Breast Cancer - How Was It Detected

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

How was your breast cancer detected?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

How is breast cancer diagnosed?

Although breast cancer can be diagnosed by the above signs and symptoms, the use of screening mammography has made it possible to detect many of the cancers early before they cause any symptoms.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has the following recommendations for breast cancer screenings:

Women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram every year and should continue to do so as long as they are in good health.

    Mammograms are a very good screening tool for breast cancer. As in any test, mammograms have limitations and will miss some cancers. The results of your mammogram, breast exam, and family history should be discussed with your health care professional.

Women should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of regular health exams by a health care professional about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 years of age and over.

    CBE are an important tool to detect changes in your breasts and also trigger a discussion with your health care professional about early cancer detection and risk factors.

Mammography may offer less benefit to younger women than to older women. Younger women frequently have more dense breasts, and there is a higher incidence of false positive results in younger women. In contrast to the ACS recommendations, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that routine mammography screening begin at age 50. Women aged 40 to 49 are encouraged to discuss their situation with their health care practitioner to decide on the appropriate time to begin screening mammography.

Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should report any breast changes to their health care professional.

If a woman wishes to do BSE, the technique should be reviewed with her health care professional. The goal is to feel comfortable with the way the woman's breasts feel and look and, therefore, detect changes.

Women at high risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram every year. Women at moderate risk (15% to 20%) should talk to their doctor about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.

Return to Breast Cancer

See what others are saying

Comment from: Sooviver, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I went for my annual mammogram (about six months later then I should have) and they sent me a notice that I needed to have more films taken. I went back and they took the necessary films. Then they wanted to have a needle biopsy. I was positive for invasive ductal cancer, stage 2. That was in September and now it is January. Since September, I've had two surgeries, and I am now starting radiation. Plus, I'm taking Arinidex. This has all happened so fast, yet so slow. All I can say is, please get an annual mammogram.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: slmhobblet, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

My breast cancer was discovered accidentally. I had a "clean" mammogram on May 31 of last year (2007). I ran the Casper Marathon on June 8, 2007. I was feeling myself all over the next day, thinking "Ow, everything still hurts," when I found a very small lump the size of a green pea in my left breast nearly under my arm. I immediately made an appointment with my physician, who decided to watch it a couple of months to see if it would go away on its own. When it was still present on July 23, we agreed I should have a diagnostic mammogram. Upon reading the mammogram, the radiologist said, "I can't see anything"... not anything as in "no cancer" but as in "diddlysquat...your breasts are too dense to read." She said I needed an ultrasound, which I then had and which clearly indicated on the screen, even to me, that something different was present. I returned two days later for a fine core biopsy and a research MRI for a clinical study. Results from the biopsy and the MRI indicated the presence of cancer. This experience has totally demolished my confidence in mammograms. I feel as though I have been brainwashed by the flood of propaganda about getting my yearly mammograms (which I have done every year for the past 19 years). This cancer had been present for an estimated five to six years, yet no mammogram or yearly physician's exam had detected it. My yearly mammogram report always said something to the effect that I have dense breasts that make the mammograms more difficult to interpret....but nowhere or at any time was I ever told that the physician could not see "anything" as in "diddlysquat," and that to be safe, I should have an MRI. My physician says that the insurance will not pay for such MRIs and that is why doctors don't recommend them. I would gladly have paid for the expense myself given the fact that breast cancer runs in my family. I will be fortunate to survive another four years now.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!