Hi ladies. I didn't realize there were posts to read as I have not been receiving my e-mail alerts. What a nice surprise. Thank you all for your thoughts and encouragement.
Here's my update:
Firstly, even though I no longer needed a referral to see a specialist, after requesting an appointment with oncology (again, I have Kaiser), they informed me (long story short) that they do not diagnose, they just treat. They don't even do the biopsies, general surgery does. So that's where I am on that.
My ultrasound results came back showing nothing but dense breasts. I spoke with the general surgery nurse and told her my concerns and, after being bumped around from department to department, finally managed to make an appointment for a mammogram. They were very quick and I had that done on Monday. Results came in yesterday and, as I expected, nothing showed up.
I asked the nurse what my chances were of getting a breast MRI. She said slim to none. (That is the funny part - Kaiser's big thing is about prevention, their slogan "THRIVE" - Ha!)
The plan now:
Keep my follow-up appointment with my general surgeon which is in two weeks. He will do an exam to see if anything has changed. I will INSIST upon an MRI, taking all the ammunition I need. I have printed out numerous posts from this forum and another which show that mammograms DO NOT pick up everything.
A lady my husband works with was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She has had breast exams religiously and mammograms for the past 6-7 years. The last one showed up some calcium deposits. After a digital mammogram she was sent for an MRI (her insurance company didn't want to pay for it even though she had been diagnosed with cancer). She went for the MRI and not only did it show the calcium deposits but a big tumor which was cancerous and, the doctor told her, had probably been there for about 9 years. Can you believe that. 9 years. She never felt anything, her doctors never felt anything - nothing else showed it but the MRI.
She also just gave me an article which states:
"The odds that a mammogram will fail to detect a cancerous lesion is small but significant. In general, the test is 83% sensitive, meaning that in a large population of women screened with mammography, it can miss 17% of cancers. But in women with very dense breasts, mammography will miss cancer 58% of the time".
How scary is that?
Donna, you are right, it is strange that we are made to feel crazy. Somedays I wonder if I am just being paranoid and maybe I should just let it be (since nothing is showing up anywhere). But I feel that something is not right and it too big of a risk. So what if it ends up to be nothing, at least I will know for sure.
Pam, I printed out your post and e-mail. Will let you know if I need that oncologist (hopefully not!)
So, I will keep you all informed, my appointment will be in 2 weeks.
Thanks again and take care