Test Required

test required for breast cancer

Tests required to detect breast cancer are as follows:

Cytological tests:

1). FNAC ( Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology)

It is a needle test carried out often in the clinic or under ultrasound guidance.

It is a quick procedure, not requiring anaesthesia and gives us a quick result.

Though the test is sensitive, a negative FNAC test does not rule out breast cancer in the presence of strong clinical suspicion.

2.) Trucut / Core Needle Biopsy:

This test uses a slightly thicker needle to remove small cores of tissue and is carried out under local anaesthesia.

A core biopsy gives us a more certain diagnosis of breast cancer and also gives information about the type of cancer. The additional tests performed on the core samples also help us in guiding treatment.

A core biopsy is very important in patients in whom neoadjuvant therapy is being considered, as we know the exact diagnosis and sometimes, the tumour completely disappears post therapy.

1). Mammography + Ultrasound of the breasts:

A basic and the most important investigation to rule out breast cancer.

A well-performed mammogram with a correlating ultrasound will be able to rule out breast cancer in the majority of women.

However, a mammogram may not be able to pick up suspicious lesions in younger women, as they have denser breasts and may require additional evaluation with a Breast MRI.

2). Breast MRI:

A highly specialised test, it is carried out for specific indications only. It is carried out in younger patients as part of the high-risk screening, patients with suspected breast cancer but not seen very clearly on a mammogram, patients with silicone implants, in patients with symptomatic nipple discharge and in patients with suspected bilateral or multifocal or multicentric breast cancer.

3). PET- CT:

This test is specifically carried out to rule out disease spread, before starting treatment and to assess the response of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in locally advanced breast cancers.

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