Breast cancer is often first suspected when a lump is detected (either by the patient or their physician) or when an abnormal area is found on a mammogram. Most of the time, the suspicious areas are not cancerous or benign. But the only way to be certain is through follow-up tests such as a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound imaging or possibly biopsy, which can provide additional information.

If an area appears to be suspicious by imaging, a breast biopsy will be performed. Cells or tissue removed from the abnormal area will be examined by a pathologist. The pathologist then sends a report containing his or her findings back to the physician who performed the biopsy.This report, known as the pathology report, contains information about the breast tissue's appearance, cellular makeup, and whether or not the cells are normal or abnormal. The pathology report is vital to the patient and her health care team – treatment decisions are made based on the information the report contains.

If your diagnosis proves to be breast cancer, your treatment will involve a multidisciplinary effort including the Winship Cancer Institute.

Screening and Diagnostic Imaging

The Emory Breast Imaging Center provides mammography and other breast screening options for the detection of breast tumors and lesions. Breast imaging has greatly enhanced the successful diagnosis and treatment of cancer in its earliest stages.

For information regarding imaging or the procedures we offer, please visit the Breast Imaging Center.

To schedule an appointment, call (404) 778-PINK (7465).

High Risk Clinic

The high risk cancer assessment team at the Emory Breast Center provides comprehensive screening and education for patients at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

A visit to our High Risk Assessment Clinic is a comprehensive consultation. Your consultation will include visits with a genetic counselor and breast surgical oncologist. Additional consultations may be scheduled with a breast medical oncologist, gynecological oncologist or other specialists. Breast imaging can be scheduled in conjunction with your consultations. At the conclusion of your visit, you will have an individualized care plan that includes recommendations for regular screening and risk reduction including medical and surgical options. We welcome and encourage patients who visit our high risk assessment clinic to bring along a friend or family member.


A Pathologist is a physician who specializes in examining biopsied tissue to arrive at a definitive diagnosis. The Pathologists at the Emory Breast Center are nationally and internationally recognized for their accomplishments. They specialize in examining breast tissue biopsies to determine specific characteristics of the tissues in both benign and cancer diagnoses. The Pathology Department at Emory is dedicated to their three core missions of patient care, teaching and research on human disease.

To learn more, visit Emory's Pathology Department.