Testing for Breast Cancer

If you have symptoms that may mean you have breast cancer, or a mammogram shows something suspicious, you will be referred to a hospital for specialist tests. This will be in Yellowknife or Edmonton depending on the type of test needed. There are two main sorts of test and you may need more than one depending on your symptoms and the test results.

Diagnostics Imaging

This is where sophisticated medical machinery takes pictures of what is happening inside the breast. There are three types:

  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
More Information On These Tests
Biopsy

A small piece of the suspect breast tissue is removed and then analysed in a laboratory. It is the way to be absolutely certain if cancer is present, and the type of cancer. There are two basic types of biopsy:

  • Needle biopsy
  • Surgery
More Information On These Tests

Clipart_DocFor everyone, having such a test is bound to be really worrying. You wonder what the test itself will be like, how you will feel afterwards and what the result will be. What will the hospital staff be like and will you understand what is happening? For many northern women there is also the anxiety of travelling far from home, perhaps being alone and wondering how your family are coping without you.

We look at these issues in more detail on our section on The Breast Cancer Journey.