Breast cancer remains the most prevalent and deadly cancer among women worldwide. Despite its high mortality rate, early detection significantly improves the chances of survival and complete cure. This reflects that many women are diagnosed in the later stages, highlighting the importance of regular breast cancer screening.
Dr. Preawpun Thongthap, a renowned breast imaging and interventional radiologist at Vejthani Hospital , explained the importance of identifying symptoms and undergoing regular screening. While some patients may not exhibit initial symptoms with breast lump, mammograms and ultrasounds can reveal abnormalities. If the lump is suspected to be cancerous, it will lead to further investigation like biopsy for prompt diagnosis.
Mammograms and ultrasounds are crucial in assessing breast lumps, determining their characteristics and shapes, and differentiating between benign and malignant tumors. The radiologist assigns a BI-RADS score to quantify the likelihood of cancer. The BI-RADS score ranges from 1 to 5 with the following information.
- BI-RADS 1: No abnormalities detected. Annual screening is recommended.
- BI-RADS 2: Normal findings such as calcification, cysts, or non-malignant tumors. Annual screening is recommended.
- BI-RADS 3: Findings likely benign, with a 0-2% chance of cancer. Re-examination every 6 months for 2 years recommended for absolute reassurance.
- BI-RADS 4A: Abnormalities detected, with a 2-10% chance of cancer.
- BI-RADS 4B: Abnormalities detected, with a 10-50% chance of cancer.
- BI-RADS 4C: Abnormalities detected, with a 50-95% chance of cancer.
- BI-RADS 5: Abnormalities detected, with >95% chance of cancer.
If your BI-RADS score falls between 4 and 5, your doctor will recommend a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. While fasting is not necessary prior to the biopsy, it’s crucial to inform your doctor about any medications you’re taking that could affect blood clotting. These medications may need to be temporarily stopped 5-7 days before the procedure to minimize the risk of excessive bleeding. The biopsy involves injecting local anesthesia at the lump. This may cause a mild stinging sensation during injection. The doctor will use imaging guidance with the help of an ultrasound or mammogram to target the lump precisely, ensuring accuracy and minimizing discomfort. While you may hear a clicking sound during the biopsy, there will be no pain.
Today, biopsy has revolutionized the way we examine suspicious breast lumps, enabling precise examination even when the lump is not palpable or is smaller than one centimeter. This allows for early detection and diagnosis, even in challenging cases. The procedure typically takes about an hour, leaving only a tiny, needle-sized wound. This minimally invasive approach minimizes discomfort and allows patients to return home on the same day after the procedure. For the first three days after the biopsy, the wound will be covered with a waterproof plaster to keep it dry, and avoid strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects or exercising to achieve optimal healing. This will ensure a smooth recovery and allow patients to quickly resume their regular routines. If you experience any discomfort, it is recommended to take paracetamol to release the pain.
Vejthani Hospital understands the anxiety that can accompany waiting for test results, especially when it comes to something as crucial as your health. We have streamlined our biopsy process to provide urgent biopsy results within just one day, eliminating the burden of uncertainty and allowing patients to focus on their well-being.
Standard biopsy results are typically available within a week, ensuring timely diagnosis and treatment when necessary. Our dedication to women’s health drives our commitment to prompt and accurate diagnosis.
“Because breast is an integral part of women’s health, let’s prioritize its care and embrace early detection.”
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