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Are you dense and did you find your BC yourself?

treecy1106's picture
treecy1106
Posts: 145
Joined: Apr 2011

I am just trying to get an idea of how many of us are out there who have dense breasts, were still required to have a mammo and ultrasound even though it never diagnosed anything!

We really need to do something about this.

hope67's picture
hope67
Posts: 166
Joined: Apr 2013

So mammo was useless for me, US showed IDC, ILC was found after mastectomy. I also have many lumps and didn't find BC by myself, I was getting checked because my sister was diagnosed with BC. I guess I was lucky.

Carmen

ComfortablyNumb
Posts: 45
Joined: May 2013

I have dense breasts, found my tumor myself. But I'd never had a mammogram (I was 29, government doesn't pay for them until you're 50 here)

Lynne P
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2013

I have dense breasts.  It was shown on the mammogram.

Lynne

Josie21
Posts: 349
Joined: Nov 2012

My ILC never showed on mammo.  Luckily I always had MRI's because of dense breasts and previous DCIS and LCIS.  Years of MRI's finally picked it up just before it became 2 cm.   I was .1 cm away from being stage 2. Doctor said it was probably there for 7 years!!  So, 14 mammo's, 14 ultrasounds and about 5 MRI's showed nothing suspicious.  It makes me so sad.  There has to be a better way for women with dense breasts and LCIS or ILC.  Hard to find because they are very sneaky.

 

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3983
Joined: Oct 2009

I had very dense breasts and my cancer showed up on my initial mammogram (I did feel a lump first).

Lynne P
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2013

Very dense breasts and had a mammo, then the core needle biopsy.

Hoot Owl's picture
Hoot Owl
Posts: 35
Joined: May 2013

I have dense breasts also, and my ILC was found on a mammogram.  Tumor was almost outside of the mammogram area, as it was up against my chest wall along my pectoral muscle. 

Deb 

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5385
Joined: Oct 2010

VERY Dense breasts-I had no lump, nothing to indeicate cancer-but mammo picked up on routine screening.

 

Denise

NorcalJ's picture
NorcalJ
Posts: 192
Joined: Feb 2008

Had dense  breasts, usually got ultrasound and mammo.  Or, would get ultrasound alternating with mammo every 6 months.  Then moved and new center didn't even think US was required.  3 months after reg. mammo with a call back to get more views and being told it was all O.K.----found it myself---inverted nipple--never a good thing.  You're all right, even digital mammo's don't do the trick we need to have other ways to diagnose the beast!  Had large ILC, and several DCIS. Bilat. mastect, chemo and radiation later, now on Xeloda after 5 years, for mets.  But Xeloda working very well. 

helen e's picture
helen e
Posts: 223
Joined: Sep 2009

I have dense breast tissue and a mammogram saved my life. I had seen my GP the day before for a "well visit" and she did a breast exam and didn't find anything. The next day the mammo found a lump which turned out to be cancer and long story short, I had to have a mastectomy. I thank God for that mammo because the tumor was fast growing but it was caught at stage 1/2.

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

I have very dense breast.  For years before diagnosis, I had to go in for mammos and ultrasounds.  I found my cancerous lump myself.  It did not show up on the mammo; however it did on the ultrasound.  An MRI only located a deeper lump which changed my lumpectomy to a mastectomy.  Not fun!

Dorene

treecy1106's picture
treecy1106
Posts: 145
Joined: Apr 2011

Thank You everyone for your responses!!! I am just trying to see if having an MRI for us women with Dense Breasts would have helped us catch the cancer earlier.

 

((HUGS))

Patrice

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Something showed up on the mammo, so, I was sent for the core needle biopsy, which showed bc.  I would highly recommend for women to get a MRI, and, especially an ultrasound along with a mammo.  I do get an ultrasound now when I get my mammo. 

Debby

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

I have dense breasts and for years my tumors(benign then) were found but  no mamos then.Starting at age 20  my doctor found 2  my husband found 1 a few years later and I found the 4th tumor a few years after that.Those were the days when you were in the hospital in a day or 2 and had lumpectomies or masectomies.Always  had lumpectomies.Then the one that was cancer was caused by a blow from my grandson.I went to the doctor within 2 weeks with pain. Since it was so early my doctor felt nothing but a mammo was due in 5 months.The mammo was done but I think if there had been a mammo the 2 weeks after the blow nothing would've showed.Way to early.

when the cancerous tumor was found in 2009 it was Stage 0 DCIS.I had a lumpectomy, then just as I was having that surgery another benign tumor was found and removed.Six weeks later a 3rd benign tumor wss found just before my check margin surgery. The doctor wanted to do that surgery to make sure all the cancer was gone. It was a whirlwind but so far things are pretty good with one fibroid tumor in that left breast.Same one all the time.

