Breast Care Services

According to statistics, the number of breast diseases is steadily increasing worldwide. Up to 70% of women suffer from non-cancerous diseases of the mammary glands. The age of patients is constantly decreasing. Against this background, the issues of prevention and diagnosis of breast diseases become especially relevant.

Often women avoid routine examinations as they fear to hear bad news. This is a big mistake since early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment of any disease, especially cancer.

Diagnosis of breast diseases: forewarned is forearmed

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases distinguishes several categories of breast diseases:

  • mastopathy – benign neoplasms in the mammary gland;
  • mastitis – inflammatory processes in the mammary gland;
  • breast hypertrophy;
  • mammary cancer;
  • other breast diseases: fissures and fistulas; fat necrosis; atrophy; galactorrhea not associated with childbirth; mammalgia.

It is easiest to divide the main diseases of the breast into two groups – benign and malignant. Breast cancer is malignant, and everything else is benign.

Important! Benign diseases in advanced stages can provoke malignant processes, so women need to undergo preventive examinations regularly. If any symptoms of the disease are detected, a woman must immediately consult a doctor.

What are some risk factors for developing breast cancer?

  • unhealthy lifestyle, stress, exposure to direct sunlight;
  • mechanical damage to the mammary gland;
  • abortions, early first menstruation (before age 12), late first childbirth (after 30 years), late menopause (after 55 years);
  • heredity.

According to the World Health Organization:

  • Breast cancer (BC) in women accounts for 16% of all cancer cases. This is an absolute leadership among other types of malignant neoplasms;
  • Every eighth woman is in the risk group for breast cancer; after 40 years, the likelihood of the disease increases;
  • More than a million cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year in the world;
  • Breast cancer is successfully cured in the early stages, so the main method of dealing with it is considered preventive diagnosis.

Breast Examination Techniques

There are a number of research methods, each of which has its own scope, advantages and disadvantages. As a rule, several types of diagnostics are used to obtain an exhaustive picture.

Clinical examination of the mammary glands (palpation)

That is what the breast examination begins with. Women are advised to conduct a self-examination monthly on the fifth or sixth day of the period when the mammary gland is not tense. During menopause, one day in a calendar month is selected. The review should include the following steps:

  • checking the bra for traces of discharge;
  • comparison of the size and symmetry of the mammary glands (self-examination is done in front of a mirror);
  • checking the condition of the skin: its elasticity, uniformity of color, the presence of seals, dimples or tubercles;
  • deep palpation of the mammary glands in a standing and lying position (the study is carried out from the collarbone to the lower edge of the ribs and from the sternum to the axillary line, including the armpit area, so as not to miss the enlarged lymph nodes);
  • examination of the nipple: change in shape or color, presence of ulcers or cracks.

Neither self-examination nor examination in the clinic can provide enough data to make an accurate diagnosis. However, with their help, the need for a more serious examination is revealed

X-ray diagnostics of the mammary glands

Radiation (X-ray) examination currently plays a leading role in the diagnosis of breast diseases, allowing to detect their preclinical forms. The study is recommended to be carried out for preventive purposes once a year, for diagnostic purposes – in the presence of symptoms of the disease. Special preparation is not required, but the procedure should be carried out in the first phase of the menstrual cycle. For women during menopause, the study can be scheduled any day.

Radiation diagnostics are not prescribed for pregnant and lactating women.


This is a survey x-ray. Pictures of both mammary glands are taken in frontal and oblique projections. A special x-ray machine is required – a mammograph.

Mammography is prescribed when symptoms of diseases are detected or for preventive purposes. Radiation exposure during mammography is negligible, complications are not observed.

Spot radiographs

Spot radiographs are used for detailed examination of individual breast areas, which are poorly visible in the overview images. They are made with a direct magnification of the image by 1.5-2 times.


A chest exam generally looks for lung problems, but can also look for breast problems. In this case, additional diagnostic methods will be required.

