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And for something completely different... breast nodule And for something completely different... breast nodule

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Unread 02-10-2004, 10:36 AM
And for something completely different... breast nodule

As per my last post, my doctor found endo during my 3rd annual exam ( I am no good at the abbreviations - lets just say I had a complete hysterectomy both vaginal and through my belly button) - I have halved my HRT pills per her instructions - and she wants to moniter me (they think the mass they see is endo ). Now something new has popped up. I had my 2nd ever mammogram done. The radiologist has found a nodule. The only thing they will tell me by phone is that I have a moderate risk of having a malignancy in my right breast and they need to do another test right away. The found a suspicious looking nodule. Unfortunately due to my work situation this can't be done until Feb 17th so I am left waiting on pins and needles. I have no family history of breast cancer - just Ovarian cancer (which is what they found in the hysterectomy). They asked me if I had felt anything myself - I honestly haven't. I used to feel lumps that came and went cyclically. I do have large breasts (38D) that the doctor told me are "dense" in structure. What are the best web sites for information on this? Not just generic terms but more complete explanations. I know this goes beyond the valley of the Hystersisters but I know you all have been there before and can help. Oh yes - I am 40 years old.
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Unread 02-10-2004, 10:51 AM
And for something completely different... breast nodule


Most women who have an abnormality on mammogram end up with a perfectly healthy breast. That said, until the biopsy is done, no one knows for sure.

I know that if you've had any kind of cancer history, they really look at those mammograms. After my ovca dx, I got called for THREE follow-backs. I finally told them to find something to biopsy or leave me alone!

Maybe if your doc (who ordered the mamo) will talk to the radiologist, you can get more information.

Unread 02-10-2004, 11:43 AM
And for something completely different... breast nodule

Hi (((Denise))) Try not to worry too much just yet, OK? Most of the time these things that show up in mammograms turn out to be benign. The radiologist at my first mammogram this year told me that about 15% of their mammogram patients get called back for a 'closer look' (which usually means a compression mammogram). That is quite a lot of worried ladies! Did they tell you exactly what further test they are planning to do, and when?

I've just been through this whole scenario, up to having a lumpectomy two weeks ago. I had a bad mammogram, then a bad compression mammogram, then a stereotactic core needle biopsy and then a lumpectomy. My DRs told me that if you have a compression mammogram, 80% of those come back benign and only about 20% go on to have biopsies. And the majority of biopsies come back benign, too. So, the odds of something being wrong are really quite low.

I had no prior cancer history (had my hyst for prolapse) and no close family history of breast cancer. However, I was one of the unlucky ones who ended up with a diagnosis (LCIS, DCIS, ADH & ALH) but the good thing is the mammogram caught it very early and it appears they got it all with the lumpectomy.

I, too, have relatively large breasts (36DD) and my DR told me it was a blessing... that as long as they are not too dense (which mine are not), these small abnormalities tend to be easier for the radiologist to see and also easier to biopsy without incurring too much damage (it has only been 2 weeks, I had a golf ball sized chunk of tissue removed and already it is very hard to tell by looking at it ). Also larger breasted women tend to be better candidates for the stereotactic biopsy technique, which is much less invasive than an incisional biopsy, should that become necessary.

I, too, felt nothing at all prior to the first mammogram... seven years of good mammo's and suddenly they spotted microcalcifications in this one. I'm not telling you this to scare you, just to let you know that you are doing the right thing by following up on it. Chances are it'll turn out to be nothing to worry about, but on the tiny chance that it is, you will be very glad the mammogram caught it early.

I'm happy to answer any questions about whatever procedures they schedule you for. I've got some great links to information about diagnostic mammography and the different biopsy methods... I don't want to overwhelm you with stuff you may not need but ask and you shall receive, OK? Just to start you off though, this is a really good general website with tons of information:

Breast Cancer and the Postmenopausal Woman

and this one is great for understanding the conditions of the breast (both normal and abnormal):

If you need specific info on any particular procedure or condition, just holler, OK? And really, I know it's hard, but try not to get too stressed about this right now... hopefully you'll find out everything is just fine!

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Unread 02-10-2004, 11:58 AM
And for something completely different... breast nodule

Hi Denise,
My heart goes out to you - I went through this last month so I know what you are feeling. A "suspicious"area was found on my mammogram. Turned out there were three lumps, had to go back for a sonogram. That reading came back as fibroadenoma, which is benign. The recommendation was not to do anything aggressive at this time, keep an eye on them, and repeat the mammogram in six months. By the way, I can't feel the lumps either.

I am under the care of an acupuncturist who recommended a wonderful book, "Breast Cancer? Breast Health! The Wise Woman Way" by Susun Weed. It is well written and researched, and loaded with suggestions. I think she has a web site, but I can't recall it at the moment. I'm sure if you do a search it will pop up.

Because of the ovarian cancer, people, especially doctors, are going to react strongly. They did so with me too and I went through a couple of weeks a nervous wreck. I even had friends that thought breast cancer was a given and were making plans to take care of me! Yikes! I think the lesson I learned was to try not to take on the reactions of others, it can make you crazy.

If there is anything I can do to help, feel free to PM or email me. Hang in there!

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