Early and accurate breast cancer diagnosis makes the condition one of the most treatable forms of cancer. When a breast abnormality is suspected, a physician will usually begin the evaluation process by gathering a medical history and performing a physical examination of the patient. Information relating to symptoms, other health issues and risk factors for breast cancer can guide the physician in determining whether further testing is needed for diagnosis.
At the Moffitt Cancer Center breast clinic, we provide initial diagnostic consultations as well as second opinions to patients with new breast problems, and no referrals are needed. In a single, convenient location, a patient can receive a clinical breast exam, comprehensive physical exam and diagnostic imaging.
Moffitt offers a full range services for breast cancer diagnosis, including:
- Digital mammography – Low-dose X-rays are taken by certified technologists and interpreted by board-certified radiologists with the use of computer-aided detection (CAD). X-ray images of the breast are stored as a computer images rather than on traditional X-ray film.
- Full-breast tomosynthesis – This three-dimensional mammogram records multiple breast images from many different angles.
- Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – A large magnet, radio waves and a computer are used to produce detailed images of the breast structure.
- Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) – Three-dimensional ultrasound technology produces images that are particularly useful for breast cancer diagnosis in women with dense breast tissue.
- Fine needle aspiration – A small number of individual cells are removed with a thin needle, sometimes with the assistance of ultrasound.
- Stereotactic biopsy – Computer-guided imaging is used to locate a lesion, then a tissue sample is removed via a puncture site that requires no stitches. This minimally invasive procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia.
- Core biopsy – A needle-like device facilitates the removal of multiple, small cones of tissue for evaluation by a board-certified pathologist.
- Surgical biopsy – A mass is surgically removed while a patient is under local anesthesia.
- Galactography or ductogram – Abnormal nipple discharge is evaluated through the injection of radiopaque contrast material into the milk ducts of the breast.
To discuss breast cancer diagnosis, stages and treatment with the cancer experts at Moffitt, please call 1-888-MOFFITT or schedule an appointment online by completing our new patient registration form.