What Happens If My Mammogram Is Abnormal?
Every woman comes in to get her mammogram with a level of anxiety about what the results will be. We all know how important it is to get the screening, but what happens when you get your mammogram and the outcome is not positive? What happens if your mammogram is abnormal?
Abnormal Mammogram: Next Steps
If your mammogram has abnormal results, it does not always mean that you have breast cancer. It may be a misreading by the lab technician. It may be dense breast tissue showing up as a concerning area on the images. If you get abnormal mammogram results, your physician will likely want more images – another mammogram or 3D mammogram, an ultrasound, and a comprehensive breast exam. These additional examinations will provide more detail about what is going on and can be targeted to the area in which the abnormality was found.
Breast Biopsy and Biomarker Testing
If your physician believes there is a lump or cancerous mass in your breast, the next step is normally to perform a biopsy and get a biomarker test. A biopsy allows the doctor to get a sample of the cells from the lump to send to the lab for testing. The lab test will reveal whether or not there are any cancer cells in the mass. As scary as this process can be, almost 80% of these biopsies are benign. A biomarker test can determine whether something abnormal is happening with the cells from your biopsy.
Diagnosing Breast Cancer
Once breast cancer is diagnosed, the stage of the cancer is determined, between Stage 0 and Stage 4. A treatment plan will be developed based on the stage of the cancer. In most cases, treatment will involve surgery to remove the lump and impacted lymph nodes followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy. While it can be frightening to have an abnormal mammogram, mammograms catch breast cancer early. In fact, nearly 100% of breast cancer is curable if caught early.
Having regular 3D mammograms performed by an experienced board-certified breast imaging specialist is the best way to detect abnormalities early. If you do require annual mammograms, we invite you to visit PURE Mammography on Long Island today. There is no appointment necessary; you can simply stop in at your convenience. You can also call 631-652-3424 or fill out the form on this page to learn more about PURE or to pre-schedule an appointment.