Breast Cancer Expert Forum
First Mammogram after Successful Lumpectomy
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Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

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First Mammogram after Successful Lumpectomy

My lumpectomy had clear margins. It returned an additional 1 cm tumor, adding to the 1.4 cm taken at biopsy.  I am six months out from radiation, and my recent mammogram was "questionable, probably benign".  The radiologist recommended I return in 6 months for another mammo. I see my surgeon this week. I understand this is very common because in most cases the mammo is difficult to read due to significant scar tissue.  Is this of signficant concern to physicians and can you provide some information as to how scar tissue can affect a mammogram reading; i.e., how does it appear on the mammo and can it mimic or hide any further tumor growth.
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Dear Avidhiker, Clues to abnormalities in the breast tissue may show up on a mammogram as microcalcifications  or new areas of dense tissue that could be caused by a mass or by scarring, fluid collections, or other processes in the breast .  Microcalcifications are actually very fine specks of calcium that light up on a mammogram. Based on their pattern on the mammogram it gives the radiologist clues as to their cause.   They can show up around an area of abnormality but what the abnormality actually is cannot be determined for sure by the pattern.   The mammogram findings are put into context of the individual patient situation ie. history (recent surgery) as well as physical examination.  Closer follow up (recheck in 6 months) may be recommended to see if there are any changes, as this is the first mammogram since surgery.  Or your surgeon may recommend a different follow-up as they will be putting the findings in context of your individual situation.

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Push for an MRI, these days it is recomended as a new form of early detection.  I had my 1st mammo post lumpectomy in April and everything was clear but I plan to have an MRI in August.   I had to ask my medical oncologist to write a script for it and pushed him a bit but he thought it would be a good idea after I pushed.
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218044_tn?1191603319
I had a lumpectomy on May 15th of this year. Also sentinole node removed and one other lymph node. All came back with no cancer at all. My Surgeon and Oncologist immediately ordered an MRI just to make sure nothing was missed, nothing else was going on and to check my other breast. I had my MRI on June 21st, got results on June 26th and a 0.9cm mass was detected, right next to my lumpectomy. My right breast is OK. It was highly probably that it was the original lump which simply got missed, but at any rate, I then had another lumpectomy Friday, June29. I was told that the MRI would be more sensitive and could distinguish scar tissue from other abnormallities. I am glad, whether this was the same lump or a new one, that I did not wait long and that it was detected. Now I am waiting for the pathology again. I would definitely ask if your docotr(s) think it would be better to get an MRI, even though they are not perfect either, it may be better than a mammogram?
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, scarring after lumpectomy,is this another cancer was started.
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