Mammogram callback

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chh
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/9/2013 10:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone.

I had a screening mammogram last Tuesday. The doc called me late on Friday and said I needed a spot mammogram and an ultrasound. He said they found something "well defined" and "17 mm" big. When I asked how worried I should be, he said "not very." I immediately called to get an appointment, but they were closed for the weekend.

I'm worried. Can't help it. I have an appointment for Friday noon (and have called to check for cancellations already). I'm not sleeping well and having trouble eating, but have been doing a lot of research. Does anyone have any suggestions or could shed some light on this?

chh
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/9/2013 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Also, I'm 53 and in perimenopause.

sandra4611
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/9/2013 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Of course you are frightened. We've all been in your shoes so we know exactly how you feel. My cancer was also diagnosed in a routine mammogram. Don't worry about size. 17 mm is 1.7 centimeters, which is how most tumors are measured. That's not very big... just a little over 1/2 inch. If it does turn out to be cancer, sounds like they see it early. What kind of doc called you back?  Since you don't usually make appointments with a radiologist, I'm think this was some other kind of doctor. If it was a radiologist it would be more significant.
 
There are any number of reasons for a call back. Sometimes it is a matter of technique. One mammo technician does it a little different than another. (That happened to me one time.) It could be because you have dense breasts and hard to diagnose. It was described to me as the difference between a bowl of plain jello and a bowl of jello with fruit cocktail in it. You can't see all the way to the bottom plus you can't see what is under a small piece of fruit - a cherry? A grape? If you have dense breasts AND less compression, for instance, than you did last year, the radiologist can't make a good comparison so they bring you back in.
 
It's likely that you have calcifications...pretty normal at your age. They show up on a mammogram as bright white scattered round "pearls" and are a common part of aging. The radiologist looks for odd shapes or tubular shapes like rice. He/she also looks for a few of these calcifications in the same area.
 
Your next mammogram is likely to be a magnification of a smaller area. If it still isn't clear or still looks suspicious, the doc will order a stereotactic breast biopsy. It's completely painless. You feel a small sting of lidocaine, but nothing else. They will numb your whole breast, compress it, and direct the biopsy to exactly the area in question. Then they will put in a tiny titanium clip to mark the spot where the biopsy was done and you will move into another room for a regular mammogram to make sure they got the right spot.
 
It takes a few days or a week for the pathologist to look at the samples ( I had 12 taken ) If it is cancer, you will be given your exact diagnosis and be sent for an MRI with contrast to look for anything else that might have been missed in either breast. From there you see a surgeon and the ball really starts to roll.
 
You have a way to go so there is no point making yourself sick over it when you'll likely have to wait for what seems like forever. Hopefully the magnification mammogram will clear up the question and you'll go back to your life.

chh
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/9/2013 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sandra. Wow, what a great post. Thank you! I hope you are doing well.

In answer to your question, the report came from the radiologist to my ob/gyn, who called me. The form letter I received later was from radiology.

chh
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/11/2013 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Sandra. Just got back from the hospital. The techs found the radiologist and he spoke with me directly after. He said he was 100% sure it was just a shadow. Thanks again for your post. It helped a lot.

sandra4611
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 10/11/2013 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   
CHH,
What wonderful news! I'm so happy for you. Glad I could help.
 
Sandra
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