Breast Cancer Diagnosis

When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is everything. Norton Cancer Institute’s Breast Health Program offers a full range of breast cancer screening and diagnostic tests to catch the disease in earliest stages — when it’s most treatable.

Norton Cancer Institute’s Multispecialty Care Center, which opened in April 2017, is home to a newly developed Evaluation and Diagnosis Clinic.

The clinic offers same-day appointments for evaluation of suspicious areas. Clinic specialists assess the patient with the goal of making a rapid diagnosis. The providers at the Evaluation and Diagnosis Clinic then collaborate with the referring physician, refer the patient to an appropriate specialist and/or assist in finding a primary care physician within Norton Medical Group if cancer care is not needed.

Learn about our advanced testing options below. For more information or to make an appointment, call (502) 629-1234.

Breast Cancer Imaging studies


Mammography is the most effective screening test available for the detection of breast cancer that cannot be felt. Mammography uses low-dose X-rays to take pictures of the breast. It is also an important tool for evaluating new breast symptoms, such as lumps and nipple discharge.

Norton Healthcare is proud to offer digital mammography with computer-aided detection (CAD), providing superior accuracy to detect even the smallest of tumors. We also feature 3-D mammography (tomosynthesis), which is particularly effective for women with dense breast tissue and an increased risk for breast cancer.

For your convenience, we offer mammography screening locations throughout Louisville, as well as our Mobile Prevention Center to bring these lifesaving services near where you live and work.

  • Schedule an appointment
  • Screening mammogram
  • Screening mammogram with tomosynthesis


Ultrasound is a painless, highly effective test to evaluate masses found on a screening mammogram or causes of new breast symptoms. Because ultrasound uses high-frequency soundwaves — not radiation — it is commonly used in women younger than age 30 as the initial exam for breast symptoms.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI is the most sensitive test for the detection of breast cancer. It uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create a picture of the breast and surrounding tissue. During the MRI, the patient lies on her stomach with the breasts placed into cushioned openings. This test is usually for patients with the highest risk of breast cancer. Screening mammograms are also recommended for these patients.


This test is used to help determine the cause of nipple discharge. A fine plastic tube is inserted into the opening of a milk duct, and a small amount of X-ray dye is injected to outline the duct. A mammogram is then performed to determine the cause of the discharge. This test causes some discomfort but is not usually painful.

Breast cancer biopsy

Image-guided core biopsy

Most breast abnormalities related to breast cancer cannot be felt, and are detected by a mammogram or another imaging test. A core biopsy is performed using a small needle guided by ultrasound, MRI or mammography to obtain tissue for diagnosis. This is performed in an outpatient setting with local numbing medication.

Fine needle aspiration

A very thin needle is used to withdraw a small amount of tissue from the abnormal area. This technique is used for areas thought to be unsafe for needle core biopsies. The amount of tissue obtained is much less than from a core biopsy.

Wire-localized excisional breast cancer biopsy

Using mammography, ultrasound or MRI as a guide, a fine wire is placed into a suspicious lesion that is then removed by a surgeon in the operating room. This requires general anesthesia.

Excisional biopsy (lumpectomy)

This surgical procedure, performed under general anesthesia, removes the entire breast lump for evaluation.

Cancer – 4673


Cancer care that isn’t too far from home.

(502) 629-HOPE (4673)

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