Last year I had a mammogram and because of the density of my left breast I had to have a sonogram and a spot compression, all came back normal. This past week I received the results of this years mammogram and the same thing. The doctor who read the mammogram wants me to come back for a spot compression. I asked why since I had both last year, I was told the doctor is very cautious and he can't see a particular area...same as last year. I don't know if I want to go back for a spot compression because I'm concerned of the exposure to the rays of the machine twice as year, as it's turning out and shouldn't he be able to compare last years to this years mammogram? Is it uncommon for women with dense breasts to just have the spot compression to begin with? Thank you for your time....KAREN D
Dear Karen D: Dense breast tissue can make mammographic interpretation difficult. A spot compression is often recommended because there is an abnormal appearance - sometimes as simple as tissue rolled over on itself. A spot compression can focus in on the area and help to clarify. It is not routine for women to have spot compression to begin with but since this has happened to you twice, it may be that you can make arrangements on your next mammogram to have them interpreted before you leave so that if you need spot compression it can be done while you are there. It depends, though on how the mammography center is run and whether the radiologist is "on site."
It's hard to second-guess a radiologic recommendation, especially not seeing the films. However, it's clearly best to err on the side of caution. The amount of radiation from mammography is really minute, and it would take literally hundreds of studies to get into a range of significant concern. It is indeed more difficult to evaluate mammograms in women with dense breasts. But it's still the best screening modality out there.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.