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Understanding Breast Cancer Diagnosis Methods

18 Apr, 2022

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team


Whether you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or continuing the treatment, by now you probably have an idea that medical tests go hand in hand with breast cancer treatment planning. Apart from the regular tests, screening tests aid in the early detection of breast cancer before any symptoms arise. Early detection of breast cancer improves your chances of successful medical treatment and increases the survival rate as well.

Here we have discussed some common queries that you might have related to these tests.

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Blood test for breast cancer detection:

Blood chemistry tests examine the amounts of particular compounds in the blood, which might tell your doctor whether or not your organs are healthy and working normally during treatment. Tests can be performed to determine:

  • To assess liver function, the levels of liver enzymes and bilirubin are measured.
  • potassium, chloride, and urea nitrogen levels, which represent the liver and kidney health before and after therapy.
  • calcium levels, in order to assess bone and renal health
  • blood sugar levels, which are critical for diabetics and individuals on steroids

Also, Read - Breast Cancer Stages & Treatment

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Does breast cancer show up in CBC?

Abnormal blood test values may potentially indicate that the breast cancer has progressed to the bone or liver. To acquire more information, your doctor would conduct an imaging procedure, such as a bone scan or CT scan.

What are the blood tests that your doctor may suggest to diagnose breast cancer?

In most cases, blood cancer is not used for the diagnosis of blood cancer. Instead, it shows the overall health condition of the patient. A complete blood count (CBC) determines if your blood contains an adequate amount of different types of blood cells or not.

For example, it can reveal whether you are anemic (have a low number of red blood cells), whether you are in danger of bleeding (due to a low number of blood platelets), or if you are susceptible to infections (because of a low number of white blood cells).

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Because many cancer treatments might alter blood-forming cells in the bone marrow, this test could be done on a regular basis during therapy.

What are the breast cancer blood test markers?

A tumor marker test is a type of blood test. Tumor markers can also be referred to as biomarkers or serum markers. In certain cancer patients, they are higher than usual. The tests you require are determined by the stage of your breast cancer.

Tumor markers that may be examined for breast cancer that has migrated to other organs include carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3), and cancer antigen (CA 27-29).

Blood testing for these tumor markers is not used to diagnose or track the progression of breast cancer.

How to detect breast cancer early?

American Cancer Society has recommended various guidelines for screening for breast cancer.

These recommendations are for women who are at moderate risk of developing breast cancer.

  • A woman is considered to be at average risk for screening purposes if she does not have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase the risk of breast cancer (such as in the BRCA gene), and has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.
  • Every year, women between the ages of 40 and 44 can begin screening with a mammogram.
  • Mammograms should be performed on women aged 45 to 54 once a year.
  • Women over the age of 55 can choose to have a mammogram every other year or to continue having yearly mammograms. Screening should continue indefinitely as long as a woman is in good health.

Also, Read - Saline or Silicone Breast Implants - Which One is Better

Can breast cancer be diagnosed without a biopsy?

A breast biopsy may be required if your breast symptoms or the findings of an imaging test indicate that you may have breast cancer. During a biopsy, a doctor removes small bits of breast tissue from the questionable area so that they may be examined in the lab to see whether they contain cancer cells.

Needing a breast biopsy does not always imply that you have cancer. The majority of biopsy results do not indicate malignancy, but a biopsy is the only way to be certain.

Following are the various types of biopsies performed to find out breast cancer that including-

  • FNAC(fine needle aspiration cytology)
  • Lymph node biopsy
  • Core needle biopsy
  • Open(surgical) biopsy

Also, Read - Breast Augmentation Surgery for Breast Enlargement

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