- The importance of finding breast cancer early
- What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
- Breast cancer risk factors you cannot change
- Lifestyle-related risk factors for breast cancer
- Factors with unclear effects on breast cancer risk
- Factors with controversial effects on breast cancer risk
- Signs and symptoms of breast cancer
- American Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection in women without breast symptoms
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Clinical breast exam
- Breast awareness and self-exam
- Breast ultrasound
- Other breast cancer screening tests
- Paying for breast cancer screening
- To learn more about breast cancer early detection
- References: Breast cancer early detection
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