Concerned about Mammogram

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MidwestGal
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/20/2005 7:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  I am a 35 year old woman.  I had a benign excisional biopsy 12 years ago.  After that,  I had yearly mammograms, all of which were fine.  My last mammogram was in May of 2001.  At that time, everything was fine, and they told me to start coming every 3 years.  I was recently referred to a Hematologist because I've had some strange blood tests.  I've had a continuously high D-dimer, which is a clotting test, but have been checked head to toe for clots, none of which were found. (ironically, one of the reasons a person's dimer can be high is because of malignancy, although the hematologist said, "oh, I'm sure that's not the case") The Hematologist suggested I have a mammogram.  I am going in next week for another mammogram and ultrasound because of a callback.  The report indicated there is a 7mm developing density on the lateral left breast in the craniocaudal view, and may be supeiorly  present on the oblique view.  No diagnosis code was given because it said that I need further evaluation.  The right breast was unremarkable.  I have not felt any lumps, and the technician did not either. But, my left breast (the troubled one) looks smaller than the right.  By the way, the size was 7mm.  I've been reading like crazy and they say the only way to truly know if something is cancerous is with a biopsy, is that true?  I appreciate any help.  Thank you so much for your time!  :-)

MNlady13
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Date Joined Jul 2003
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   Posted 2/20/2005 8:08 AM (GMT -7)   
That's right. The only way to tell for certain if something is malignant is to have it biopsied and examined under a microscope. And, there is no one here that will tell you that a biopsy is not the way to go if something is suspecious. Besides, it gives you great peace of mind when it comes back negative. Sometimes a surgeon can look at the form of a tumor on a mammogram and make an educated guess as to whether it is benign or not. My 6 mm tumor had all the "classic" characteristics of cancer I was told before the biopsy, so when it was positive I was not surprised. Please continue to follow up until you are satisfied you have the best information possible. Good luck, and please let us know what you find out. Lauri
"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
 
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


Candy
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Date Joined Jul 2003
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   Posted 2/20/2005 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Biopsy is the only way to know for sure.  That was how I received my final conclusive diagnosis.  They did a lumpectomy.  Stick with it until you have conclusive results.  Hope they are benign results.  Keep in touch and let us help you along the way.

Hugs,

Candy


 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Proverbs 27:9


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 2/20/2005 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Midwest gal-
glad you are researching to stay informed. Where in the MW are you? I'm in SE Michigan, there are a lot of us here from the mid-west...Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio...as well as all over the country and the world. Yes, as Lauri & Candy said, a biopsy is the only true way to rule out a malignancy. In my case, at age 30, (I'm 36 now) the tumor was not visible on the mammogram, but it was pretty clearly seen as malignant on the ultrasound. So many factors are involved with who can see what...but under a microscope is the only failsafe way to know. They may want to do an ultrasound to get more information, but sounds like a biopsy will be ordered too.

Hooray for your docs for keeping a close and vigilant eye on you, especially not dismissing you as "too young"...

My left breast was always smaller, and darn it, that is the one that had the cancer....so after 2 lumpectomies, I am lopsided, but not caring too much about it. I have heard that some BC can cause the breast to contract, but the key would be if it is a change.

hang in there...and keep us posted!
Lori


gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 2/20/2005 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there, Everything I was going to say has already been said. If you haven't already, look at the roll call at the top of the page and see where some of us live. Perhaps someone is near you and can even talk on the phone or meet for lunch if you would like to do that. We are a close knit group, many of us have been together for several years. We are never happy that a woman has to join our group but want you to feel welcome and free to ask any questions your might have. Hugs of welcome, Mary K (MK)


