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Fibrocystic disease and microcalcifications
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Fibrocystic disease and microcalcifications

When I was 26, my gyno found a lump and had a surgeon remove it. It was completely benign--a fibroid. When I was 28 they found another lump that turned out to be an infection. However, in the course of diagnosing it (needle aspiration, mammogram, etc.) they caused a lot of trauma with some internal scar tissue.

After that, I switched doctors and started having yearly ultrasounds (mammos weren't doing any good because of my age, density, and fibrocystic condition). Every year there would be 5 to 10 cysts or clusters of cysts in each breast, and I was sent home with a clear report. Just healthy yet fibrocystic breasts.

This year (I'm now 36), I asked my gyno to give me a mammogram prescription as well as the ultrasound prescription.
I went today for a digital ultrasound, to the breast center at Beth Israel in NYC. They took 4 views and saw many areas of microcalcification. So they went back and did tons of close-ups, and for most of them it showed that it was just normal sediment inside my many cysts (a benign thing). They were only unsure about one.

So they sent me over for the ultrasound, which confirmed those results. Tons of cysts, one surrounding each area of microcalcification, except for one small area that didn't seem to be related to a cyst. I was told to come back in 6 months for another mammogram on both breasts and an ultrasound on that specific spot.

I wasn't able to speak to the doctor, and my gyno won't get the report for 2 weeks. The radiologist said that, as usual, the cysts are nothing to worry about. She said that the microcalcifications within the cysts are nothing to worry about. She said the re-check is for theo ne that's not in a cyst, but that it's probably just from an old long-term cyst that isn't currently filled with fluid. She said that if they'd had old scans on hand to compare to (the previous lab lost mine), they probably would know it was OK. The digital mammograms are pretty good at determining shape, size, and pattern, and they didn't see any need for a biopsy or MRI or sooner re-check.

I'm still freaked out about having to wait 6 months for a definitive answer. Part of me wants to go demand a biopsy or more tests. I know the reality is I need to wait the 2 weeks until my gyno (whom I trust implicitly) gets the report, and then ask him if I need a second opinion. Which I doubt he'll say yes to--this is a really really good center I went to (Appel/Venet Comprehensive Breast Service).

Can anyone out there offer me some advice to get me through the next 2 weeks without hitting the Valium bottle? I'm 36 with a 4-year-old I need to take care of (not my biological child or I'd have a reduced risk), and I can't afford to be freaking out over something that the radiologist isn't that worried about.

Thanks.

Jennifer
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Hi Jennifer,

How are you? I hope you’re doing fine. The calcifications might be the result of the old injury in your breast.  Six months is definitely a long time to wait. However, this is done for comparison and it will help the doctors see if any changes are happening. It’s good to do these follow-up exams to make sure that you get the best information on your health.

Fibrocystic breast condition is a common benign problem for many women. The degree of breast pain experienced varies among women and is sometimes different with each menstrual period,depending on your hormonal change. It can occur at any age after menstruation starts, although the frequency peaks between age 30 and menopause. Pain reliever, good supportive bra and warm baths may provide relief.

In the mean time, Breast self exam is an important way to follow the changes in your breasts. If you do notice an increase in size, or immobility of the cysts, it is important to see your doctor right away.

I hope this helps. Take care and keep us posted.  
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