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Breast Cancer

Dissolving mass/nodule by paddle mammography

08/13/2008

Question:

I was called back in for additonal views on my mammogram because a mass or nodule was seen. When I went in I was told that they thought that they could dissovle it using a paddle plate on the area. I had never heard of this, I have not heard back yet and even if the result are positive I am not comfortable with this. I was also told I would probably not have to repeat the mammogram in 3-4 months. (I have small breast which are dense and I also have fibrocystic breast disease.)

Answer:

Masses or nodules do not "dissolve" with pressure.  Normal breast tissue can be mistaken for a mass, however.  Both are white densities on mammograms.  If pressure is applied to normal breast tissue, it often becomes less obvious on a mammogram.  This will alert the Radiologist to the fact that it is normal tissue, not a mass.  If pressure is applied to a true mass, then it usually becomes more obvious on a mammogram.  If that occurs, often an ultrasound will be done to better characterize the mass.

You should consider contacting your doctor to find out the results of your mammogram and to find out what follow up is necessary.

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Response by:

Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS Jean T Stevenson, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University