MidwestGal
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/20/2005 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow!  What a wonderful welcome!  I am just delighted that I found this forum on the internet.  You are all so kind to answer, and I appreciate you sharing your stories, too.  Actually, I live in Michigan.  I am 10 minutes from Ann Arbor.  I have been going to the breast center at St. Joseph hospital, but I wonder if this is the best choice.  I'm very close to U of M.  Do any of you have information about the center there?  Maybe I'll wait and see what happens.  I'm going to insist on a biopsy.  I'm concerned that something is going on in my body.  I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I have that strange clotting factor going on, and my last blood tests showed irregular red cells, and that I have neutropenia.  I have a baby who suffered a brain hemmorhage at birth, and she really needs her mommy!  I don't want to mess around.  Do you think that I will get the results when I go back this week for the second mammo and ultrasound?  Is there a way that I can request to find out that day?  Thanks so much for helping me!  :) 

postal2
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 2/20/2005 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi MidwestGal, Welcome! I really can't add much to what the others have said, but I wanted to also welcome you. As for getting the results that day, I don't know. I think a few ladies did, but that is not the usual. The waiting is the worst part of this, it gives us too much time to think, lol. Good luck and please keep us informed on how you are doing. I am sure you will hear from others in your area. I am a western gal, state of Washington. L&H, Gail
 It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.   Elisabeth Kubler Ross


gma
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 2/20/2005 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh I am so sorry about your baby, she really does need her mommy and I will certainly pray that a biopsy will prove negative and you will be able to concentrate on her care. How old is she? Tell us a little more about her. I am a gradnma and soon to be great grandma. Mammograms and sonograms can only tell so much. As everyone has told you, only a biopsy will tell you for sure. A biopsy as you know is very easy surgery and won't take much time from the baby. There are several girls in MI here. Lori posts often, the others not quite so often, but I am sure she can help you lots with information. As I suggested above please check the roll call. There are even some pictures of some of us there. Hugs MK gma stands for grandma


ardee
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Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 854
   Posted 2/20/2005 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Can't add to what everyone else has said, just wanted to add my welcome. I'm in soggy So. Calif. Hope everything goes well for you. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Hugs,
Rita


Tavish
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 2/20/2005 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi MWG-
I am in Michigan, in Oakland County. I go to U of M's Breast Care Center...there is another new member here who also goes there. We do have a couple others in the area. I can't say what is the best...my care began at Providence and I switched to U of M, feeling more comfortable at a major comprehensive cancer center. Plus they were willing to do a lymph node surgery that Providence was not, so my decision was made. I was just there this past week, as a matter of fact. My radiation oncologist is now at St Joe's, he left Providence a little while ago.

Michele (Nurse Mikki) lives in the area too and she works as a nurse at St Joe's...maybe she'll post.

My opinion is that you should follow your docs' advice from St Joe's, and get a 2nd opinion at U of M if needed. Or at any time, if you feel uncomfortable with the docs' advice, seek a 2nd opinion....let me know if you have other questions I can try to help with...
Lori


Cathi
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 2/21/2005 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

Yes, as my good friends have said a biopsy is the only way to know for sure....
Please make sure and go that route. Also my lump was so far back against my chest wall
it couldnt not be felt....so please get a biopsy.

Keep us posted

Cathi
Sometimes it is a slender thread, Sometimes a strong,
stout rope; She clings to one end, I the other;
She calls it friendship; I call it hope....


MidwestGal
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/21/2005 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   

What a super group of ladies you are!  Thank you for your warmth and kind welcome.  Gma, you asked about my daughter, and I thank you for doing so because she is my pride and joy!

