If You Need Further Testing
The Screening Program for Breast Cancer's client navigator will arrange for your follow-up appointments, with your doctor or nurse practitioner's permission.
Most abnormal mammogram results are due to changes in the breast that are not cancer. Nine out of 10 women who require follow-up tests do not have cancer.
What follow-up tests will I need to have?
You may have:
- A diagnostic mammogram, which is an x-ray that uses special views to see breast tissue more clearly
- An ultrasound, which uses sound waves to determine between a cyst and other breast tissue
Your doctor or nurse practitioner may also do a clinical breast examination.
What if the follow-up test is abnormal?
Some women may need a further follow-up test called a biopsy, which removes breast tissue for testing.
There are three main types of biopsies:
- An ultrasound or stereotactic core biopsy uses a needle to remove breast tissue.
- A surgical biopsy removes breast tissue in the operating room or in a clinic.
- A fine needle aspiration uses a very thin needle to remove fluid or cells.
How will I know the results of my follow-up tests?
Your doctor or nurse practitioner will receive the results of your follow-up tests and help to arrange further care if it is needed.
What if my follow-up tests are normal?
If the results of your follow-up tests are normal, you can return to the screening program for regular screening mammograms. The screening program will send you a letter when it's time to make your appointment.