Since 1990, death rates have decreased by almost 30%. Nevertheless, it still causes a lot of death, not just in America, but also worldwide. In 2007, it was expected to cause 40,910 deaths in the US alone, which accounts for almost 2% of all death cases.

There are several risk factors for breast cancer in America which would be different from one area to another. Most of the cases in America are caused by the following factors: older age, menstruating at an early age, older age at first birth or have never given birth, a personal history of breast related diseases (both benign and malignant), radiation therapy on the chest/breast, estrogen or progesterone replacement therapy, or consumption of alcoholic beverages.

However, breast cancer in America seems to have a better prognosis and treatment system nowadays. Before treating the cancer patients, doctors should perform several tests or examinations on the patients, such as:

1. Physical exam and history: Physical examination is done to the whole body to check the general signs of health. A history of the patient’s past illnesses and habits could be a reference for the doctor about how to treat the cancer if the patient is indeed suffering from the disease.

2. Mammography: This diagnostic technique utilizes low-energy X-rays to check for any abnormal masses in the breast.

3. Ultrasonography: After a mammogram, it is possible for your doctor to perform ultrasonography as well. This is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses ultrasound (sound waves with the frequency greater than 20,000 Hz).

4. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Like ultrasonography, MRI is also a complementary diagnostic technique. With this method, your doctor can determine which stage your cancer is at right now. Compared to X-ray, it works better at imaging augmented breasts.

5. Blood chemistry studies: A sample of your blood will be taken and tested for any anomalies. When someone has breast cancer, the breast tissue will release certain substances into the bloodstream at unusual amounts (either lower or higher than normal).

6. Biopsy: This is a test that involves the removal of a small part of the breast tissue for examination. The tissue sample is then observed under a microscope to check for any signs of cancer. There are four types of biopsies: excisional biopsy, incisional biopsy, core biopsy, and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy.

Source by David Dodiros