Tests & diagnosis

Breast cancer

Tests & diagnosis

If you've been recalled after a mammogram, you'll need to go through a few more tests.

This will involve a clinical breast examination and an ultrasound or extra mammogram views to clarify the nature of something which was seen on your screening mammogram. A biopsy may be necessary to diagnose an unusual change or lesion in your breast.

It's important to know most women recalled for assessment don't have breast cancer.

Although most breast changes are a result of benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions, a proper assessment is essential for an accurate diagnosis.

You will be referred to a breast specialist for a clinical examination of both breasts, further imaging as appropriate and if necessary, a biopsy which removes cells or a small amount of tissue for diagnosis. This is known as the Triple Test.

The Triple Test

The most reliable way to diagnose breast cancer is through a 'triple test'. Learn more about this process and what to expect.

Understanding your pathology report

After your tumour is removed during surgery, it’s sent to a pathology laboratory for analysis. The pathologist will compile a report of the findings and your breast specialist will discuss the results with you. Learn more about what information your pathology report will contain.

Breast cancer staging

TNM staging is a system used to calculate how advanced a cancer is, and ranges from stage 0 to stage 4. Learn more about how this system is used.

Gene expression profiling

Pathologists use tests to determine the size, stage, grade, lymph node involvement, and receptor status of a tumour.