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Diagnosing Breast Cancer

Breast tumors are typically, but not always, painless, so it is important to have any breast or underarm lump checked. Swelling, discoloration, thickening of the skin or nipple discharge also should be checked immediately.

  • In some cases, a biopsy to determine if you have breast cancer will be done in an office setting using a needle to remove cells from the lump.
  • A stereotactic biopsy uses mammography targeting to pinpoint smaller tumors and permit a small amount of tissue to be removed by a needle for diagnosis.
  • Your surgeon may suggest removing the lump to see if you have cancer.