Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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Diagnosing Benign Breast Conditions

How are benign breast conditions and infections diagnosed?

In addition to obtaining a complete medical history, your physician, in diagnosing a breast condition, may proceed with the following:

  • Perform a complete physical examination to:
    • locate any lump and feel its characteristics (i.e., texture, size, and relationship to the skin and chest muscles).
    • look for changes in the nipples or the skin of the breast.
    • check lymph nodes under the arm and above the collarbones.
  • Request imaging tests, including:
    • diagnostic mammography to look for masses and calcifications.
    • breast ultrasound to further evaluate information from the physical examination or mammography.
  • If there is discharge, other than breast milk, from the nipples, request a laboratory microscopic examination of the discharge.
  • If there is discharge, other than breast milk, from the nipples, request a ductogram x-ray of the nipples.
  • Request a biopsy of tissue removed from the suspicious area.

What are the different types of biopsy?

  • image-guided biopsies - those aided by ultrasound or other imaging technique, including:
    • fine needle aspiration - a very fine needle is guided into the suspicious area and a small sample of the tissue is removed.
    • core needle biopsy - a larger needle is guided into the lump to remove a small cylinder of tissue.
  • surgical biopsy - a surgical procedure is used to remove all or part of a lump.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Breast Health

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