Breast Scans: What It Reveals And The Purpose Of It
Over 17,000 Australians were diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2019. It’s a common myth that only women are the victims of this disease. Out of the 17,000 cases diagnoses, more than 150 cases were that of men. Thus, it is important that we spread awareness about the disease, among not just women but also men.
So to help the cause, we have compiled a list of the most common breast tests and scans, which can help in detecting any abnormalities in the breast region of the human body, and thus, prevent further harm at an early stage. Read ahead to know more:
Mammography could also be simply described as Chest X-rays. Usually done at the early stages or to confirm a suspicion, mammograms give an image of the concerned region. You could also opt for 3-D mammography, also known as Tomosynthesis, for a more intricate and detailed look at the region, wherein radiologists can also examine the tissues at a higher clarity than regular mammograms. While 2-D mammograms appear to be the same procedures as 3-D mammograms, the latter takes longer and makes use of digital tomography while also maintained safe radiation levels.
As the name suggests, ultrasound makes use of sound waves to detect any abnormalities in composition, structure, or chemical balance of the breast region. The specialists who perform an ultrasound and examine the results are called sonographers. Sonography is a non-invasive test, which is usually followed after something has been detected in a mammogram.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or as commonly known as an MRI test can help with early detection of Cancer. MRIs provide high resolution and detailed imagery of the concerned region of our bodies. They are also used during the treatment of cancer, to detect the growth of a tumour and assess the spread of cancerous cells across other regions of the body. MRIs are absolutely radiation-free, and help doctors in determining the treatment style that would be needed for whichever stage of breast cancer is diagnosed.
Bone Scan or Scintigraphy
This scan is needed to more dangerous stages of breast cancer, wherein there is a risk that cancer may have spread to the bones of the patient. For breast cancer patients, it is always a threat that cancer may spread to other organs, and if they experience symptoms of bone cancer, such as pain in joints, they should opt for a bone scan.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
In a PET test, a radioactive isotope is induced in the body as a tracer. It also uses sugar glucose, as our body cells get active on the reception of a sugar compound. Upon receiving the glucose, our cells register activity on the detector. Active cells require more oxygen to carry out their activities, which in turn is supplied by the tracer-loaded blood. The detectors can easily track the movement of the radioactive isotope which was induced as a tracer and reflects the exact areas it was flown to. Thus, this test can reveal the specific areas where our cells are active, and where there is a lack of activity or a toxic cell, such as the cancerous cells. More accurate than other methods of breast cancer tests, PET can reveal the exact areas where the infection may have spread.
Computed tomography (CT)
In a CT scan, powerful X-rays are directed to thus breast region, thus creating imagery of the tissue composition. This could help in detecting tumours, clots, and more such cancerous tissues in the breasts. However, CTs aren’t very clear, they could mostly hint at a possibility and confirm the suspicion. But to fully evaluate the conditions, a higher precision test is needed
Here’s hoping this article helped you understand the various methods breast cancer can be detected.