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Reviewed by: Emily F. Conant, MD

Updated October 1, 2010

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, tests can help your doctor figure out the best treatment for the type of cancer you have. Your doctor also can perform tests to make sure that the breast cancer has not traveled to other parts of your body or to find out how to treat it if it has.

If you are at high risk for developing breast cancer or if you are a woman over age 40, your doctor will perform regular tests to check for the presence of breast abnormalities. These tests are usually done once each year, but how often you get tests is something you and your doctor should discuss.

Your doctor may ask that you have more testing after your regular tests because of the results showed a possible abnormality. Having more tests does not mean you have cancer. Regular tests could help you get treatment before any abnormalities become life-threatening.

Waiting for tests and test results can be one of the most stressful and frustrating parts of breast care. Remember that you have time to make good decisions and gather information so that you and your healthcare team can make the most informed choices about your care.

In this section, you can read about the types of tests you may need as part of ongoing breast cancer care.


Blood Tests

Bone Scans

CAT (CT) Scans

Chest X-Rays


MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)


PET Scans

Genomic Tests

Genetic Testing