Diagnostic Mammo for Calcifications
Hi, I'm 57 yrs. old. Had annual screening mammo last Friday. Was called on Monday and told they want to do a diagnostic mammo due to a new area of calcifications seen since last mammo in 2008. In 2006, I had same thing happen, went back for diagnostic mammo and all was fine, no biopsy needed. They followed up in 6 months with another diagnostic mammo and then I was back to yearly screenings in 2007, 2008 and 2009 which all came out fine.
My ob/gyn read the latest report on me and he was not at all concerned about the call-back. He said call-backs are quite common, particularly with calcifications in post-menopausal women. He said development of calcifications increases with age with up to 86% of women over 75 having them show up in mammos. After reading the initial report, he kept repeating "DO NOT WORRY." He's a very thorough and excellent doctor, so his comments made me feel better. He told me the same thing in 2006 and he turned out to be right.
Here's my question - Are diagnostic mammos usually done whenever calcifications are seen just to differentiate the type? Why not just do a biopsy? My doc said the diagnostic mammo followup is routine and is the best way to differentiate between benign calcifications and those that may signal a malignancy. Is this what others have heard too?
I've read where some women are called back year after year for this reason and I'd hate to go through that.
I read stats that said out of 1,000 women who have annual screening mammos, 10% (or 100) will need diagnostic mammos. Of this 10% (or 100), 8 to 10% will need biopsies (or 8 to 10 women). Of the 8 to 10 women needing biopsies, 70 to 80% receive benign findings, the end result being that between 2 and 3 of the total of 1,000 women will actually be diagnosed with cancer in the end. Gives me more peace of mind. Of course, no one wants to be among those 2 or 3 women.
Any comments appreciated.