Breast cancer diagnosis

If you have symptoms of breast cancer, your general practitioner (GP) will take a full medical history, which will include your family history. They will also perform a physical examination, checking your breasts and the lymph nodes under your arms.

Your GP may refer you to a specialist for further tests to find out if your breast change is due to cancer.

If the tests show that you have breast cancer, the specialist will work out how far it has spread. This is known as staging.

After a breast cancer diagnosis, you are likely to see a range of health professionals, who will all play a part in your treatment.

Many people feel understandably shocked and upset when told they have breast cancer. If you need support, call Cancer Council 13 11 20

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Video: Cancer and common diagnostic tests

Watch this short video to learn about what cancer is, and some common diagnostic tests.

This information was last reviewed in July 2016
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