Mammogram Abnormalities

(Originally Posted on May 2, 2015)

We all know how important it is to keep your doctor appointments. Your mammogram appointments are no exception. There is no question that this appointment saves lives by early detection. A mammogram enables your doctor to find abnormalities well before you will feel anything in your breast or have any symptoms. 

Most women will have normal results after a mammogram and will continue on with their day-to-day business. Unfortunately, some will receive news that their mammogram results were abnormal. Most of us take our health for granted, and when it is threatened, we go into panic mode. It is a very scary time, but your doctor will act quickly to find the problem.

The first thing that happens after an abnormal mammogram result is a closer look at the abnormality. Additional testing is needed. This could mean a breast ultra sound or a diagnostic mammogram that focuses on the abnormality. Neither of these tests is painful and your doctor will explain them thoroughly before you have them done.

Take some comfort in knowing that most abnormal results are not cancer. There are several things that will appear as a mass in your breast such as a cyst. Some women’s breast tissue is actually very dense and will sometimes appear to have a mass when it is just normal breast tissue. It is always better to be safe and have further testing if the initial mammogram shows abnormalities. 

Sometimes, a doctor will want you to come back for another mammogram earlier than your normally scheduled one just to make sure the area of concern is not changing. Again, if your doctor recommends this, it’s generally just to be on the safe side.

After additional testing, if the area still concerns the physician, you will probably have to have a biopsy done to see if the mass is cancerous. There are different types of biopsies and your doctor will discuss why they are choosing one type over another to you before the procedure. Just because an area must be biopsied does not mean you have cancer. Calcium deposits are biopsied quite often to make sure they are benign. If the biopsy shows cancerous cells, decisions can be made in your best interest immediately. This is why mammograms are so important.

Waiting for test results can be a very nervous time. Doctors advise that between doctor visits, if a question comes up to write it down. It’s easy to forget questions that arise between visits, and sometimes just being in a doctor’s office can make you forget what you meant to ask. 

Doctors also think it’s a good idea to bring a family member or friend who can help you remember what the doctor has said. It’s much easier when there are two sets of ears listening to what the doctor has to say.

A mammogram is one of the most important things we do for our best breast health. If you are in the Palm Beach area and need mammogram or OBGYN services, please call for an appointment at 561-434-0111. 

Dr. Lorna Williams

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