I am an almost 36 year-old female. I went to my annual OB-GYN appt last week. Given my age, my doctor suggested I get a baseline mammo. He told me not to panic if i got called back for additional imaging, because it happens a lot (i.e. there is nothing to compare the images to). Of course, I did get a call back. The reader of the images suggested a complete mammo work-up and ultrasound of both breasts. I went the same day (today). I still didn't get a clean bill of health. While the first thing the radiologist did say was, "I don't think you have breast cancer," he did point out some abnormalities. First, I have a solid mass in the right breast that he called a fibroadenoma. He gave me 2 options- to wait and re-test in 6 months, or, for a definitive answer, get a biopsy. I think I am choosing the latter. He also said I had abnormal tissue that he couldn't explain (don't know if one side or both). Based on my own research, he might be talking about "altered architecture," but I am not sure. For this, I have to have an MRI. Since the biopsy will damage the tissue, I need to get the MRI first, and the MRI should be done at certain stages of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, I might have to wait 3 weeks to get to that stage again...and then schedule the biopsy after that. I am young. This was my first mammogram. I am scared to death...
Problem is, I can't function right now. I have 3 children (one very young) that I love more than life itself. How am I supposed to function and go to work everyday when all I can think of is that my time with them might be limited?? Can anyone set my mind at ease?
Lord. This is why I don't plan to get my first mammogram until age 50 (if ever).
Every friend I have who has had a mammogram has gotten called back and frightened to death.
My aunt- small breasted to begin with- has had so many biopsies taken from her breast that it's all deformed and lopsided now... and she never had cancer. She had fibroid cysts, which the doctors kept thinking was cancer and insisted on removing, until she hardly has a breast left on one side.
I do my own monthly breast exams; I know that's not enough, according to the medical community, but it's enough for ME.
I know I have fibrocystic (lumpy) breasts; I have heard that mammograms don't work well on premenopausal women, because their breast tissue is too dense and fibrous, and mammograms are likely to detect "problems" when in fact there are none.
You are living my nightmare right now.
I would suggest you have everything biopsied to assure yourself you don't have cancer, and then decline to have another mammogram until you are 50, or beyond menopause, whichever comes first.
For what it's worth, I doubt anything's wrong. This is just what happens when younger women have mammograms. You will not catch me having one, unless I detect an abnormality in my breast myself, which i feel requires further investigation.
I'm actually older than you, and pregnant with my third child... but like I said, i don't plan to ever have a mammogram until I'm beyond menopause, for the exact reason that I don't want to experience what is happening to you right now, and what has happened to every one of my younger friends who have tried to do the "responsible" thing and go in for an early mammogram.
Even the American Cancer Society is now recommending holding off on a baseline mammogram until age 50, since they don't work well on younger women... but I guess many doctors haven't gotten the news bulletin yet. Or they like their money too much.
Lots of women have abnormal benign conditions in their breasts. I too got called back on my first mammogram, also did an ultrasound that day. I had densities and a cyst. Told to come back in 6 months (standard), thank the Lord everything was ok. I always get my yearly mammo, it's just good health practice.
Me being a worrier, I would get the biopsy and MRI, for peace of mind.