Hello and welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question and sorry for the delay in answering. Has your doctor gone over the results with you yet? I assume so. For anyone reading, it's always wise to set up a follow up time to talk either via teleconference, virtually on line or in person to go over test results. Breast density is very common. Heterogeneously dense means that the breasts are mostly dense with some fat. That doesn't mean cancer but it obscures the view during mammography. They are requesting to take a second look. This is, again, all very common. What did the second look reveal? Having breast density, again, does not mean you have cancer. However, there is a higher risk for cancer when breasts are dense. https://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/dense-breasts Please give us an update on your follow up!
Every mammogram is assigned 1 of 4 categories to describe the density of the breasts.
Listed from least to most dense, the categories are as follows:
a. The breast are almost entirely fatty.
b. There are scattered areas of fibroglandular density.
c. The breasts are heterogeneously dense, which may obscure small masses.
d. The breasts are extremely dense, which lowers the sensitivity of mammography.
In your case, your breasts were categorized as heterogeneously dense.
Having dense breasts makes it more difficult to detect breast cancers.
Having dense breasts also increases your risk for breast cancer.
According to BI-RADS lexicon, an asymmetry is an abnormality visible on only 1 mammographic view (i.e., only CC or only MLO), whereas focal asymmetry is an abnormality visible on 2 mammographic views (i.e., both CC and MLO). When an asymmetry is detected on screening mammography, the patient is typically recalled for diagnostic mammography with spot compression. If the finding does not persist with spot compression, it was likely due to superimposition of normal breast tissue. If the finding persists with spot compression, further workup is warranted (e.g., breast ultrasound).
Discussion of 2D vs. 3D: 2D mammography only takes images from the front and side, whereas 3D mammography (aka tomosynthesis) generates images of the breast by taking multiple views across the breast in an arc. In addition, synthetic 2D digital images can also be derived from the 3D mammography data.
Discussion of other views: Exaggerated CC view (aka XCCL) is a supplementary mammographic view. It is particularly good for imaging the lateral (outer) aspect of the breast. It is often done when a lesion is suspected on MLO view but cannot be seen on CC view.
In laymen's terms, your screening mammography detected a possible abnormality so you were recalled for diagnostic mammography for additional views. This abnormality did not persist on some views (such as the spot compression MLO view) and was not seen on other views (such as the XCCL view) but persisted on a single slice of the tomosynthesis. To resolve this discrepancy, the radiologist recommended additional tests (i.e., targeted breast ultrasound).
Hi! Was wondering how this turned out for you?!