Breast Cancer Community
38 yrs old and Worried
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38 yrs old and Worried

I recently lost my 66 yr old mother to BC.  I miss her so much.  She was my mother but also my BEST friend...  She was diagnosed at stage 4. She had a lump for some years (which she never told me about) and never went to the doctor for it. She had not had a mammogram in about 20 yrs. In February of 2012 she was complaining of upper back pain. She would take aleve and I even bought her Salon Pas thinking maybe it was muscular. Over the next few months I seen her get weeker and weeker.  She would spend a lot of time in bed. She let her hair and hygeine go and said it was because her back hurt. She refused to go to the doctor for these symptoms. Finally my dad and I demanded that she go to the ER or else we would call EMS and make her go.  She finally said she would go.  She then told me that she had an open wound on her breast.  I could smell the infection and dead skin.  I knew at that moment that it had to be BC.  The doctors looked at it and said it was BC before doing a biopsy.  The just knew...  Her entire right nipple was gone from the cancer.  Tests revealed it has spread to her bones, lungs and liver.  Her mother was diagnosed with BC at about 68 yrs old. Both my mother and grandmother had estrogen positive cancer and i know my mom's was HER-2 positive as well. I just had my first mammogram at 38 yrs old and the reports says: There are scattered fibroglandular densities. No suspicious masses or calcifications. There are a few benign appearing calcifications. ASSESSMENT BiRads 2 - Benign.  RECCOMENDATION: Breast MRI. Because of patient's lifetime breast cancer risk is greater then 20%, breast MRI could be considered for further evaluaton.  Routine screening mammogram.
I am so scared after watching my mom die of cancer. Also, my other risk factors are never having had children, starting my period at age 11 yrs and 3 months and of course my mom and maternal grandmother both having had BC, although they were in their 60's. I do not smoke, am 5'7" tall and 185 lbs. I go out one night a week and have maybe 3 mixed drinks. My mom had very low vitamin D levels and I supplement and am in the "normal" range. My mom ate no fruits or veggies and I eat them every day. My mom was of Ukrainian descent and my father is Polish. I am an only child and my dad's family has no history of BC and as far as my mom's side it is only my mom and maternal grandmother.  My mom's sister died at the age of 60 from an unrelated event. Anyhow, what are the chances that the MRI will uncover a hidden cancer? Does "scattered fibroglandular densities" mean that my breasts are dense? It says there are a "few benign appearing calcifications".  Are they common in women my age (38)? What causes them? Do I sound like I am high risk?  I am going next week for the breast MRI and am so scared they will find something.  I have really bad anxiety and am very nervous about the results...
7 Comments
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi,
I am really very sorry knowing you went through so much pain regarding your mom's illness and what happened to her! Please accept my sincere condolences....
Now,concerning your mammogram report,BIRADS category 2 means that the results are benign.There is nothing that appears suspicious on films.Breast calcification are extremely common in the breast,the vast majority are okay, such as calcifications in a dilated milk duct,cysts,fibroadenomas, infection(mastitis)or just skin calcification.
Scattered fibroglandular tissue is a normal finding too..It describes the tissue as lumpy,or dense,which makes mammogram readings more difficult,your Doctor/Radiologist might recommend an Ultrasound if more information is mentioned on your report.If nothing suspicious is detected,your doctor will let you know when a follow-up is needed to make sure that no changes have occurred.
It's a good practice to regularly do your SBE (self breast exam) every month, one week after the start of your menstrual cycle and if you detect anything unusual,you should contact your Doctor .
From what you stated in your post, you have nothing to worry about and everything looks fine.However,it's advisable to have regular check-ups and testing as your doctor suggested, especially because you have a strong family history of BC.This is good medical practice and your doctor is really taking good care of you to make sure that your breasts are healthy and remain healthy.
Wishing you all the best...
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you...  i've been reading through lots of these posts and i know that an MRI is very sensitive.  i just worry so much.  does 'scattered fibroglandular tissue' mean that my breast are more dense then that of the average woman or typical of the average woman?  i'm thinking if i did not have the family history of BC that they would not be recommending the MRI.  i wonder if i'll need an MRI every year along with my mammogram?
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587083_tn?1327123862
You're welcome,
As I mentioned in my previous comment,fibroglandular tissue is any of the tissue in your breast that's no fat,but composed of glandular tissue.
This is very common and typical in young women but can remain the same even in older women.
Your doctor has recommended an MRI screening, because of your family history and to assess with high precision and accuracy your breast density.
Please keep in mind that having an MRI,after having a benign mammogram result, is just a precautionary measure, to make sure that nothing is left to chance.
It is well known,that an annual breast MRI,along with an annual mammogram or ultrasound is valuable to detect any abnormality in women with dense breasts.
As for subsequent MRI's screening,I have no idea how often you'll be needing it,but I am sure your doctor will let you know .
All the best to you...  :)
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4880072_tn?1364749626
Hi there,

