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Mammogram/Ultrasound results
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Mammogram/Ultrasound results

I am 42 years old and am going through menopause already.  My breasts are quite lumpy and I have a family history of breast cancer (sister and aunt). I have recently had my first mammogram and an abnormality was found.  The redid the mammogram on that breast, and then did an ultrasound.  

When I returned to my GP I asked her to show me what I missed, as I could not find a lump that felt different than the others or different from the right breast.  She was unable to find anything either.  She said that they did not specify lump on the results that she obtained.

She said that cancer, unless it is very small, is quite distinctive and usually harder than other lumps, so I should not worry at this stage.

I am going to be going for a biopsy, but am worried.  Is it possible that something other than a lump would cause the technician/doctor to mark this as reason for a biopsy?

Thanks for any comments you can post to help my fears at this point.

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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Nadja, A suspicious finding on a mammogram is not always felt on physical examination.  For example, microcalcifications seen on a screening mammogram may lead to further investigation.  (Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits found within the breast tissue.  There are different types of microcalcifications, and based on their pattern on the mammogram it gives the radiologist clues as to their cause.)  An ultrasound may distinguish between an abnormality that is solid or fluid filled.  If these tests are inconclusive the next step would be to biopsy the tissue.  Having lumpy breasts makes it difficult sometimes to distinguish what is normal from a suspicious area.  With this being your first mammogram it is also impossible to know if this abnormality seen might have been something there for awhile, or is something new, and with your family history your doctor's may want to error on the safe side and check a biopsy sooner rather than waiting to see if the next mammogram would show changes.
13 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
If I were you, I'd call the person who read the mammogram. Sounds like he/she's being overly cautious, not wanting to give a false negative mammo. I bet it's nothing, sweetie. Keep us posted.
If it were my mammo, I'd not have a biopsy UNLESS I could hear a decent reason why. Just anything, for pete's sake.
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Avatar_n_tn
Binkie,

Would a biopsy harm anything?  Here, the technicians and doctors aren't that willing to talk to a patient about their diagnosis.  I would have trouble even finding out who read it.

I figure a biopsy will be easier on my mind, assuming that it is begnin.  The fact that my sister had a cancerous lump removed last spring, and underwent radiation this summer makes me want to be sure.

I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks for all the comments.
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Avatar_n_tn
No; a biopsy shouldn't harm anything. I just want you to be aware of overly aggressive practitioners. Take care and always remember that 2nd and 3rd opinions can be huge eye-openers on how clinics can come up with different ideas of what should be done.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks, Binkie, I appreciate your opinions.  I'll keep your advice in mind, especially if the biopsy isn't begnin.
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Avatar_n_tn
It's not really necessary to talk to the radiologist that read your mammogram---just ask your doctor for a copy of the mammogram report!  This will give you more information about why the radiologist is recommending a biopsy.  
Also, fine needle or core biopsies are uncomfortable but I think the discomfort will be worth the peace of mind you will get in the end.
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Avatar_n_tn
Vermontgirl is right: ask the doctor for a copy of the mammogram. Not so sure you'll get co-operation but it's a good idea to try.
Something tells me it won't be available to you. They do not like to take chances of xrays floating around somewhere (especially not floating into other doctors' offices).
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Avatar_f_tn
You have every right to ask for a copy of your mammogram report. Its also important to ask questions and keep asking until you are satisfied with their answer. It could be possible that your GP is trying to keep you from worrying at this point. I know what you're going through, my GP is doing the same thing with me but my surgeon is alot more open it seems.
I have a cluster of microcalcifications and went for a stereotactic biopsy today that didn't work and therefor will have the excisional biopsy. Finding a lump is very scary and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Think positively and remember that you are not alone.

Bet63
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Avatar_n_tn
I saw the surgeon on Friday and she read the mamography report to me - very inconclusive.  There is not a lump, does not give the size or an accurate area of the abnormality.  The surgeon suggests more information, so is sending me for another mammogram/ultrasound at a hospital where they specailize in this.  (Wednesday) If they can find the area of the abnormality they will do a needle biopsy to see if the cells are cancerous.

I appreciate all your comments, and am trying to keep positive about this.  Thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
Did the surgeon explain to you what kind of abnormalty they saw on the mammogram? I would think the report would be more specific for eg. was it calcifications, microcalcifications, density? The report should also include the area of the abnomalty. Its hard to know what to do when you don't have much information.
Did the surgeon explain what kind of needle biopsy you may have? There are several different kinds.
Keep us posted and good luck on wednesday with your mammo and ultrasound. Hopefully you will find the answer(s) you are for.
All the best to you.

Bet63
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Avatar_n_tn
I still don't know what kind of abnormality they found. They can see something on the mammogram that does not show up on the ultrasound.  The radiologist said it is quite large, and was able to get a reading of the size/shape from doing multiple mammograms from different angles.  

I don't know the type of needle biopsy that they did, but they were able to pinpoint the area using mammography and took 5 samples with a needle, as well as a sample of some clear fluid that was leaking from where the needle went in.  (They also said there are blocked ducts and I was asked if I had trouble breast feeding - I had no trouble at all)

The radiologist said that he feels there is a very good chance this is not cancer, so I'm waiting patiently for the results to come back next week.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just a followup.  I have the results of the core biospy, and it is consistent with fibrous breast tissue and is not malignant.

I thank everyone for their help and kind comments when I was so very worried.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a mammorgam two days ago, and next day I have been informed that I need to have an ultrasond performed because of "fine and/or branching calcifications seen in the left brest at 12 o'clock".(from the report).
Two years ago , after my annual, I retured for an enlarged mammorgam due to calcifications. I have been told that everything was OK. Last year after my annual my exam came OK.(?!) Is it possible that the calcifications desappear and appear again? How serios are the calcifications? Can they turn into a tumor? Why was nothing seen last year? I am confused now. Thanks for any idee. angelacarmen
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