  tongue She was born 9 weeks early, and had a severe bilateral brain hemorrhage, and she has hydrocephalus as a result. She gets physical therapy every week in our home to work on her muscles to help with the cerebral palsy.  She is five months old, and as sweet as pie!  I LOVE being her mother.  I am a full-time stay-at-home mom.  We have to be very careful about getting any germs because she has respiratory disease, and any kind of cold would land her in the hospital, so we are pretty much home-bound.  She is such a little fighter!  I just love her spice for life.  She is my first child, and I was so thrilled to become pregnant with her.  I adored her from day one! She and I have an amazing bond.  Maybe it sounds strange, but it's true.  The day she was born I knew something was wrong.  I kept calling my doctors office telling them I sensed there was a problem, and they finally got me in that afternoon.  I was right.  She was in distress, and would not have made it if I did not go in.  Which brings me to another topic, "intuition".  I by no means claim to be psychic, but I am usually right when I get a sense about something.  My mother was diagnosed last year with acute leukemia.  I took her to the dr., and they said she had the flu.  I took her to an emergency room in a  larger city, and she was diagnosed the next day with leukemia.  I'm worried about my tests on Wednesday.  I have told my doctor for the past couple of months about this swelling on my left side (which is ironically the side with the breast trouble).  My groin, all around my hip, my arm, armpit, now even my hand, are all swollen, but only on the left side.  The lymph nodes in my neck, behind my ears, and along my shoulders are swollen.  That, along with my blood tests, scare me.  I get the "well you are young, healthy, etc" routine, and don't get me wrong, the doctors are very nice, but I think I know my own body.  I am going to follow my instinct on this one.  I hope for the sake of my family that everything will be ok, but I can deal with whatever comes my way.  Thank you all for listening.  Good grief, I practically gave you my whole life story!  Oops!


Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 2/21/2005 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
We love life stories....but can we get a first name? And yikes, where did you take your mother when they grossly misdiagnosed her? I will be sure to strike that one off my list...

Your baby sounds like an angel and I am so glad you have her by your side...and that she has you by hers!
L&H,
Lori


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 2/21/2005 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I can hear the love flowing from your words for that dear little baby girl. I have many friends who have kids with handicaps and there is nothing like a mother's love and intuition to keep them from harm. One friend of many years has a son now in his late 30s and she was told he would not live to age 10. The live in OH and I have been in TX for 23 years but we still talk on the phone and she tells me about him. I had two benign tumors removed long before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And the cancer showed up in the area of the last benign lump. So things like that do happen. I hope all goes well for you, but definitely believe you need to follow your feelings and insist on getting care. Do not let any doctor try to guess what is wrong and minimize what you need. Go for a second opinion if you are not satisfied. It sounds like you are in an area with good care. Lori sure does well..... She is a cutie. If there is anything at all we can help with, please let us know. You can reach me via email by clicking on my name and getting my email address. Hugs MK


DiVanDyke
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 2/22/2005 9:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi,

Welcome. I can add one other thing to the discussion besides a hug and a welcome. I had lymph node swelling like you describe for 2 years. I was not on the cancerous side though and it was 4 or 5 years before the cancer diagnosis. It  was so bad that I had a hard time working. At one point, I was so weak that when I opened the church door, I couldn't hold on to it and it slammed and broke my foot. The doctor did tests and found nothing. Said he couldn't help me. One day I thought I would pass out in class. Finally, I went to a chiropractor. He said that 2 years later, my back was still swollen on one side of the spine but not the other. I know exactly what you mean. Only one side was sick. It started because my glands couldn't drain in my neck and followed the lymph system down all of the right side of my body. He worked  on draining them and I have been fine since. I also had a doctor tell my that they have a name for that, but I don't know what it is. He said they treat it with diet and exercise.    I'm in Illinois. Wishing you the best, Di

 


lemonz
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1090
   Posted 2/23/2005 12:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, Other than to tell you I think you are so wise to respect your instincts, I really can not add anything. They all covered everything there is to say. Just wanted to add my hello. Wish you lots of luck, Joyce
How wonderful it would be to see Angels where there are only clouds. How sad it would be to see clouds where there are Angels.
 
 


sdearing
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 700
   Posted 2/23/2005 1:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Just wanted to say hello and God Bless.  You are probably done with your test by now, but just to let you know that I have you in my prayers today.  Let us know how things turn out. 

 

L&H

Sara


Sara Dearing
 
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present!


cupycake2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 2/23/2005 8:37 PM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like you have a full plate Midwestgal. Hopefully soon you will find the answers that are of a very positive nature for you. I agree with the others about the biopsy, it IS the only way to be sure what you are dealing with.

