Diagnosis of breast cancer can be done through the following tests and procedures.
The doctor will examine both of your breast and lymph nodes in your armpit, and if he gets any lumps or other abnormalities, then the breast cancer could be there otherwise if he couldn’t find any things your breasts are cancer-free.
X-ray of the breast is called mammograms. Mammograms are generally used to find the chances of breast cancer, and if any abnormality or lumps are found, then the doctor will ask you to go further for evaluation.
Ultrasound has waves to produce images of structures deep within the breast areas. Breast ultrasound can be used to determine the new lumps are the solid masses or the cyst filled with liquid.
Taking out a sample of breast cells for testing
Biopsy of breasts or removing the sample of breast cells for testing helps to figure out the position of our breasts. During a breast biopsy, doctors use a specialized needle device guided by x-ray or imaging test to a core tissue from the suspicious area. The samples are then sent to the lab for further analysations.
Breast magnetic resonance imaging
MRI or breast magnetic resonance imaging machines are used to identify breast cancer. Unlike other types of test, breast magnetic resonance imaging test, you will receive an injection of dye.
The more the delay happens in the diagnosis of breast cancer, the deadlier it becomes. The cost of treatment also increases sharply with time. In such cases, people from weak financial backgrounds find themselves at a disadvantage. At Ketto, we try to help such people by giving them a platform to raise their voice for help. Every person who is in urgent need of money to meet his needs whether be it treatment for a deadly disease like cancer or any other personal goal or dream can use Ketto’s platform to start a fundraiser and reach out to those who can help them.
Stages of Breast Cancer
Once the diagnosis proved that there is breast cancer in your body, then the doctor will identify the stage of breast cancer. Your breast cancer stage will tell you which treatment and prognosis will be used further.
Various methods that are generally used to find out the stage of your breast cancer like
- Complete blood count test or blood test
- Breast MRI
- Bone scan
- Computerised tomography (CT Scan)
- Positron emission tomography (PET Scan)
Breast cancer stages are measures from 0 to IV. Stage IV is also called metastatic breast cancer, cancer which can also spread to other parts of the body.
In order to explain the growth and expansion of cancerous cells, breast cancer is divided into different categories called stages. There are five stages of breast cancer. Doctors obtained the following information to identify which stage the diagnosed cancer falls in:
- Nature of cancer (invasive or non-invasive)
- Size of tumour
- Location of cancer (lymph nodes or ducts)
- Whether the cancer is localised or spread to other organs
Remember the first type of situ cancer we have discussed earlier; breast cancer in stage 0 is also known as DCIS. In this stage, cancer is confined to the ducts where it originated.
It is further divided into two categories:
When the cancerous tumour is less than 2 centimetres in size and has not affected the lymph nodes, cancer is categorized as stage 1A.
A stage 1B breast cancer is the one which has reached the nearby lymph nodes. There may be no tumour in the breast, or it is smaller than 2 centimetres.
It is further divided into two categories:
When the cancerous tumour is less than 2 centimetres in size but has affected 1-3 lymph nodes, cancer is categorized as stage 2A.
A stage 2B breast cancer is the one which has spread to 1-3 nearby lymph nodes, and the tumour has grown to 2-5 centimetres in size.
It can also be divided into two more stages:
When the cancer cells spread to 4-9 axillary lymph nodes or have enlarged the internal mammary lymph nodes irrespective of the size of the tumour, the cancer is said to be in its stage 3A.
A tumour has reached up to the chest wall or skin and may or may not have invaded up to 9 lymph nodes. Tumours are more significant than 5 cm, and cancer has spread to 1–3 axillary lymph nodes or any breastbone nodes.
When cancer expands to 10 or more axillary lymph nodes, including mammary lymph nodes and lymph nodes near the collarbone, it is called a stage 3C breast cancer.
Stage 4 breast cancer is a metastasized cancer. In this stage, the cancer cells have already spread to various organs in the body.
Depending on the stage in which the cancer is diagnosed, the doctor will recommend the treatment.