What Should I Do After I Receive My Mammogram Results?
You scheduled your mammogram, went to the appointment, and had your exam. The exam went smoothly and quickly. The only thing left is to ask is “What now?” Read on to learn what to expect after your mammogram in regards to when you’ll get your results, how to read your results, and taking follow-up steps if necessary.
How Long Will It Take to Get My Results?
In some mammography centers, you may wait while a radiologist reads and interprets your mammogram results. However, it’s more common to wait for your results to be mailed to you. Typically, you’ll receive your results in about two weeks. Sometimes it can take as long as a month. Your results will also be mailed to your primary physician. Don’t hesitate to call the mammography center and your doctor if you haven’t gotten your results after one month.
What Information is Included On My Mammogram Report?
Your mammogram report will give you the following information:
- Your patient information
- Your medical history
- The type of procedures you’ve undergone that may include past biopsies
- The test findings
- The test impressions
- Recommendations for further testing if necessary
In the findings section of your report, it may say your mammogram results are normal, benign, or negative. However, if there are areas of concern that could indicate breast cancer, the report will contain information about the size of the abnormality, the location, and its shape or outline.
Breast abnormalities that may be described in the findings section include:
- White spots- also called calcifications or microcalcifications
- Spiculated mass- a lump with spiky borders
- Thickened skin
- Asymmetrical breast density
- Retraction- occurs when breast tissue or nipples pull inward
- Focal distortion- indicates something is pressing on breast tissue
The impressions section of your report will have a Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS) number. The numbers range from zero to five. This number system was developed to create a national standard for results that can easily be shared and interpreted throughout the U.S. The numbers indicate the following:
- The mammogram was inconclusive, meaning the radiologist could not give an impression based on the data. Another mammogram or other testing may be necessary
- The results are normal, negative, or benign
- The mammogram revealed benign, or non-cancerous abnormalities such as calcifications or fibroadenomas
- The mammogram found abnormalities that have a 98 percent chance of being benign. You may be asked to return for another mammogram in six months
- The mammogram showed suspicious abnormalities. You’ll probably need a biopsy, ultrasound, or other testing
- The mammogram revealed an abnormality that has a 95 percent chance of being cancerous. You’ll need follow-up testing like a biopsy, ultrasound, or MRI
Will I Need a Follow-Up Exam?
If your mammogram results are normal, the only thing you’ll need to do is schedule your next annual mammogram. However, if you receive an abnormal result, follow-up testing may be necessary. Depending on your case, you may require the following:
- A follow-up mammogram in three to six months
- Additional spot views
- Magnification views
- Diagnostic mammogram
- Ultrasound testing to determine if a mass is solid or is a benign breast cyst
- MRI- This test can be more accurate in evaluating breast tissue and is recommended for women who have increased risk factors for breast cancer
- Biopsy- This test uses a needle to extract a sample of breast tissue to be diagnosed in a lab
Where Can I Get a Mammogram on Long Island?
Mammograms save lives. When it’s time for your annual mammogram, PURE Mammography in Lake Grove, NY offers state-of-the-art 3D mammography in a caring and comforting setting. Contact us today for an appointment.
PURE Mammography is the premier 3D mammography center serving women in Lake Grove, NY, and the surrounding Long Island communities. Located inside Smith Haven Mall, you can stop in for a 3D mammogram after an afternoon of shopping. No appointment is necessary, and we have extended weekday and weekend hours to accommodate your busy schedule. To learn more about our center, call us at 631-652-3424 or fill out this form to pre-schedule an appointment.