Tests for Breast Cancer

There are different tests for breast cancer that can be used at different stages.

  • A Breast Self-Exam or BSE is important to keep a track of different visible changes in the breast and all women from their twenties onwards should conduct a self exam every month.
  • A CBE or Clinical Breast Exam should be conducted by your doctor or health care provider every three years (if you are in your 20s or 30s), and every year (if you are in your 40s and older).
  • Screening tests such as annual mammograms and MRI’s need to be part of your annual health check-up if you are above 40 or fall into the high-risk category for breast cancer.
  • If breast cancer is suspected, diagnostic tests such as a biopsy will be performed to determine if the cancer has developed and the extent of the spread if it has.
  • Monitoring tests are performed regularly if breast cancer is diagnosed. These keep a track on how well therapies and treatments are working and if the cancer has recurred.

Frequently asked questions

Article (BJO:BJO1021)

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  3. M.M.A. Tilanus-Linthorst, C.C.M. Bartels, A.I.M. Obdeijn, M. Oudkerk, Earlier detection of breast cancer by surveillance of women at familial risk, European Journal of Cancer, Volume 36, Issue 4, March 2000, Pages 514-519, ISSN 0959-8049, 10.1016/S0959-8049(99)00337-8.
  4. Victor V. Levenson, Biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer: What, when, and where?, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, Volume 1770, Issue 6, June 2007, Pages 847-856, ISSN 0304-4165, 10.1016/j.bbagen.2007.01.017.