Age 40, I was called to come back in for an ultrasound after the radiologist found a "mass" in my right breast on annual mammogram screen. The tech said it was changed or larger from a previous baseline mammogram 5 yrs ago. The tech could not find the mass on ultrasound and she said that meant it was not a fluid-filled cyst. She then performed a cone compression mammogram. The radiologist reviewed the films and the tech just came out and told me he didn't see anything that looked suspicous for malignancy and just to come back in a year. What can this mass be? and does that sound appropriate? I did not get to speak to the radiologist or see the report. Thanks for taking my question.
Dear janes: When a mammogram shows a density that needs further investigation, the first thing that occurs is to compare the current mammogram to older mammograms to see if anything has changed. The next step is to do a spot compression. A spot compression will further define the area of concern. Sometimes the tissue can fold over on itself and cause a "density" to appear. A spot compression will often smooth out the tissue and the "density" will disappear. Often, a second mammogram will confirm that all is okay.
It's also the case that if cancer is present, when the area is compressed the cancer tends to stand out as other tissues are moved away. When a "mass" gets less visible under compression, it's an indicator that it's less likely to be significant
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