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Cancer: Breast Message Board
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
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Unhappy Have you been called back after your first mammogram for further testing?

A little history first - I am 29 years old, breast cancer does not run in my family, but I was treated when I was 16 for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I received chemo & radiation to my chest, although the doctor's assured us that they were giving me the least amount of radiation possible and were only focusing on a very specific area. I haven't had any significant problems since then and have been cancer-free for 13 years!

However, due to the radiation treatment, I know that I am at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. They recommend that patients who received radiation to the chest when they were younger start having mammograms earlier than most - usually around ages 25-30.

I just had my first screening mammogram done last Friday, so they could get a baseline for future comparison (and it didn't hurt as much as I expected it to!).

I got the report back and this is what it said:

"There is an asymmetric nodular density involving the left subareolar, slightly lower outer breast. The remainder of the bilateral exam shows dense and nodular tissue but no other specific finding"

IMPRESSION: Nodular asymmetry may merely be due to fibrocystic changes with followup diagnostic mammography, sonography if indicated, recommended to exclude any underlying mass.

BREAST DENSITY: The breast tissue is heterogeneously dense. This may lower the sensitivity of mammography.

They want me to come back in for a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound of my left breast. When I asked why, the woman said it is because of the density. She said that, if anything, it is probably just a cyst, but of course I am freaking out! I haven't felt any lumps and my bloodwork (which I have done every few months due to thyroid issues) is completely normal.

Just wondering if anyone else has a history of nodular density, fibrocystic changes, etc.

I'm trying not to worry, but it is very very hard not too!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Last edited by daisyday; 09-29-2008 at 03:22 PM.

 
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: Have you been called back after your first mammogram for further testing?

Since this was a baseline (your first mammo) and they do not have anything to compare these films with, than they take the safe route. You have a history, so any radiologist is not going to take any chances. Because of your young age your breast are naturally dense which make is hard to see any real problems (having dense breast makes looking for any abnormality similiar to looking for a needle in a haystack). The diagnostic mammogram is when the radiologist is present and will direct the tech on exactly what views they want taken. An u/s helps to determine if the density has fluid contained it which makes a good case that the density is really a cyst. Another alternative for you would be to have a Breast MRI. The Breast MRI is able to better visualize the tissue in patients who have dense breast. The only pitfall to Breast MRI is that it is very sensitive and there are alot of false positives. I too have very dense breast and have Breast MRI's done every year. My thought on false positives is that I would rather have some false positives than having anything missed.

Good luck and let us know how you do.

 
Old 09-30-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: Have you been called back after your first mammogram for further testing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shisslak View Post
Since this was a baseline (your first mammo) and they do not have anything to compare these films with, than they take the safe route. You have a history, so any radiologist is not going to take any chances. Because of your young age your breast are naturally dense which make is hard to see any real problems (having dense breast makes looking for any abnormality similiar to looking for a needle in a haystack). The diagnostic mammogram is when the radiologist is present and will direct the tech on exactly what views they want taken. An u/s helps to determine if the density has fluid contained it which makes a good case that the density is really a cyst. Another alternative for you would be to have a Breast MRI. The Breast MRI is able to better visualize the tissue in patients who have dense breast. The only pitfall to Breast MRI is that it is very sensitive and there are alot of false positives. I too have very dense breast and have Breast MRI's done every year. My thought on false positives is that I would rather have some false positives than having anything missed.

Good luck and let us know how you do.

Hi Shisslak ~ Thanks for the reply! I have a question for you....since you also have dense breasts, can you advise what types of follow-ups (besides the MRI's) you've had? Have they ever found a cyst and had to aspirate it/do a biopsy on it? I'm trying to tell myself that this is common for women my age and that I shouldn't worry so much, but I'm just really scared that I might be up against another cancer diagnoses :-(

 
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