I really wanted to say that my heart goes out to you for what you have experienced first hand in relation to your mothers breast cancer. It would be quite normal for you to have high anxiety at any topic relating to breast cancer as the events were rather traumatic for those few years.

Please accept my sincere condolences over what has happened and let's see if we can ease some of those fears.

The particular term scattered fibroglandular density refers to one of the four categories of breast tissue density; in particular, it specifies that the area is representative of a fairly balanced tissue composition so yes, the term is used in relation to breast density. It also is an extremely common finding in women and isn't usually considered significant.

Now to the Radiologist recommending an MRI.

I suspect there will be 2 reasons for this with the first being the history of breast cancer in your family. The second, and more import reason, is the usually insignificant finding of the scattered fibroglandular density. Dense breasts have more fibrous and glandular tissue. These appear white on the films and can hide cancers so given your family history, an MRI is an excellent choice to use as a diagnostic tool to ensure that nothing is missed.

There is real good news here. Firstly, you are fine, your mammogram results are excellent and the Radiologist has your back by recommending the MRI

As to the frequency of MRI's in the future, this is something to discuss with your doctor.

It sounds to me that your medical team is taking great care of you and I do hope this will lower some of the stress you are currently going through

All the very best

Lani

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962875_tn?1314213636
Here is information about the four density categories that Nylani mentioned above:

Radiologists use the following categories to rate breast density:

Breast Imaging Lexicon
Mammographic Breast Composition

Mammographic breast composition is described as follows:
1. The breast is almost entirely fat (less than 25% glandular)
2. Scattered fibroglandular densities (25-50%)
3. Heterogeneously dense breast tissue (51-75%)
4. Extremely dense (greater than 75% glandular)

About 4 out of 5 women are rated 2 or 3, and only about 10% a 1 and 10% a 4. (These scores are only estimates, however, based on the radiologists' observations of the images, not by precise measurements.)

In other words,  80% of women are in category  2 or 3. You in would apparently fall in the 2nd category, which really is not all that dense.

Best wishes,
bluebutterfly
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you all!  thanks for the breast density info too...  i found this as well:

How do you know if you have dense breasts?
Only a mammogram can tell you for sure. Look for the terms "heterogeneously dense or very dense", or "extremely dense" in your mammogram report, which would indicate dense breasts.
Most mammography reports use the following terminology to categorize and describe breast density: describing four different categories: (1) entirely fat; (2) scattered fibroglandular densities; (3) heterogeneously dense; and (4) extremely dense. The BIRADS classifications (American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System) are used as a part of a radiologist's mammographic assessment.

at least i am in the less dense cateorgy of the two most common types...  =)
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4880072_tn?1364749626
Well done :)

I hope you can now have a well deserved relax over the weekend, you are just fine and I am glad that you are hunting for findings yourself as knowledge equals power and being an active partner with your primary physician makes you a strong team

I wish you well for your future, I really do and have another huge hug from me for what you've gone through in the past and the anxiety you had over this which I hope we have relieved.

My warmest regards to you

Lani
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