A member asked:

Could doctors play down breast cancer until they get biopsy results or can they tell by scan?

3 doctors weighed in across 3 answers
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion answered

Specializes in Medical Oncology

I don't know what you mean by that but the diagnosis of breast cancer is made under the microscope looking at tissue obtained from a biopsy or surgery. Mammos, scans, and even physical exam can sometimes give us a very good idea of whether there is cancer or not but we need tissue. Furthermore, different cancers will be treated differently so we have to know.

Answered Feb 12, 2014


Dr. Regina Hampton answered

Specializes in Breast Surgery

The only way to know if there is a breast cancer is to get a biopsy (piece of tissue). We can look at mammograms and have a "high suspicion" but the definitive answer will come in the biopsy report. When a core needle biopsy is done, the results are ready in 24-72 hours.

Answered Feb 7, 2014


Dr. Michael Gabor answered

Specializes in Diagnostic Radiology

Radiologists can assign a probability of malignancy based on imaging features, but can't tell for certain, so the biopsy is necessary for a definitive answer.

Answered Jul 3, 2014



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