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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Breast Cancer – Locally Advanced (STAGE III)

Version 1.2017

screening mammograms. They are better at showing

the size and number of tumors.

Breast ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves to make pictures.

A probe will be held on your bare breast while the

pictures are viewed on a screen. The probe may

also be placed below your armpit to view your lymph


Ultrasound is sometimes used to assess the size of a

breast tumor. Ultrasound is also sometimes used to

guide a needle into a tumor during a biopsy. Biopsies

are described more on the next page.

Breast MRI

Sometimes, the mammogram and ultrasound

pictures are unclear. In this case, your doctor may

want you to get breast MRI (






maging). This test uses a magnetic field and radio

waves to make pictures of the insides of your


For breast MRI, you must remove your top and bra.

You will lie face down on a table that has padded

openings for your breasts. In the openings, there are

coils that help to make pictures. The table will move

slowly through the machine during the scan.

Chest diagnostic CT scan

CT (




omography) takes many pictures of

a body part using x-rays.

See Figure 6

. A computer

combines the x-ray images to make a detailed

picture. Your doctor may want you to receive CT of

your chest. Contrast should be used.

Abdomen ± pelvis diagnostic scans

Tests may suggest a health problem within

your abdomen or pelvis. You may report related

symptoms. A scan can help show if cancer is

present. Either a CT or MRI scan with contrast can

be used.

Before MRI, you may be fitted with coil devices that

emit radio waves. Straps may be used to help you

stay in place. During the scan, you will be inside

the machine. An open MRI scanner may be an

option at some health centers. The machine makes

loud noises but you can wear earplugs. The part of

your body that was scanned may feel a bit warm


Figure 6. CT machine

Pictures of the insides of your body can

be made with an imaging test. During the

scan, you will lie on a table that will move

into the tunnel of the imaging machine.

The pictures will be viewed by a doctor

who will look for signs of cancer.

Copyright © 2017 National Comprehensive Cancer Network






Treatment planning

Imaging tests