New Breast Cancer Diagnosis - What to Expect

In this video, we break breast cancer down into 3 simple steps:

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Stage
  3. Treatment

Read the full video transcript below:

In this video, we'll break breast cancer down into three simple steps: diagnosis, stage, and treatment. 

Most new breast cancers are diagnosed by mammogram. Some breast cancers are diagnosed after the patient feels a lump or a mass. The mass is evaluated by ultrasound. Regardless of whether the mass was found by ultrasound or mammogram, the next step in management is a biopsy. A biopsy is the only way to establish a new diagnosis of breast cancer.

After diagnosis, the next step is staging studies. A good physical exam is one of the most important steps in staging any breast cancer. Some women don't require any additional studies after a physical exam, ultrasound, and mammogram. But other women require additional studies like an MRI of the breast, CAT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, and a bone scan.

Once a breast cancer has been diagnosed and staged, it's time to select the most appropriate treatment. The main treatment for any non-metastatic breast cancer is surgery. Depending on the type of surgery and how advanced the cancer is on staging studies, the patient may require additional treatment after surgery like: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormone or targeted molecular therapy.

If you or a loved one get lost in the weeds after a new diagnosis of breast cancer, try to organize your thoughts by coming back to these three simple steps: diagnosis, stage, and treatment. 

This is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor before making any medical decisions.