Going to your GP
If you have any of the symptoms of Breast Cancer as listed earlier, or if you feel your breast has changed in any way which unsettles you or is out of the norm, then you must visit your GP for a checkup. Most often the minor change proves to be either natural or something benign so you should refrain from worrying, and get a professional opinion.
You may even be asked to return after a few weeks, and this will undoubtedly scare you. How-ever most changes that you find in the breast maybe due to a benign case which could very well go away after the menstrual period. If it seems that you really do have symptoms of Breast Cancer then you’ll be referred to a specialist breast clinic.
Blood tests may be ordered by your Doctor to detect any cancer activity in your breasts. Blood can be used to detect two types of markers.
• Protein: A cancerous tumour produces a very specific type of protein in the bloodstream, the presence of which serves as a positive marker for Cancer.
• Circulating Tumour: These are cells which have been able to break free from the tumour and enter the bloodstream.
This test may be done before, during or after treatment (or all three) for the following reasons:
• Before: To help identify breast cancer and determine whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
• During: To determine whether the cancer is responding to treatment.
• After: To watch out for signs of recurrence.
A Mammogram refers to an X-Ray of the breast. This is produced by compressing the breast within X-Ray plates to produce a clear image of its insides. Two types of Mammograms may be administered:
• Screening Mammogram: This is done to detect breast cancer even without any symptoms of Cancer. It is a routine checkup.
• Diagnostic Mammogram: This is done when suspicious results are found in the Screening Mammogram, or after some signs of cancer have shown up, and the mammogram helps determine whether they’re cancerous in nature. These signs may include lumps, nipple inversion, nipple discharge, dimpling of the breasts, etc.
Whereas the Screening Mammogram only takes two X-Rays from two separate angles of the breasts, a Diagnostic Mammogram relies on a lot more X-Rays taken from different angles. The Radiologist involved may zoom in on particular parts of the breast to get a better picture of any potential abnormalities. This process generally takes quite a while longer than Screening Mammogram. This isn’t just helpful in identifying tumours that can’t be felt on the surface, but also detecting ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), that is, abnormal cells in the lining of the breast duct.
What to do If you have been misdiagnosed with breast cancer?
If you have been misdiagnosed it is best to get free legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitors as you could be intitled to claim compensation. Its very important that you do use a proven medical solicitors with a good track record. Clinical negligence is a big part of the mistakes surrounding breast cancer.
Ultrasound, or Sonography, is the use of high-frequency sound waves to outline a particular part of the body and produce its image on a screen. This can be done by moving a probe across the surface of the breast in order to view different parts of the breast and examine it for oddities. It can even differentiate between fluid-filled cysts and solid masses. While cysts aren’t necessarily cancerous, solid masses may be cancerous. This is ideally suited for women under 35 with breasts too dense for Mammograms.
Getting your Test Results and What do they mean?
It can take several days before you get the results of the tests. This can naturally be a very anxious wait, which is why it is highly advised that you talk to friends about what’s on your mind, or educate yourself about everything to do with Cancer. The Hospital would have given you a time frame within which you’d receive the results. Until then it is also proven helpful to visit chatrooms online and talk to people who might be going through something similar. You can even contact a support group if you have any questions that you can’t find the answers to. To learn more about Cancer and its diagnosis, you can find further details by following this link: breast cancer diagnosis.