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Mammogram - I've got dense breasts~

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Completed my yearly mammogram a week ago and today spoke with RN at docs office. She informed me of my results --- have dense breasts and need diagnostic testing to look at the left side image closer. Didn't mention anything about mass or lumps, but after reading about dense breasts this opens up more reading on my part. The RN told me she has same issue, small and dense breasts and every year has to come in for further testing after initial first mammogram.

After reading more on dense breasts, understanding many things can show up, so off we go to further testing. I'm great with self exams and not felt any lumps or new spots....thankfully!

Anyone have any insight you can throw my way. Scheduled the exam for Monday. One thing I notice, once our health history on charts reads the word "CANCER", I'm finding more routine testing comes back with more intensive testing. I'm sure it's very good -- better to be safe vs. sorry -- but truly upsetting. Part of our "new normal" life hum?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!
Jan

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 997
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Jan:

I had some breast issues in the past and even had a biopsy (all good). But I still sometimes have to repeat a test or so. I don't know if they do this where you are, but whenever I get my mammogram and if I think it is something or a retest, I try to make sure that I schedule it when the doctor is there and that way I can get my results on that day instead of having to wait for the results. Also, if the image wasnt good and you need another take you can do it then and there. This really cuts down on the stress levels!

Like you said, it is better to be safe than sorry. Just another little bump in the road!

Thank you for the wishes and may you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Kathy

laura25's picture
laura25
Posts: 155
Joined: Mar 2011

After I finished chemo I went in for my yearly mamo... same story dense tissue. I had a sonogram but since the word "cancer" is in my chart the doctor sent me in for a breast MRI. Had that done and I'm glad I did for the peace of mind..everything was fine.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

That really helps to hear others side of the story with more testing after the initial mammogram. I guess now as I research more and more of us go to further scans or tests after the first yearly mammogram results. Most times docs are suggesting with dense breasts to not even get mammogram, but ultrasounds. Unfortunately insurance won't cover without having mammo done first....now does that make sense.

Feeling better about it, just realizing another step on this path and just need to buck up and get used to my NEW NORMAL. Those good old days of regular doc appts and normal testing aren't here anymore...boohoo! Happy my docs and hospital are very thorough as rather find something early then put my head in the sand.

Hugs,
Jan

P.S. This is time of year to be thankful...as I'm thankful to everyone on these boards who has given me strength and knowledge to endure my cancer journey. xoxox

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2259
Joined: Jun 2010

About the breast thing. You are so right, once we have a dx of cancer, everything is taken more seriously - and this is a good thing. Except if they actually find something, of course.

My breast cancer was in my right breast. I now have something palpable in my left breast. I had ultrasound and mammogram and exams by 4 different docs over the past 6 weeks or so. The conclusion is "normal breast tissue". But - because of my history, my primary care physician said she'd never forgive herself if she didn't order an MRI and this turned out not to be normal breast tissue. I'm waiting for an appointment for an MRI now. I didn't ask for one, it was her decision. It worries me that it acutally could be cancer in spite of the negative ultrasound and mammogram. I see my breast surgeon in January and if the MRI is normal and I still feel this thing or it's changed, I'm going to ask about a biopsy.

So yes, we all worry - and we do cause some worry to our physcians.

Suzanne

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Appreciate all your input as it did help my psychi! I made it thru the extensive mammogram and all was fine. Apparently they found something white on the digital screen and weren't sure what it was. By redoing the mammo they squished my breast (mind you I'm small to begin with) in between the paddles and it showed up mashed and not solid. When it spreads it's possibly calcium, etc, but if it were "hard" that's possibly cancer.

Did inquire about my breasts being dense, and she did mention a very small amount. Next year with my mammo if they see the same spot, which hasn't changed in size, not request me to come in for a redo...yeah!

Learned something new, but happy it's over.

Thanks so much for everyone's kindness....you all really helped!! Glad we're all sisters and we can lean on each other for support.

Jan

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Hi Jan,

Now you can put that blip behind you and live life! Enjoy it to the fullest!

Such good news!

Hugs, Karen

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

Glad the new mammogram was fine. That is quite a relief for you. My sister has dense breasts and always has to have an ultrasound after her mammogram. Not sure why they do not just do the ultrasound. In peace and caring.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

You asked why they won't do just the ultrasound...insurance won't pay. First must have the mammogram and show issues, then they'll allow the ultrasound and pay (or partially pay however your insurance is setup). Crazy hum?

Some states have setup that if woman has "dense breasts" (certain scoring) insurance must initially do the ultrasound or MRI....over-riding the mammogram altogether. Not in my state, Missouri~

Thanks for the kudos ladies!
Jan

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

You asked why they won't do just the ultrasound...insurance won't pay. First must have the mammogram and show issues, then they'll allow the ultrasound and pay (or partially pay however your insurance is setup). Crazy hum?

Some states have setup that if woman has "dense breasts" (certain scoring) insurance must initially do the ultrasound or MRI....over-riding the mammogram altogether. Not in my state, Missouri~

Thanks for the kudos ladies!
Jan

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

My sister also lives in Missouri. Dealing with insurance is such fun!!!!!!

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Where does your sister live in MO? I'm in St Louis - west county area.

Insurance sucks!!! We need it, but when want higher level testing and not insurance policy to cover, we have to go to bat and fight. I don't mind doing it, but it's stressful and surely don't need more stress in our lives.

Hope you're doing well...
Jan

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

The sister I was talking about lives in St. Charles. I have two more sisters that live in Bridgeton. I live in Quincy, Il in the summer.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Oh my Ro, your family is so close to me. I live in Ballwin/Manchester area and grew up in Hazelwood which is close to Bridgeton. Small world and now cancer has crossed our paths and brought us together.

In Winter you live in Florida...correct? If so, what part? We're huge FL people...beach lovers big time. Hoping to purchase a 2nd home in FL, but with 2 mom's here in retirement centers, we're needed more here vs. out of state. Some day...

Jan

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1356
Joined: Jan 2009

We come about Nov 1 and stay until sometime in April. We stay in Treasure Island. It is south of Tampa, in the St. Petersburg area. We are two blocks from the Gulf, so I love the beach too. It was always my husband's dream to spend the winters someplace warm. So I followed his dream. That is my relaxation to walk the beach. I love the sand between my toes, and listening to the waves. The sun and wind inmy face is wonderful. Hope you get to enjoy it someday, too. In peace and caring.

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