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Breast Cancer

Ultrasound recommended

01/12/2009

Question:

I`m 46, soon to be 47 (in March). I have no history of any breast problems/cancer, nor is there any in my family that I know of. I went yesterday morning for a routine, annual mammogram. Received a call from my Doctor`s office today stating they got my results and that the hospital recommends an ultrasound as they found an oval shaped area of density in my right breast... it`s scheduled for tomorrow! HELP... I`m freakin` out!!! I`m a worrier, and full of anxiety, and while I want to think positive I`m finding it hard to breath, let alone concentrate. I went straight from the hospital after having the mammogram yesterday morning to my doctor`s office for my annual pap... she did a breast exam and didn`t mention feeling any lump or anything! I seriously feel like I`m losing it - scared to death... I`m trying to calm down but am in shock.

Answer:

Most abnormalities that are found on mammogram are benign (non-cancerous), but need to be checked out. By now, you have probably had the ultrasound to determine if this is just a cyst or if it is something that should be biopsied. Either way, there is no reason to panic; even most biopsies are benign. Usually the doctor or technician that does the biopsy takes time to explain the mammogram and ultrasound findings, so you may already be much calmer. The reason that annual mammograms are recommended is so that if there is a tumor in the breast it can be found at the earliest possible time. I recommend that you proceed with whatever testing is needed and try not to let yourself get too panicky by assuming the worst. Just take one step at a time for now.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University