CT scan

An expensive diagnostic technique is used in cases where there is no certainty in the nature of the neoplasm already found, and neither the usual X-ray nor ultrasound gave an answer. It is also used if breast cancer is confirmed and the tumor has metastasized. Then a CT scan of the brain, the entire chest and abdominal cavity is necessarily done. The procedure requires a CT scanner, which is a cylindrical camera with X-ray sensors and emitters, as well as a horizontal automatically moving platform with special gaps, on which the patient is located. The area under study is scanned by X-ray, after which visual “slices” are transmitted to the computer monitor at different angles of inclination. The disadvantages of the procedure are its duration (in rare cases – up to two hours) and the need to be in a sedentary state all this time. It is possible to use sedatives.

X-ray breast diagnostics are widespread and are considered one of the most informative.

Ultrasound examination of the mammary glands

Ultrasound uses high frequency acoustic waves. Ultrasound examination is used as the main or additional method for diagnosing breast diseases. Ultrasound of the mammary glands is prescribed by a doctor for the prevention and diagnosis of breast cancer in cases where it is necessary to clarify the diagnosis or when X-rays are contraindicated. For example, during lactation, ultrasound can be used to diagnose mastitis. Under the control of ultrasound, a biopsy is often performed, it also clearly shows calcifications and foci of compaction, it can be used to assess blood flow in the breast tissues. The disadvantage of ultrasound is that it is effective only at a young age when the mammary gland has a dense structure.

Cytological (histological) examination

This type of study is commonly known as a biopsy. Only a biopsy can accurately determine the presence of breast cancer. It happens like this: a tissue sample is taken from the formation diagnosed in the mammary gland and sent for laboratory testing. This is a clarifying diagnosis necessary to assess the benignity / malignancy of the formation. If a microsample is sufficient, it is taken with a syringe, without anesthesia. This is called a punch biopsy. In some cases, a mini-surgery under local anesthesia is required, in which part of the tumor is excised and sent for analysis.

Important! Although any woman perceives a referral for a histological examination of the breast rather hard, in 80% of cases the test results are negative. When it comes to oncology, any diagnostic measures cannot be considered premature. The sooner you get accurate information about your health status, the easier it will be to correct it if necessary. Before the procedure, you should warn the doctor about allergies to medications, taking aspirin or anticoagulants in the last 7 days, about pregnancy.

Immunohistochemical (IHC) study

This is a study of malignant tumor cells in a diagnosed cancerous tumor. It allows you to determine the growth rate, the prognosis of the course of the tumor process, the response to chemotherapy and hormonal treatment. It can also be determined whether a tissue sample is taken from the primary site or from a metastasis. For IHC, it is necessary to take a tissue sample, as for histological examination, then it is tested with chemical markers. Immunohistochemical breast examination is a highly informative modern diagnostic method. It has no direct contraindications, like a biopsy.

RTM diagnostics

Radiothermometry is a diagnostic based on the temperature difference in various tissues of the body. Tumors have a higher temperature than healthy breast tissue, and they can be detected at an early stage with this diagnostic method. The data is taken with a special radiothermometer and transmitted to the monitor. During the examination, the patient lies on her back with her hands behind her head. To carry out the measurement, the radiothermometer is installed on the points under study. Within a few seconds, the temperature readings stabilize and can be recorded. At the end of the survey, the analysis of the results is carried out.

The advantage of this technique is non-invasiveness and the absence of any exposure to the patient, the radiothermometer captures fluctuations in the person’s own electromagnetic field. There are no contraindications to the procedure – as well as to the use of an ordinary thermometer. The combined use of mammography and the RTM method reduces the rate of false-negative results to 1-3%.

Only a doctor can determine which diagnostic procedure you need to undergo. Fluorography is mandatory in every state clinic once every two years. This screening study, which is necessary for every woman, allows you to control your health and reveal even minor pathologies at an early stage.