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Invasive Breast Carcinoma: History and Imaging Tests for Detecting Breast Cancer

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The most common carcinoma in women is Invasive carcinoma. According to the study and statistics, almost 23% of global cancers in women suffered from this type of cancer. Moreover, its ratio increase in affluent countries which is 27%. The reported cases of this type of breast cancer increase ten times than before. The highlighted high-risk areas include Australia, Europe, and North America. The risk of breast cancer is drastically low, almost 6% in underdeveloped areas of South Africa and Eastern Asia including Japan. The probability of effectiveness and spreading of this disease in underdeveloped areas of Africa and Asia is 1/3 that of rich countries.

The diagnosis for patients with this disease is very good in case of early detection. Due to the improvements in the medical field in developed countries, Significant survivals are reported from this disease. The process of treatment improvises by the use of Adjuvant Hormonal treatment, Chemotherapy, and especially with the introduction of 2nd and 3rd generation Chemotherapy.

Detection & Imaging of Invasive Breast Carcinoma

The baseline imaging method for the detection of Breast Cancer in Women aged more than 40 years is Mammography. Invasive breast cancer is mostly manifested in mammography as an ill-defined with or without calcination. Calcination is a Thermal Treatment process in the absence of oxygen.

Ultrasound can be added to sensitivity in the diagnostic process. Its a more efficient method of choice for imaging the breast with age less than 40 years. Mammography is rarely helpful in the detection of breast cancer with age less than 40 years.

The most sensitive and effective method of Diagnosis Breast Cancer is MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging). The use of MRI is limited to the most sensitive and very high-risk cancer patients. Mostly it is used to a screening of carriers of a mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. In addition to this, MRI also used in screening local staging of breast cancer.

Ultrasonic and mammography imaging should always be used before the treatment of breast cancer. It helps in the assessments of the size and the presence of a multi factory of breast cancer tumors. The vast majority of breast cancer should be diagnosed without the need for a surgical biopsy. Cancer can be diagnosed using Ultrasonic Imaging. MRI can be used to improve pretreatment staging of the breast where there is doubt about the extent of disease after mammography and ultrasound (e.g. in the dense breast) and routinely for invasive lobular carcinoma.

A standard digital mammogram, left, compared to a 3-D chemosynthesis mammogram, right in the image below.

Clinical Features of Invasive Breast Carcinoma

The most common clinical sign of invasive breast carcinoma is a Palpable. Although, skin retraction, nipple inversion, nipple discharge, or less commonly change in the shape of the breast, the color of skin, and texture of the skin. Mostly, the symptoms of breast cancer are the enlargement of lymph nodes. For a definitive diagnosis of breast cancer, the technique of evaluating with Imaging and Histological sampling on the image. Image sampling achieved by using core biopsy or fine-needle aspiration cytology. Some breast cancer mammograms and ultrasonic imaging are given below.

mammographic and


Mammographic demonstration of the evolution of a poorly differentiated invasive carcinoma of no special type, a circular tumor mass on the mammogram. (A) Non-specific density in the axillary tail of the right breast, undetected at the screening. (B) 18 months later: an ill-defined, high-density lobulated tumor of > 30 mm is evident and mammographically appears to be malignant. Metastatic lymph nodes are seen in the axilla. (C) Large-section histology of the tumor in the above image.

Imaging tests for detecting metastasis in Breast Cancer

Once breast cancer is diagnosed, one or more of the following tests may be done to detect cancer cells that may have metastasized (spread) to other places in the body. Some testing techniques for staging breast cancer are given below:

Chest X-Ray

This test is done for the purpose of identifying the spread of breast cancer. Its commonly used to check, how much it affects the lungs. X-Ray test for Invasive Breast cancer diagnosis can be view in the image below:


This test is used to identify the extensiveness of breast cancer. It helps to identify the abnormal areas of the breast. This test is very useful for early-stage invasive breast cancer.

Bone scan 

To diagnose the spread of cancer to bones, one of the essential tests is Bone Scan. X-ray test is not a much accurate resulted test for the cancer diagnoses in the bones. This test shows the all bones of your body at the same time. In this test, a small amount of low-level radioactive material is injected through a vein. In a few hours, substance settles into the areas of bones. after that, you have to lie on a table for 30 minutes. A special camera capture pictures of your whole body skeleton. the color of areas of bone changes that attract radioactive rays. The changed color areas suggest the presence of metastatic cancer.  A side effect of this test is,  the other bone disease can cause the same pattern from this test. To disguise between cancer and other diseases, another test is taken named Bone Biopsy.

Computed tomography

For the complete study of the bones and body, a very important test named Computed Tomography (CT) is used. It’s like an X-ray procedure, But it captures cross-sectional images of the body. CT scanner takes many images as it rotates around your body when you lay down on a table. After capturing all parts and in all dimensioned images, it combines and makes a slice of the part of your body. In women, Breast cancer is diagnosed with the help of 3D image of the chest and abdomen. It makes it easy to diagnose the spread of the cancer cells in other organs. Computer Tomography (CT) Test Results can be view below:

Before the CT Scan, you ask to drink 1-2 points of a contrast solution. The purpose of the contrast solution is to outline the intestines so that certain areas are not mistakenly considered ass tumors. Sometimes contrast die is injected in your body to outlined your body in scan results. Contrast dye in Side effects may cause a feeling of warmth, especially on the face or sometimes cause low blood pressure and breathing problem. 

Note:  Be sure to consult a doctor if you ever had a reaction to any contrast material used in the CT scan test. 

CT-Guided Needle Biopsy

CT scans can also be used to precisely guide a biopsy needle into a suspected area of cancer metastasis. For this procedure, you remain on the CT scanning table while a radiologist advances a biopsy needle through the skin and toward the location of the mass. CT scans are repeated until the doctors are sure that the needle is within the mass. CT-Guided Needle Biopsy can be view below:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI may be used to examine the breast with cancer to look for other tumors. It may also be used to look at the opposite breast to determine whether it contains any tumors. It is not clear how helpful MRI is in planning surgery in someone known to have breast cancer. Like CT scans, MRI is also used to determine whether cancer has spread to various parts of the body. MRI scans are particularly helpful in looking at the brain and
spinal cord.
MRI scans use radio waves and very strong magnets instead of x- rays. The energy from the radio waves is absorbed and then released in a pattern formed by the type of body tissue and by certain diseases. A computer translates the pattern into a very detailed image of parts of the body. A contrast a material called gadolinium is often injected into a vein before the scan to better view the details.  


Ultrasound tests use sound waves and their echoes to produce a picture of internal organs or masses. A small microphone- like instrument called a transducer sends out sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off body tissues. The echoes are converted by a computer into a black and white image that is shown on a computer screen. This test is painless and does not expose you to radiation.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

For a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, glucose (a form of sugar) that contains a radioactive atom is injected into the bloodstream. Cancer cells in the body absorb large amounts of the radioactive sugar. After about an hour, a special camera is used to create a picture of areas of radioactivity in the body. PET Test for Breast Cancer can be view below in the shared image:

A PET scan can be useful when your doctor believes cancer may have spread but the location is unknown. 



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