Screening For Breast Cancer
The different techniques, used today, has advanced over the years.
Let’s take a look at some advantages we have to detect early stage of breast cancer through Medical review.
Mammography with Computer Aided Detection:
Mammograms are a great way to catch any early detection of cancer. Mammography is a an x-ray film of the breasts that is read by a Radiologist that checks to see if there is any abnormal findings. The Computer Aided Detection is a process that is computer based and it analyzes the mammogram for any abnormal tissue and shows the Radiologist where the abnormal tisse is, if there is any located.
Digital Mammography is a tool used to record an image of an x-ray of the breasts. The images are shown on a monitor and the doctors are able to enhance or manipulate the image for detection, before they print the image out on film.
Ultrasounds are a high-frequency sound wave that produces pictures called sonograms. These help the Doctors to distinguish if a lump or abnormal tissue is a tumor or a cyst. Ultrasounds are not only used as a diagnostic image, but also to help guide biopsy procedures of breast tissue, like fine needle aspirations. Ultrasounds are usually done after the result of an abnormal mammogram that might show micro calcifications or other abnormal tissue.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagining)
MRI’s is a procedure done that doesn’t use radiation. There is a magnet that is connected to a computer that then creates the images of what is inside the body. When a breast MRI is obtained there are a lot of images that are created from front to back, top to bottom and side to side. The patient gets on the scanning table and lie on their stomach. The breasts hang into a hollow in the table that has coils that detect any type of magnetic signal. Then the patient is moved into the tube like machine that has the magnet. This helps to improve any cancerous tumor visibility. A radiologist reads the results of MRI’s also
Fine Needle Aspirations
A fine needle aspiration distinguishes what type of tumor the patient has. There are solid tumors and liquid-filled tumors; which are cysts. How the procedure works is the doctor takes a fine needle and inserts it into the location of the tumor. The fluid in the tumor is then removed and sent to laboratory to see if the tumor has cancerous cells or not.
Surgical biopsies are usually done if the mass is a solid tumor. There are two different types of surgical biopsies, excisional, and incisional. Incisional biopsies are performed by removing only a small portion of the abnormal tissue to be examined by a pathologist. With excisional biopsies the whole tumor is removed with a small amount of tissue surrounding it, and then sent to a pathologist to examine.
There are other procedures that are used for detection of breast cancer. The techniques that are listed above are the most common procedures used for patients today. Newer diagnostic imaging and techniques are being developed that are guaranteed to catch early detection and identify patients that are at a high risk of breast cancer. Infrared Thermographic Imaging is a new discovery that picks up any subtle changes that have occurred in the breast pathology. Another new advancement for early detection is Gamma imaging camera that is used with an MRI that can pick up a cancerous tumor that is within the breast. There are always new advances in technology that will help improve the techniques to find early detection of breast cancer. One of these days there will be a cure, but for now concentrate on getting early detection before it becomes too late.