In all those 42 years there were 7 benign tumors removed and I still have the fibroid that is checked.

I've been taking tamox and Dec of 2014 I will be able to quit it UNLESS what I read now you can take it longer.Will see what my doctor says.

Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

NorcoIJ I have had a inverted nipple for years.Didn't know it till maybe 17 years ago a tech saw it.She asked if I knew.NO and I had been having mammos for years(when they first came out).Had the mammo then  and it showed nothing.BUT in all those years  just last year I noticed a discharge in my right breast(the one with the inverted nipple) not the cancer side.The doctor ordered a ultrasound and it was OK.It't been a whirlwind for me as you can also see from all the 46 years now.4 of those years was when the cancer was dx in 2009.The other years were check up or mammos after they came out.

I consider my situation a whirlwind and complicated.It hasnt been easy having benign tumors since I was 20 and now i'm 66.  

Not sure if any of you ever had the old mammo.Where a COLD METAL plate was lowered down as they squeezed the breast. Then snapped the pic. Well I went in for 1 and the  tech lowered it.I think it  slipped from her.It slammed down on me. There I was pinned in the mammo and passing out.I couldn't fall to the floor by breast was stuck in the mammo. 3 techs came running. I was incoherent.So I was there with my left breast smashed and me out of it.not a good experience..It wasnt long after that those mammos improved.    

Lynn Smith

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I think all of us should get a MRI too, along with the mammo and ultrasound, but, a lot of insurance companies won't pay for it, even though they should.

We need any and all tests to help us.  I wish everyone could get them.

Leeza

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

Very dense. Had a huge lump that was clearly visible (size of a golf ball) mamo showed NOTHING!  US did pick it up.  I am really anti mammo since this, last month I had to have another one as I have recurred, mamo showed NOTHING again as it is inbetween the breast.   Tash x

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Dense breasts and the mammo showed microcalcifications, which turned out to be bc.

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

My cancer I found myself. It did not show on the mammogram or ultrasound. But just the size of it and an inverted nipple was enough to warn docs that something was wrong. So the first surgeon took the biopsy in the wrong place. She referred me to another surgeon because she didn't know how to deal with my case. The second surgeon did a large biopsy and ran other tests. He diagnosed me at stage 3. 

treecy1106's picture
treecy1106
Posts: 145
Joined: Apr 2011

This just goes to show that mammo's are not the way to go for diagnosing BC. AT least thats what I think! They cannot be good for you..all the squeezing and pain...I mean ...come on!!! Ultrasound is better but still not 100%....MRI with contrast is the best way to find out for dense breasts. We...the ones with dense breasts cannot afford to be diagnosed by a mammo because most are diagnosed too late..meaning later stages!

My Doctor told me I was fine after he read the mammo and ultrasound. I told him I wasn't. After the MRI with contrast he found 4 tumors....not 1..not 2...but 4. Are you kidding me???? And I am triple negative. I was stage 2A....With all the mammos and ultrasounds I have gotten for the past 12 years every 6 months...they should have found it before it became INVASIVE.

Somehow...someway we need to help ourselves.

I am trying to get a number here on how many women diagnosed themselves and the mammo showed nothing...or showed it in a later stage.

Thanks for your help

((HUGS))

Patrice

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

Patrice, I will never again have a mamo, for several reasons.... 1, it hurts like hell, 2 it does NOT pick up bc, 3 awwwwww bugger it,,,, why bother when it does no good, hurts and wastes my precious time?  Forget bit!  Hugs Jxxx

tasha_111's picture
tasha_111
Posts: 2043
Joined: Oct 2008

Patrice, I will never again have a mamo, for several reasons.... 1, it hurts like hell, 2 it does NOT pick up bc, 3 awwwwww bugger it,,,, why bother when it does no good, hurts and wastes my precious time?  Forget bit!  Hugs Jxxx

JJDS
Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

Dense breasts and I agree that we shouldn't just rely on a mammo, although I still think we all should get one. 

alikat
Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi-

I'm new as just diagnosed w/BC in early July & joined this site tonight. Everytime I went to get a mamogram they told me mine wouldn't sag b/c they were so dense. Once had to look twice to see if I had implants. I discovered something was wrong when my breast was hard. I noticed it was different from my other one. I called my OBGYN and said I told them what was going on. (I was scheduled to get my yearly  about two weeks from when I called). They told me to come in the next day. I did and as soon as he saw it, he got a breast surgeon to come to me and a biopsy done later.

