Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If your doctor suspects you may have recurrent breast cancer based on results of a mammogram or physical exam, or because of signs and symptoms, he or she may recommend additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Tests and procedures may include:

  • Imaging tests. What imaging tests you'll undergo will depend on your situation. Imaging tests may include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scan, X-ray, bone scan or positron emission tomography (PET) scan.

    Not every person needs every test. Your doctor will determine which tests are most helpful in your particular situation.

  • Removing a sample of tissue for lab testing (biopsy). Your doctor may recommend a biopsy procedure to collect suspicious cells for testing. Working in a laboratory, a pathologist examines the cells and determines the types of cells involved.

    A pathologist can determine if the cancer is a recurrence of cancer or a new type of cancer. Tests also show whether the cancer is sensitive to hormone treatment or targeted therapy.

June 05, 2014