Investigation methods for breast cancer diseases
Changes in the breast can be detected with regular self-examination, which is best performed in front of a mirror so that external breast changes can also be noticed. Self-examination is preferably performed between the seventh and twelfth day of menstruation. However, self-examination does not replace a palpation examination by your doctor.
Mammography is an X-ray examination of the breast. It is used for the early detection of breast cancer and to clarify palpation findings and other clinical abnormalities of the breast. Tomosynthesis (3D mammography technique) is used to create single slice images of the breast, which allows for greater diagnostic accuracy.
Breast ultrasound can be used in addition to mammography: In young women it is the examination method of first choice for further clarification of palpatory findings and abnormalities detected on mammography. It is a supplement to mammography in the case of dense breast tissue.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the breast (breast MRI) is obtained for specific questions.
Punch biopsy or vacuum biopsy
A tissue sample can be used to determine with certainty whether palpation findings or other clinical abnormalities are benign or malignant changes. We at the Zurich Breast Center perform all types of image-guided biopsies of the breast: Ultrasound-guided punch and vacuum biopsy, tomosynthesis-guided vacuum biopsy, and MRI-guided vacuum biopsy. The tissue removed in the process is examined in the laboratory for various biological characteristics. Further individual therapy is then planned on the basis of these specific characteristics.