 

So, yes, I found it and have inflamatory breast cancer, and have dense breast.

 

 

Kobias
Posts: 115
Joined: Jun 2013

Mammograms do save lives.  It saved mine and it looks like many others too!  Good post!

LoveBabyJesus's picture
LoveBabyJesus
Posts: 1654
Joined: Jan 2011

I am very dense and found my own cancer at 32.

All tests view the breast differently, MRI, untrasound and mammo. I am going for my MRI on Monday and mammo on Oct. because of my dense breasts. And sometimes neither tests catch anything. I have a friend who found her tumor (33) and decided to remove both breasts (found out she carries the gene). When they did the pathology report on both breasts, they found another type of cancer (tripple neg) that MRI, mammo or ultrasound did NOT catch. So thank God she opted to have a mastectomy.

I say you altenate. You take an MRI and 6 months later, take an ultrasound or mammo.

Insurance companies suck sometimes and are not willing to pay. But Your Oncology Dr. should be able to work hard so you get covered. Mine does.

Good luck to you sweet sister. XOXO

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2300
Joined: Jun 2010

but no one ever told me that until recently.  I thought old ladies didn't have dense breasts ???? My routine mammogram 3 1/2 years ago did find my tumor.   Prior mammograms showed something in the same area that didn't change for a couple of years.  My surgeon said it was probably DCIS that became invasive.  All I know is it's gone now and I hope to never see it again.

 

Carlee
Posts: 100
Joined: Jul 2013

Dense breasts and the mammo alerted them that something wasn't right in comparing to the one before.  Now I have not only a mammo, but, an ultrasound and a MRI.   I think every woman should, but, that is just my opinion.

 

Candi Cane
Posts: 161
Joined: May 2013

Mammo found it and I also have dense breasts.  How are you doing Patrice?

Lynne P
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2013

I always thought the same double whammy, that only young women had dense breasts, but, I was wrong. 

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I have dense breasts and my mammo saved my life!  I now get a mammo, ultrasound and a MRI.

 

bluewillo
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi guys, it's me, blu. I haven't been able to log in for months...the mechanics of this site frustrate me to no end. So I just made a new "me".

I've been wanting to respond to this post ever since I first saw it. I said to myself "Yep, I AM dense...I had no idea I had a lump o' the big C until someone else told me. What a dumb dork I was". And then I would laugh out loud every time I saw the post title. I have no idea if I'm "dense"...only got one breast left, so maybe I'll ask at the nest mammo.

And I am disheartened to read of our recent loss of too many Sisters in Pink. Inspiring Angels...now we've got just that many more whispering in God's ear.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

no I am not dense but my cancer did not show up on mammo it was lobular which doesnt always show up on mammo, better on MRI. didnt know this. also had several exams prior, and I find everything myself

andi44's picture
andi44
Posts: 154
Joined: Jun 2013

I have had very dense breasts since I can remember...I found a lump 6 or 7 yrs ago - mammogramed & ultrasound - but no biopsy...had me going every 6 mths to monitor - I relocated back to my home town than went to the gyno - she didn't think it necessary to have a mammogram.  5 yrs later, I did have a mammogram - they found the large mass - had it biopsed and it was DCIS...This is why I strongly advocate for 2nd opinions...

Added note - after my initial diagnosis in March, my surgeon wanted to do a breast MRI - which found a 2nd mass...So, I do think MRI's for dense breasted women are a good thing...

Andi

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2071
Joined: Dec 2010

showed it to my primary care dr. He didnt like the feel of it so mamo next am, followed by us to measure, then tried a needle biopsy. then a biopsy. Followed by mastectomy. From mammo to mastectomy, 12 days!
I wish all insurances would approve mri's but that wont happen, so I am really happy that we have mammo's!

tko683
Posts: 257
Joined: Aug 2011

Yes, I had dense breast tissue and my mammograms were always normal.  I found the lump myself luckily but it was already in my lymph nodes by that time.  It does make me mad to know that I religiously got mammograms every year for so many years and it never was caught.  I was diagnosed in 2004 when this issue was just being discussed.  Thankfully, I am still around to talk about it.  Hugs to you!

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