Your little girl sounds adorable. I work for a company that deals with alot of cerebral palsy patients that also have hydrocephalus. We make communication devices for nonspeaking patients.

Keep us updated on your test results. We Care!!!!!

BTW.........I am 53 years old, from OHIO and I will be a 20 year survivor on March 28th of this year. I also had a recurrence in the sternum two years after my original diagnosis. I am here to give these lovely gals the encouragement that they need to KEEP UP THE FIGHT!!!

Hugs,
Deb
"What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun"
Cicero


kmonke
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 352
   Posted 2/25/2005 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   

Welcome and loving hugs sent your way.  You have your plate pretty full from the sounds of it, but please know that all of us on this board have been through a lot also, and we are here now to support you through your trials.

Your baby sounds adorable and very loved.  I will be a grandma for the first time in about 6 weeks and things I didn't worry about when waiting for my own kids to be born are now things that I think about constantly.  Maybe that is why God chose to have younger women give birth and older women be there for the support.

Wondering if you have had your 2nd appointment at this time.  Please keep us posted.  I too am a midwesterner, but a little farther west than you.  I am from North Dakota.  Hang in there sweetie, and if you don't mind giving us your name sometime, we would love to "know you" on a first name basis.

God Bless,

Kitty

 


MidwestGal
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/28/2005 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ladies!  Thank you for all of the nice replies, and kind wishes.  Cupycake, your job sounds like an interesting one.  It is amazing all of the augmentive communication devices that are  available.  I went back for additional xrays and an ultrasound.  It was rather drawn out.  I think they were pretty thorough, however.  The gal would take some films, tell me to have a seat, then call me back in for more because the doctor wanted another shot of an area.  So after doing that a couple of times, I had the ultrasound.  After the ultrasound, I had another xray.  The girl that did my ultrasound said they would like me to come back in four months.  She showed me a diagram of my breast, and there were several little spots drawn in.  Apparently there is a cluster of little cysts, which she said is typical for many women.  (Although these several little cysts have just developed since my mammo in 2001).  I asked her if the doctor viewing my trillion and one films would be able to tell if it were cancerous or not and she said, "Oh yea".  Can I get a copy of the radiology report by calling the breast center?  Thank you ALL for being so kind and staying involved.  I hope that each of you is doing well.  I think I mentioned before that my mother has Acute Leukemia, and although it is not breast cancer, I'm pretty darn good at offering a shoulder to lean on should anyone need it!  tongue Blessings to all!

Elizabeth


jaaustin
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 2/28/2005 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Elizabeth,
I'm glad the news appears to be good, but nobody can tell if something is cancerous by looking at it. We have several women here who will probably pipe up who were told their lumps were "nothing" and turned out to be cancer. If you have any doubts, have them biopsied or removed. Don't wait 4 months.
Good luck,
Julie
Do not go gentle into that goodnight,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
~Dylan Thomas


postal2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 2/28/2005 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Elizabeth, I agree with Julie. Please don't wait four months. There have been too many on this board, alone, that waited and wished they had not. Your Dr cannot tell by looking at a mammo and be sure if it is or is not cancer. Get a biopsy, please! It probably is nothing, but why take that chance? Do it, please.
L&H, Gail


 It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.   Elisabeth Kubler Ross


Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 2/28/2005 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Elizabeth-
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get a second opinion! If it is cancer (and it probably is not), then waiting just to watch it is not a good idea. We know too much, and we know of the horror stories that can happen from the "watch and wait". The radiologist who reads the films will have a pretty good idea of whether it is cancer or not, but cannot be sure. He can be pretty sure, but pretty sure is not good enough. Getting a biopsy will give you a definitive answer, and assuming the cluster is benign, then you can ease your mind and get on with living and being a Mom...and heaven forbid if it is something bad, you have got to deal with it ASAP.

And yes, you can get a copy of your rad report, just call the office where you had it done and ask them to mail it to you or you can go and pick it up.

Please don't just watch and wait....or I'm gonna come and find you and drag you to U of M myself!

L&H,
Lori

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