Other Imaging Tests

Other Imaging Tests

Your doctor may order other imaging tests if abnormalities are found during a breast exam or mammogram. Imaging tests are useful to identify cancer in its early stages, find a mass or lump, predict whether a tumor is likely to be cancerous, show the tumor’s location, find out the stage of the cancer, and plan treatment. Although imaging tests can be helpful to physicians, they are only part of cancer diagnosis and treatment and often have limitations that require additional testing methods.

Types of Imaging Tests

Tissue analysis can help your doctor learn about specific features of a cancer to determine the best course of treatment, including tumor size and features, hormone receptors, HER2 status and tumor grade.

  • CT scan: A CT (computed tomography) scan uses X-rays taken from different angles combined for more detailed images. CT is typically used to view the chest to determine if breast cancer has spread to other body areas or used to guide a biopsy needle into an abnormal area.
  • PET scan: PET (positron emission tomography) scans use radioactive sugar to show cancerous cells throughout the body. PET scans are often used in conjunction with CT scans to determine if cancer has spread. 

Ask Your Doctor

The imaging tests your doctor recommends may depend on several individual factors including your age, gender, overall health, biopsy or clinical breast exam results, and preference. Please be sure to ask your doctor which imaging tests are best for you, or helpful in understanding your diagnosis.

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