Breast Cancer – Diagnostics

The diagnosis determines the type of treatment. Visit the information pages below to get an overview about the most common diagnostic methods to detect breast cancer.

The importance of breast Cancer Diagnostics

The importance of Breast Cancer Diagnostics

Determining exactly what kind of tumor it is (benign or malignant) is essential to selecting the best possible treatment.

Mammography

Mammography

Mammography is a diagnostic tool that uses X-rays to examine the breast. It is the most common method for detecting breast cancer and discovers even very small, early-stage tumors that cannot be felt by touch.

Tomosynthesis

Tomosynthesis

While classic mammography is only able to deliver two-dimensional images of the breast, newly developed tomosynthesis (tomo = “layer”) uses X-rays to take 3D images.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, a supplement to mammography, uses high-frequency sound waves that travel through tissue. The examination is completely painless and there is no exposure to radiation. Ultrasound is particularly well suited for women with dense breast tissue.

Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produces an image of the inside of the breast by using magnetic fields. The scan is X-ray free and thus particularly suitable for younger women with a genetic risk who have to be examined more frequently.

Biopsy

Biopsy

If suspicious findings are detected, they must be carefully analyzed. This is accomplished with microscopic analysis of a tissue sample (biopsy). The quick, outpatient procedure causes minimal injury at the insertion point.

Localization - scanning for metastases

Localization - scanning for metastases

Scanning for metastases is of great importance for planning further treatment. It usually consists of X-rays of the lungs and chest, scintigraphy (nuclear medicine examination) of the bones, and an ultrasound of the liver.

Characterization of tumor cells

Characterization of tumor cells

The characteristics of the tumor cell itself reveal a “timetable” of the cancer, providing important indicators about the course of the disease.