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Screening and Testing to Detect Cancer: Breast Cancer

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Screening and Testing to Detect Breast Cancer

Screening methods to find breast cancer include clinical breast examination (doctors or nurses examine women’s breasts for lumps), mammography, and other imaging techniques. Screening may find cancers early, when they are most treatable.

On this page:

Breast Changes and Conditions

  • Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for Women
    Information on specific breast conditions and changes, including how these changes are detected, diagnosed and treated. Explains that while most breast changes are not cancer, all breast changes need to be checked by a doctor. Helps women understand the next steps after an abnormal mammogram result, and includes a list of questions to help women talk with their doctor about these issues.
  • Having a Breast Biopsy: A Guide for Women and Their Families
    This guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality explains the different kinds of breast biopsies, how effective they are in finding cancer, and their possible side effects.

Breast Cancer Screening Summary


Other Screening Methods

Clinical Trials to Screen for Breast Cancer

Find Clinical Trials to Screen for Breast Cancer
Check for breast cancer screening trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients. The list of clinical trials can be refined by location and other features.

Research About Breast Cancer Screening

  • Norwegian Study Estimates Overdiagnosis of Breast Cancer from Screening
    As many as 1 in 4 invasive breast cancers diagnosed in Norway through the country's widespread, population-based mammography screening program never would have caused the woman harm or required treatment, researchers reported in the April 3, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine.
  • Drawbacks of Adding MRI to Mammography Plus Ultrasound May Outweigh Benefits
    Adding ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to annual screening mammograms for women with an increased risk of breast cancer and dense breast tissue detects more new breast cancers than mammography alone but also results in more false-positive findings, according to results of a multicenter clinical trial reported in the April 4, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association.
  • Cancer Trends Progress Report: Breast Cancer Screening
    This section of the Cancer Trends Progress Report focuses on screening mammography.
  • Breast Imaging Study
    The Breast Imaging Study will evaluate the use of several new, promising breast cancer screening techniques in women at high genetic risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium
    The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium studies breast cancer screening practices and fosters collaborative research to improve the practice of community-based mammography screening.