Breast cancer diagnosis
If you have any breast changes or a mammogram shows something suspicious, your GP will ask about your medical history, including your family history of breast cancer. They will also perform a physical examination, checking both your breasts as well as the lymph nodes under your arms and above your collarbone.
To find out if the changes have been caused by cancer, your GP may arrange some tests, such as a mammogram, ultrasound, breast MRI and possibly a biopsy. They may refer you to a specialist for these and other tests.
Learn more about:
Video: Cancer and common diagnostic tests
Prof Bruce Mann, Professor of Surgery, The University of Melbourne, and Director, Breast Tumour Stream, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr Marie Burke, Radiation Oncologist, and Medical Director GenesisCare Oncology, QLD; Dr Susan Fraser, Breast Physician, Cairns Hospital and Marlin Coast Surgery Cairns, QLD; Ruth Groom, Consumer; Julie McGirr, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; A/Prof Catriona McNeil, Medical Oncologist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Dr Roya Merie, Staff Specialist, Radiation Oncology, Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre, Liverpool Hospital, NSW; Dr Eva Nagy, Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Sydney Oncoplastic Surgery, NSW; Gay Refeld, Clinical Nurse Consultant – Breast Care, St John of God Subiaco Hospital, WA; Genny Springham, Consumer.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical support during and after treatmen
Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope
Patient rights and responsibilities
What you can reasonably expect from your health care providers
View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends