How dependable is a breast ultrasound?

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dbab
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   Posted 5/8/2007 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I haven't posted on this forum before but I had concerns and hope you can help. :-)
 
Last week, I had my annual woman exam and during the breast exam my GYN didn't like what she felt.  She ordered a bilateral ultrasound on my breasts which I will be going to do on Friday (5/11).  My breasts are somewhat "lumpy" naturally however every year she does it she says its fine but not this year.  I guess my question is how accurate/dependable is a breast ultrasound especially for lumpy breasts?  How does the radiologist distinguish between regular "lumps" and cysts/tumors?  Is this better than other tests (mammogram)?  I'm really nervous about this and I hope it turns out okay but I want to feel confident with the results.
 
Thanks in advance :-)


"Des"
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gma
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   Posted 5/8/2007 3:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Usually the sonogram is used in conjunction with a mammogram. Young dense breasts do not show up as well on the mammogrom, so this is a "picture" that can help. There were items about using sonograms in the news in the past few months, so it is becoming more widespread. Hope this helps. Let us know what you find out. We are here if you need us, but we hope you don't. Hugs MK


dbab
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   Posted 5/9/2007 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you MK. I will let you know what I find out.
"Des"
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Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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sylvie74
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 5/9/2007 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Good luck to you. I really don't know how reliable/dependable they are, but when I had some breast pain early last year, the dr ordered a breast sonogram/ultrasound. Because I was only 31, and had never had anything like this done before, they decided to do a mammogram as well. I'm not sure what the ultrasound showed, but I would have to assume? that it verified the area of tissue they found in one of my breasts, during the mammogram. I went back in 6 months later, and did not have another ultrasound- only a mam.. This apparently verified that I just have lumpy breasts. LOL (already knew that anyway).
(undiagnosed) chronic pain, for nearly 10 yrs and counting..


dbab
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   Posted 5/9/2007 9:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks sylvie, I'm 31 and my doc said that I will start doing the mammograms when I'm 35. I am guessing that she doesn't think the mammogram is necessary right now since she has already felt the lump so I'm just going straight to the ultrasound or she may do the mammogram also depending on what the sonogram shows I'm thinking.

Thank you for the good luck, I'll take all I can get :-)
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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coopfesta
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   Posted 5/9/2007 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I have dense breasts and the mammo never picked up the cancer even though I had a lump.  The sono did.  Hope that gives you some relief. 
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
Don't knock on Death's Door.  Ring the bell and run.  He hates that.

Ellen


dbab
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   Posted 5/9/2007 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Actually that helps a lot and yes gives me some relief. Thanks coopfesta!!
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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Tavish
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   Posted 5/9/2007 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I think there are a lot of factors that contribute to one test working better or another. I was 30 and my tumor was not visible on the mammogram due to the tissue being too dense. My tumor was clearly seen and identified as cancer from the u/s.

The only way to be 100% sure us from a biopsy....but they can get a very good picture usually from a u/s. THere are different characteristics that they look for. Uneven color and edges are not good signs, often means cancer. Even color and density more likely suggests a benign tumor. And if it is a fluid filled cyst, there are other traits (it is hollow, not solid) that can be seen,

Most likely it is nothing, but you are right to get it evaluated. Don't let them dismiss you just because of age. Get to know the 'landscape' and learn to tell if there are changes. Lean how the normal lumps feel, and then if something else shows up, you have a sense of the change.

Hang in there and let us know how it turns out!
Lori


dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 5/11/2007 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I just got back from my ultrasound and everything looks good. The area that my doc was concerned about, turns out was a "cluster" of very dense breast tissue. I have a handful of cysts but they told me that they did not look suspicious. Thank you for all for the wonderful information. Take care to all of you!
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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RubyShooZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/18/2007 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad to hear it all went well for you dbab.
 
I'm in agreement with Tavish from what I've heard and experienced.  Biopsy is the only sure way to know in detail under the microscope.
 
When I found out about PET scans in my search, I asked my doctor to order one for me and he did.  If I hadn't asked for it, I wouldn't have gotten it.  It's a fairly new thing, so it's not being used by a whole lot of doctors yet I don't think, but after I had the PET scan, all the doctors I've seen were happy to have those base PET scan results as a sort of a gauge though and if I have other scans in the future, they can see if there are changes in the findings and if the cancer is spreading or growing or not.  Information about PET scans can be found at:
 
 
They're also useful in detecting other things such as Alzheimers and heart disease and I think it's a very useful tool in the healthcare system.
 
I hope this information helps someone. 
~ Peace, love and understanding ~
 

dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 5/31/2007 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Looks like I am not out of the woods yet. The other day I noticed a red brown possibly blood discharge when I did a self exam on the right breast (the one that is suspicious), so I called my doc and she referred me to a general surgeon for a second opinion. I will pick up my films and meet with her on Tuesday. Can one have a bloody discharge and it be a benign condition?
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin 2mg/day (tapering to PRN), Miralax 17g, Supplements


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