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Illuminating the breast health journey

From early detection to accurate diagnosis

Welcome

Hi there!

Welcome to our campaign in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Illuminating the breast health journey" focuses on the importance of early detection and accurate diagnosis. Because these two factors can fundamentally define the outcome of anyone's breast health journey - whether it's cancer or something else.

We hope to support you or anyone you know, with answers to some of the questions you might have!

The importance of early diagnosis

For many women, the breast health journey never goes further than getting tested on a regular basis.

But even when you have always been in perfect health, it's important to discuss breast health with your doctor or gynecologist.


Learn more about screenings and self-testing

Something was found in my breast... What happens next?

When doctors found something in your breast, for example during your regular screening mammogram, they will want to do more tests to find out what it is exactly.

This might result in a lot of medical appointments for you. Below, you can find a short overview of the most commonly used imaging tests and why they are useful to diagnose what's going on.


Learn more about breast imaging tests

Imaging tests: a short overview

Mammogram

  • Uses very low doses of radiation
  • Shows a lot of detail
  • A variant is tomosynthesis, for a 3D image of your breast
  • Can be more difficult to analyze with dense tissue

Ultrasound

  • Uses gel and sound waves
  • Can help with dense tissue
  • Shows the difference between fluids or solid masses
  • Often used during biopsies

MRI

  • Uses radiowaves and magnets, which is not harmful
  • Gives a better view of soft tissue
  • Is an additional test to rule out incorrect diagnoses, and not always necessary
  • Can also be used when you have a higher risk factor for breast cancer (such as family history)

Interview

Dr Francis Devlies, breast radiologist at AZ Groeninge hospital in Kortrijk (Belgium), explains what happens during a breast screening exam and how he and his colleagues analyze the images.

Who analyzes my breast imaging test and biopsy?

You might wonder what happens between the moment of your breast tests and the moment you are informed of the results. Through whose hands do images and biopsies pass?

Breast images are examined by radiologists

Your breast images (mammograms, ultrasound scans, MRI scans, or others) will be analyzed by a radiologist who has received specialized training in breast structure and images. Their discipline is called mammography.

Biopsies are checked by pathologists

In contrast to medical images, a biopsy offers more than visual information alone: it’s a very small piece of tissue, taken from the place that needs to be investigated.

Biopsies might feel a bit scary, but there’s a lot of information there that can give your caregivers better insights. Just like radiologists specialize in medical images and the way the structure of your body is represented in them, there are pathologists who specialize in analyzing actual tissue.


Learn more about radiologists and pathologists

Ready for diagnosis

When all the necessary tests have been done, the radiologist has analyzed your breast images, and in some cases the pathologist has checked your biopsy, the doctors can form a diagnosis.

The diagnosis is the identification of what they’ve found. It gives the medical team the basis they need to define a treatment plan.

 

From diagnosis to treatment plan

Download your quick overview of the steps in your breast health journey

The journey at a glance

Are you a medical professional?

If you're interested in our medical solutions, we're happy to help you out.

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