NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Breast Cancer - page 15

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Breast Cancer
Version 2.2011
Definitions:
Breast
awareness:
Learning about your breasts
Contrast:
A substance
put into your body to make
better pictures during imaging
tests
Cyst:
A closed sac in the body
filled with air or fluid
Ductal
lavage:
A test used to
collect cells from breast ducts
Genetic
risk:
The chance of
having a disease passed down
from parents
Imaging:
Medical tests that
take pictures of the inside of
the body
Mammogram:
A test using
x-rays to look at breast tissue
Radiologist:
A doctor who
specializes in reading imaging
tests
Scintigraphy:
A test that uses
radioactive tracers to view body
parts
Screening:
Regular tests used
to detect a disease in someone
without symptoms
Ultrasonography:
A test
that uses ultrasound to view
body parts
Part 2: About my cancer
Screening mammogram
A mammogram uses x-rays to look at breast tissue (Figure 8). Screening
mammograms usually take two views of the breast to try to find cancer when
it’s most likely curable. Radiologists look at the mammogram and report their
findings to your doctor. The report will state whether the mammogram results
were normal, uncertain, or showed cancer. Based on your results, your doctor
may recommend either regular follow-up or more testing.
Screening magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and powerful magnets to
look at breast tissue. Also, a contrast material is injected to see abnormal areas
of the breast and show areas that are not cancerous. For this reason, MRIs can
result in a higher number of false alarms than mammography. Thus, deciding
who gets an MRI involves careful thought. Women with a normal risk for breast
cancer should not receive an MRI. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, an
MRI in addition to a mammogram may be appropriate.
Ultrasound
Ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the inside of the
breast. The pictures allow doctors to evaluate an area for cancer. Ultrasound
is very useful to see a solid mass from a fluid-filled cyst. A solid mass is
more likely to be cancer than a cyst. There is some evidence that breast
ultrasonography can be a useful screening test for high-risk women who have
dense breasts. However, at this time, it is not recommended by the NCCN
Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis Guidelines Panel. Breast scintigraphy
and ductal lavage are also not recommended as regular screening tests.
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