Abnormal Mammogram, Now What?
You take care of yourself by living a healthy lifestyle and keep on top of your health with yearly doctors’ visits and mammogram screenings. Recently, you received a call from your doctor saying you had an abnormal mammogram. What does that mean? What are the steps you should follow next? Luckily, an abnormal mammogram doesn’t automatically mean you have breast cancer. Many other explanations could be at play.
What Does an Abnormal Mammogram Mean?
For most women, you get a letter about a month after your mammogram stating that the results were normal. However, if your doctor finds an abnormality on your scan, you’ll usually be notified within five days to come in for a repeat mammogram or other follow-up tests.
In most cases, an irregular mammogram is linked to the following scenarios:
- Dense breast tissue
- A benign cyst
- Fuzzy X-ray pictures
- A benign tumor
If you get a call after your mammogram, your doctor may want to repeat it simply so there are additional scans to compare it to.
What Are the Next Steps?
In most cases, after you receive an abnormal screening mammogram, your doctor will want to follow up with a diagnostic mammogram. It’s similar to a regular mammogram, but the technician will take more pictures of the abnormal area for further study. A radiologist will be present during the exam to ensure the technician records all of the necessary images.
Another test might include an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to deliver a computer image of the breast tissue. You’ll lie on a table for the exam while a technician places gel and a transducer instrument onto your affected breast. Ultrasounds are used to look closely at suspicious breast tissue. The test doesn’t hurt or expose you to radiation.
Additionally, your doctor might want to follow up on your abnormal mammogram with an MRI. An MRI can create clearer pictures of the affected breast tissue than a traditional mammogram.
After an MRI, you will usually receive the following results:
- The breast tissue is normal and you can resume yearly mammograms.
- The test was inconclusive, but you should schedule more frequent mammograms to stay on the safe side.
- Cancer is possible and you need a biopsy.
If an MRI did not rule out cancer, a biopsy is the only way to determine if you have breast cancer.
Where Can I Get a Second Mammogram on Long Island?
If you’ve had an abnormal mammogram and want to have the test repeated, visit PURE Mammography on Long Island today. Our office is located inside a shopping mall in Smith Haven, and you can stop by without an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you.
Your care and comfort are our main priorities at PURE. Our exam rooms offer a relaxing, spa-like experience. Using state-of-the-art video and audio technology, you can choose a relaxing backdrop of gardens, beaches, or rain forests, to put you at ease during your exam. Call us today at 631-652-3424 to find out more about our incredible facility or visit our website today.