A generation ago, it seemed relatively rare to hear about someone having breast cancer. Today, a large number of people in Pennsylvania have either had breast cancer themselves or have personally known someone who has had this form of cancer. As many advances have been made in the detection and treatment of breast cancer, the fact remains that some cases may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for too long. This may well contribute to the cancer spreading and becoming a more serious problem that if it had been able to be identified earlier.

According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, routine screenings via mammography cannot be relied on to be foolproof methods of detecting all instances of breast cancer. In fact, women should know that they may want to ask health care providers about other forms of testing if they are concerned about a problem with their breasts.

The Mayo Clinic indicates that when investigating a potential condition in the breast, ultrasound, biopsy testing and even MRIs may be used to help doctors make a final diagnosis. If some form of breast cancer is identified, other testing including blood test, bone scans, and PET or CT scans may be relied on to help pinpoint the stage or severity of the cancer.

As with any part of a person’s health, it is important for people to advocate for their best interests. Visual changes in breasts such as discoloration, skin quality, size and more as well as tenderness or pain are all things that may warrant testing for potential breast cancer.