Breast Cancer Diagnosis: From What Now To What’s Next
A breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, overwhelming, confusing, and many other emotions. Once the dust settles, you will probably have a lot of questions about what happens next. We’re here to help with a list of resources guiding you through this journey.
When You Find Out You Have Breast Cancer
You might be in your doctor’s office in a daze. We hope you know that any emotions you have at this moment are valid and normal—you’re probably thinking: What now?
Possible Additional Screenings for Breast Cancer
When signs point to breast cancer, your doctor might schedule you for additional screening like a mammogram, Contrast Enhanced Mammogram (CEM), MRI scan, and/or breast ultrasound. Learn more about these tests here.
Tests like CT (CAT), PET, and bone scans (more on that here) also show if your cancer has spread.
After Diagnosis Confirmation: Treatment Options are Presented
Before treatment, your doctor will stage your cancer between zero and four.1 Here’s a great resource that goes over how staging works.
There are many possible ways to treat breast cancer based on your stage. You and your care team will decide the best course of action from your doctor’s recommendations and what you want to move forward with. Three common treatments you might be presented with are surgery, chemotherapy (chemo), and/or radiation.1
- Common types of breast surgery are lumpectomy, mastectomy, and underarm lymph node removal.1 The American Cancer Society goes over these surgeries here.
- Chemo uses anti-cancer drugs that may be given through an IV or as a pill. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body.2
- Radiation therapy is treatment with high-energy rays (or particles) that destroy cancer cells.3 It’s important to note that it can take time for your care team to recommend that this treatment is safe for you. Check out this article to learn more.
Support is Here for You Along the Way
We understand how overwhelming a breast cancer diagnosis can be. You can refer to the resources above and below any time you need.
The content in this piece is for information purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice. Please contact your medical professional for specific advice regarding your health and treatment. This information may be relevant in the U.S. and other markets and is not intended as a product solicitation or promotion where such activities are prohibited. Because Hologic materials are distributed through websites, eBroadcasts, and tradeshows, it is not always possible to control where such materials appear. For specific information on what products may be available in a particular country, please write to email@example.com.
1. If You Have Breast Cancer. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/if-you-have-breast-cancer.html. Accessed April 2023.
2. Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/chemotherapy-for-breast-cancer.html. Accessed April 2023.
3. Radiation for Breast Cancer. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/breast-cancer/treatment/radiation-for-breast-cancer.html. Accessed May 2023.