Breast Cancer Early Detection

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Other breast cancer screening tests

Mammography is the current standard test for breast cancer screening. MRI is also recommended along with mammograms for some women at high risk for breast cancer.

Other tests may be useful for some women, but they are not used often and have not yet been found to be helpful in diagnosing breast cancer in most women. These include scintimammography, thermography, ductogram, nipple discharge exam, nipple aspiration, and ductal lavage. These tests are discussed in more detail in our documents, Breast Cancer and Mammograms and Other Breast Imaging Procedures.

Talk to your doctor

If you think you are at higher risk for developing breast cancer, talk to your doctor about what is known about these tests and their potential benefits, limitations, and harms. Then decide together what is best for you.

For more information on imaging tests for early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases, refer to the separate American Cancer Society document, Mammograms and Other Breast Imaging Procedures.


Last Medical Review: 09/17/2013
Last Revised: 01/28/2014