NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stages I and II Breast Cancer - page 15

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Stages I and II Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
2
Treatment planning
Imaging tests
breast tissues. Your breast will remain flattened for a
few minutes while pictures are taken from a camera
that is attached to the two plates. The pictures will
be printed on film or saved on a computer. An expert
in mammography, called a radiologist, will view the
pictures. He or she will report the test findings to your
doctors. If the mammograms aren’t clear, the next two
imaging tests may be used.
Ultrasound
Ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to make
pictures. For this test, you will need to lie down on
a table. Next, a technician or doctor will hold the
ultrasound probe on top of your breast. The probe
may also be placed below your armpit to view your
lymph nodes. Ultrasound isn’t commonly used for
breast cancer but may be used when mammograms
are unclear.
Breast MRI
If the mammography and ultrasound images are
unclear, your doctors may want you to get a breast
MRI (
m
agnetic
r
esonance
i
maging). This test uses
radio waves and powerful magnets to make pictures.
Before the test, a contrast dye that makes the pictures
clearer may be injected into your vein. The dye may
cause you to feel flushed or get hives. Rarely, serious
allergic reactions occur. Tell your doctors if you have
had bad reactions before.
For a breast MRI, you must remove your top and bra
and lie face down on a table. The table has padded
openings for your breasts. In the openings, there are
coils that help to make pictures. During a breast MRI,
the table moves slowly through the tunnel of the MRI
machine.
Other imaging tests
Besides your breasts, imaging tests can be used to
view other body parts. Your doctors may want you to
have more imaging tests based on your symptoms or
other test results. Possible other imaging tests include:
Bone scan
A bone scan is recommended if you have bone pain
or if ALP blood levels are high. Before the pictures
are taken, a radiotracer will be injected into your vein.
The most common radiotracer used for bone scans
is technetium. You will need to wait about 3 hours for
the radiotracer to enter your bones. A special camera
is used to take pictures while you lie still on a table
It takes 45 to 60 minutes to complete the pictures.
Areas of bone damage use more radiotracer than
healthy bone and thus appear as bright spots. Bone
damage can be caused by cancer as well as other
health problems.
Chest diagnostic CT
CT (
c
omputed
t
omography) takes many x-rays from
different angles to make detailed pictures. You may
get a CT scan of your chest if you have symptoms
of lung disease. The CT scan can help show if the
symptoms are caused by cancer or another health
problem. Like a breast MRI, a contrast dye may be
used. For the CT scan, you will need to lie face up on
a table that moves through the machine.
Abdominal/pelvic diagnostic scans
CT and MRI scans can be used to see the insides of
your abdomen and pelvis. If you have symptoms in
these areas, a scan can help show if the symptoms
are caused by cancer or another health problem. Your
doctors may also order a scan of these areas if the
physical exam, ALP blood test, or liver functioning
tests suggest a health problem.
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