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  • About Our Merger

    On February 1, 2017, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) joined forces.


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  • You Are Not Alone

    Whether you are living with metastatic breast cancer or have a loved one who is, it can be helpful to talk with someone who understands what you are going through. We are available to you.


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    Our team has the latest information about breast cancer and can answer questions about a diagnosis, treatments, what to expect, financial resources, coping, local support groups and more.


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    Need help understanding breast cancer screening and what you should do? We created an online decision aid tool to help inform all women of the factors to consider and their options. Give it a try.


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How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

A breast lumpLump:
A mass that can be found in the breast or elsewhere in the body. This can also be called a nodule.
or another sign or symptom of breast cancer may be found by a screeningScreening:
The search for diseases such as breast cancer in people without symptoms. Mammography is an important tool for breast cancer screening and earlier detection.
mammogramMammogram (also called mammography):
A low-dose X-ray of the breast. It is used to take images of the breasts and is an important screening tool for the earlier detection of breast cancer.
or during a clinical breast examinationClinical breast exam (CBE):
A physical examination of the breasts by a health-care provider.
by a health care provider. You may also notice a breast change yourself by being breast aware.

However, a change to the breast does not necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. In fact, most breast changes are not breast cancer. More information is needed to properly diagnose the signs or symptoms you are experiencing.

Diagnostic Imaging and Biopsy

The first step used for diagnosis will most likely be an imaging technique, which is a way to get a better picture of what is happening in the breast. You may also need to have a biopsyBiopsy:
A procedure in which tissue samples are removed from the body for examination under a microscope to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
, where a small tissue sample is taken to be tested in a lab to see if it is cancer.

It is important to diagnose the condition promptly. If it does turn out to be breast cancer, earlier detection can lead to more treatment options and a better chance of surviving the disease.

Explore this section to learn more about the different methods used to diagnose breast cancer, including the following: