Follow-up tests after an abnormal screening do not diagnose breast cancer, but determine whether breast cancer is present or not.

Follow-up tests to rule out breast cancer include:

An official diagnosis must come from a biopsy, either needle or surgical. A biopsy removes cells or tissue from a suspicious area of the breast. The cells or tissue are studied under a microscope to see if cancer is present.

Waiting for results from a biopsy can be hard and scary. Try to stay calm, most breast biopsies in the U.S. don’t show cancer. Remember, if breast cancer is found, it can be treated.

Here are some tips that may make the wait a little easier:

  • Stay busy. Keep up with your normal routine and do things you enjoy.
  • Talk with your family and friends. Talking about your fears may make them a little less worrisome. Use your support system. You can also call Komen’s national helpline for support over the phone: 877-465-6636.
  • Learn more. Research biopsies, pathology reports, possible results, and potential next steps so you can make informed decisions. You’ll feel more in control if you know what to expect.

Learn more about biopsies.