Following on from Part 2 of our informative series on Fibrocystic Breasts we will discuss the various tests you can expect to have to undergo if necessary. There are different tests available and your doctor could possibly send you for one or more of any of the following.
Clinical Breast Examinations – this is normally the check up that your doctor will perform first at their office. You will be examined in your breast area and have your lymph nodes checked in your underarm area and in your lower neck.
If this test comes out with normal results then you will not need any further testing done. If your doctor does discover something unusual such as a lump then you may require a further check later on. Quite often you will be asked to come back after your next period and then they can see if the changes are still there or not. If the changes are still present then you will be sent most likely for a mammogram.
Mammogram Testing – if your doctor feels an unusual lump he will recommend that you go for a mammogram. This is an x ray exam which can detect lumps in your breast and is a test that every woman should have after they reach the age of 50.
Ultrasound Testing – this is a test which uses sound waves to map an image of your breasts and can be done in conjunction with a mammogram. Many doctors will send younger women for an ultrasound instead of a mammogram as it can identify the difference between a fluid filled cysts and a solid mass.
Aspiration Tests – this is often recommended when a fluid filled cyst is detected and can be done alongside an ultrasound. This test consists of using a fine needle to draw fluid from the lump. This is a procedure which can often be done in the doctor’s office.
Breast Biopsy – this procedure is used to remove a small sample of breast tissue. It is then evaluated under a microscope. This will be done after you have gone through all of the other tests we mentioned above. You will probably be recommended to a breast specialist before undergoing a biopsy and they will then determine if it is necessary or not.
While some of these tests may sound a little intimidating they are actually not. Remember your health is at stake so any test recommended by your doctor should be acted upon.