My wife is 44 years old. She is of middle eastern background and her father died as a result of brain tumors at a very young age around 35 years old.
She has had loop surgery several times in the past for pre- cancerous cells while we lived in Syracuse, NY. Since relocating to MA eight years ago she has not had to have any further surgery.
Her mamograms have always been normal excpet that her latest mamogram showed a density in the left breast. She is scheduled to have the mamogram re done this week in hospital but we were curious as to what the term density refers to. Is that used to describe the density of the tissue itself or does it refer to a mass of some sort in the mamogram?
Dear nervous husband: When a mammogram result describes a density, it is referring to an abnormal appearing "spot" on a film. Sometimes, when the mammogram is done the breast tissue can fold over on itself and a "density" will appear on the film. Both cysts and tumors can also show up as densities. When a radiologist provides a mammogram report, it is usually
associated with a BIRAD score, indicating the level of concern of the radiologist. Often, a second mammogram (called a diagnostic mammogram)will be done to get a better view of the area and determine if there is actually a density and assist in determining what additional testing, if any, will need to be done.
Density is a very vague term. It means there's an area that looks different from the tissue surrounding it. Breasts are neither symmetrical nor uniform texture, so seeing a "density" is a very common thing. In the vast majority of cases it has no significance; but it's often necessary to get additional views to sort it out.
I'M ONLY 35 AND I HAD MY FIRST BILATERAL MAMMOGRAPHY ON JUNE 1, 2005. I RECEIVED THE RESULTS YESTERDAY. I WAS NOT SUPRISED TO SEE THAT I NEEDED FURTHER EVALUATION, BUT I DIDN'T EXPECT TO FIND OUT I HAD A MASS IN THE RIGHT BREAST. THE FINDINGS ARE AS FOLLOW:
THE BREAST TISSUE IS HETEROGENEOUSLY DENSE. THERE IS A GREATER VOLUME OF BREAST TISSUE OVER A LARGE PORTION OF THE RIGHT BREAST, PARTICULARLY IN THE UPPER-OUTER QUADRANT, CONSISTENT WITH GLOBAL ASYMMETRY. ALSO IN THE RIGHT BREAST THERE IS A SMALL 7 MM CIRCUMSCRIBED OVOID ISODENSE MASS BETWEEN 10:00 AND 11:00 O'CLOCK AT THE MIDDLE THIRD OF THE BREAST. THE LEFT BREAST IS UNREMARKABLE.
IMP: 1. GLOBAL ASYMMETRY RIGHT BREAST AS MENTIONED ABOVE. THIS USUALLY REPRESENTS A NORMAL VARIATION, BUT MAY BE SIGNIFICANT WHEN IT CORRESPONDS TO A PALPABLE ASYMMETRY. CAREFUL CLINICAL ASSESEMENT INCLUDING DIRECT REPALPATION OF THE RIGHT BREAST IS RECOMENDED.
2. SMALL CIRCUMSCRIBED MASS IN THE UPPER-OUTER QUADRANT OF THE RIGHT BREAST. ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION IS RECOMMENDED FOR FUTHER EVALUATION.
PLEASE COMMENT ON THE FINDINGS OF MY MAMMOGRAM, I'M KIND OF WONDERING HOW MANY WOMEN HAVE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE WITH GOOD RESULTS ABOUT THEIR BREASTS AND HOW THEY COPE WITH NOT KNOWING IF THIS IS GOING TO BE SERIOUS AND OF NEED OF TREATMENT. I KNOW
WHAT TO DO NEXT BUT, I STILL WORRY.
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