Types of Diagnostic Tests Used for Evaluating Breast Lumps

Even the thought of getting tests related to breast cancer can be frightening; however, it is vital that if you or your doctor has concerns, you get the diagnostic tests you need. Below you will find a basic summary of the most common breast related diagnostic tests along with average test report turnaround times.


  • Breast ultrasound: In this procedure a technician uses an ultrasound transducer to get a better look at any masses detected in the breast. The ultrasound can help physicians determine if the lump is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass. Results may be given to you directly after the procedure or after a two to three day period.

  • Mammogram: During a mammogram, an x-ray of the breast is taken. If any abnormalities are found your doctor may recommend a breast ultrasound or biopsy. Test results should be made available to you and your doctor within the hour; however, many centers still take several days to issue findings.

  • Biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure in which a portion of a breast lump or abnormality is removed and taken to a laboratory to be examined. Depending on the doctor's recommendation, a biopsy can be performed through a surgical incision or using a biopsy needle. Biopsy results are typically available three to four days after the procedure.


After a Diagnostic Test, Demand Results


Time and again our Virginia Beach medical malpractice lawyers have talked to patients who have assumed that their test results were fine only to find out, often too late, that the results were simply not given to the doctor. In one such case a woman's breast cancer went undiagnosed for a year after the results of her mammogram were sent to the wrong doctor.


It is crucial that you demand the results of any and all diagnostic tests. Never assume that no news is good news. Especially in breast cancer patients, the sooner a patient is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.


If you believe that a delay in the reporting of a diagnostic test caused your condition to worsen, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Norfolk, VA medical malpractice attorney at 757.625.1214 for your free consultation. Protect your rights, demand respect; call today.