Around 230,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US every year. It is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. There are different types of breast cancer, including hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative. Your prognosis will depend on the type of breast cancer and its stage.
At Dignity Health Southern California hospitals, we know that cancer is one of the scariest words you can hear. That’s why we’re committed to treating breast cancer aggressively while providing the compassion and dignity you deserve. If you’re concerned about possible breast cancer symptoms in Southern California, Find a Doctor at one of our conveniently located hospitals:
Breast Cancer Signs
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- A mass or lump you can see or feel
- Swelling or tenderness of the breast or nipple
- Rash or skin changes anywhere on the breast
- Changes in the appearance, size, or shape of the breast or nipple
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk
See your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of these signs or other changes in your breasts.
Doctors usually find breast cancer during a mammogram — a recommended cancer screening for women — before any obvious signs appear. Mammograms can identify lumps before they are large enough to feel. The earlier breast cancer can be detected, the sooner treatment can begin and the more likely it is to be successful.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis & Screening at Dignity Health Southern California
If you or your doctor finds a lump in your breast, you will probably need further testing to determine next steps. Your doctor may order the following tests:
- Ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create pictures of breast structures
- Diagnostic mammograms, to take a closer look at the area of interest
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which creates images of the breast using magnetic fields
If the results of these tests are positive or unclear, a small tissue sample will be taken — a biopsy — to confirm whether the tissue is benign or cancerous. A biopsy can also tell your doctor more about the type of cancer, leading to more precise treatment. Sometimes biopsies aren’t taken until the breast lump is removed during surgery.
Talk to your doctor at Dignity Health to learn more about diagnosing breast cancer.
Dignity Health offers diagnostic screening for breast cancer symptoms in Southern California.