Diagnosis of breast cancer. Part 1

diagnosis of breast cancer


Diagnosis of malignant tumors of the breast begins with an examination by an oncologist or mammologist.

During the examination, the doctor:

  • in detail will ask the woman, will try to receive as much as possible full information on the course of the disease, the factors that could contribute to its occurrence;
  • will perform examination and palpation (palpation) of the mammary glands in the supine position, standing with arms lowered and raised.

Instrumental diagnostic methods

How is it conducted?

Mammography is a diagnostic section that deals with non-invasive (without incisions and punctures) examination of the internal structure of the mammary gland.

X-ray mammography

x-ray mammogramy

X-ray examination of the breast is carried out using apparatus that generates low-intensity radiation. Today, mammography is considered the main method of early diagnosis of malignant neoplasms of the breast. Has an accuracy of 92%.

In European countries, X-ray mammography is mandatory for all women over the age of 45 years. In some other countries, it is mandatory for women over 40 years of age, but in practice it is far from everyone.

With the help of X-ray mammography, tumors with a size of 2 to 5 cm are best detected.

Indirect sign of malignant neoplasm is a large number of calcifications – accumulations of calcium salts, which are well contrasted in the pictures. If they are detected more than 15 per cm2, this is the reason for further examination.

The study is conducted in the same way as conventional radiography. The woman is naked to the waist, leans against a special table, lays a mammary gland on it, and then takes a picture.

Apparatus for X-ray mammography should meet the requirements established by WHO.

Types of X-ray mammography:

  • film – use a special cassette with a film on which the image is fixed;
  • digital – the image is recorded on the computer, in the future it can be printed or transferred to any media.


MRI for breast cancer

MRI-mammography is a study of the mammary glands with the help of magnetic resonance imaging.

Advantages of MRI-Mammography before X-ray tomography:

  • there is no X-ray radiation, which adversely affects tissues, is a mutagen;
  • the possibility to investigate the exchange in the mammary gland tissue, to carry out the spectroscopy of the affected tissues.

Disadvantages of magnetic resonance imaging as a method for diagnosing malignant neoplasms of the mammary glands:

  • high price;
  • lower efficiency in comparison with X-ray tomography, inability to identify calcinates in the gland tissue.

Before research, you must remove all metal objects from yourself. You can not take any electronics, since the magnetic field that the device generates can disable it.

If the patient has any metal implants (pacemaker, joint prostheses, etc.), you need to warn the doctor – this is a contraindication to the study.

The patient is placed in the apparatus in a horizontal position. It must remain stationary for the duration of the study. Time is determined by the doctor.

The result of the study is digital images, which show pathological changes.