Breast cancer is a form of cancer that affects women. It is the formation of cancer cells in the breasts of the woman which, if undetected, spreads across the body. Cancer is a classification of diseases that generate tumors in the body, the location of which is determined by the type of cancer that a patient has. These tumors are malignant tumors and tend to grow out of control. They attack healthy cells in the area where they are growing. The advanced stage of a cancer is one where the cancer spreads across the body, a process known as metastasis.
For breast cancer, the traditional screening methods include a mammography and even simple touching of the breasts. This is a technique that women are encouraged to follow. As a woman’s age progresses, she should regularly feel her breasts for any abnormal tissue. The breasts are generally soft and fleshy. When a cancer tumor forms, it may be felt like a lump in the breast. When a woman feels such a lump, she should immediately undergo testing to catch the cancer early. Early detection of breast cancer could lead to a complete recovery.
Many cases of breast cancer are discovered after the cancer has established itself. In such a case, a bone scan may be ordered. When a cancer reaches an advanced stage, it begins to spread across the body. This process is known as metastasis. For breast cancer, the typical progression is to attack the bones of the body. Breast cancer may also spread to other organs like the liver or the kidneys. Doctors tend to combine a bone scan and breast cancer scanning together. There is an increased chance of surviving breast cancer when the bone scan is negative for cancer. The linkage between a bone scan and breast cancer is made for this reason because the bone scan could be used as a measurement for how far the disease has progressed. The absence of any cancer in the bones can lead to a diagnosis of a beginning stage cancer whereas if the bones are infected, it is considered to be an advanced stage of cancer.
A bone scan uses a nuclear reactive radioisotope. This substance is injected into the body and a scan is conducted during the injection. The scan is then repeated 3 hours after injection to see how much of the isotope has been localized around the bones. When the quantity is high, it is usually indicative of some problem with the bone.More articles from the Medical Tests Category