Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tomosynthesis Mammography

Mammograms miss a lot. They also cause lots of false alarms. I am hoping that mine is just that, a false alarm.

For the past 10 years, in Europe they have been having 3-D mammograms which better visualize potential tumors. It has yet to be approved here. Part of the study I was in today should help speed the approval process along. So're welcome.

I told the study manager that I was taken back about the absolutely no benefit to me statement I was given by the nurse. Would they really fail to tell me if they saw something my flat mammogram didn't pick up?
Of course not. And she gave me a recent example of how this new (to the US) device picked up something real that was missed.

For further info on 3-D mammograms see

I am in the waiting game right now as I sit here with my bra stuffed with ice. I could hear as early as tomorrow but as late as Tuesday to what is going on. They took the 3-D mammogram before my biopsy. Less compression but a longer time to hold my breath. Also 50% more radiation than a conventional mammogram but a drop in the bucket compared to what I received in treatment.

I asked the nice radiologist today more details about my lesion. Like where is it specifically.
Oh it's quite superficial.
What does that mean?
It means that it is not deep.
I know what the word means. I want a number.
That's hard to say. As your breast hangs, it might be 1 cm from the surface but compressed in the mammogram, it is more like 5 mm.
So this thing is near my armpit, the dangerous quadrant. But more important than its location is what it could be.
I'm leaning towards fat necrosis.
Leaning 51%?, 100%?...I need a number here.
I'd say 80%...but we need to do this.

So that's good but we were told that Maya was 65% a boy.

This was a core biopsy somewhat like what I had 5 years ago. But then I had a big juicy tumor that could be seen by ultrasound, not these small white specks. They had to do it while I was being mammogramed. I lay on my belly on a table with a hole cut out for my breast. They covered me up with warm blankets so I was comfortable. I did feel the needles to numb me for the procedure but I didn't feel much else. They took about 6 samples but didn't take everything, which I don't understand why not? They left a marker looking like a very tiny lightning bolt. Hopefully I will have this marker for the rest of my life. The other marker shaped like a cancer ribbon lasted just two weeks as it was in the middle of my tumor.

It looked like a lot of blood to me. I don't remember blood at all from the last procedure nor this list of things I can't do for the next 2 days. Top of the list: run. No picking up things weighing more than a milk carton. For some reason, my blood pressure dropped and I felt faint. I have no idea why. I bet I lost more blood from a shaving accident the other day. People were very nice to me and answered all my questions. They made it sound like perhaps this was over kill. But still I am sad. I feel emotionally beat up.

It was toasty when I walked to the car in the dark this morning. It was still warm when I returned though the temperature was falling. I would have biked. I don't think it would be particularly jarring. But as I felt like I was going to faint, I decided against this. When I felt a bit better, I went off to Shanna's (by car) to see the grandbabies though I can't pick them up or let them crawl on me.

I hope I don't need to wait long.


Holly said...

ugh...feel awful that you are going through this. the number you should ask for is the BIRADS score.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

BIRADS were never specifically discussed with me. Looking at the recommendations, I am probably a 3.8 or so. A 3 means less than 2% chance of cancer but a biopsy will be done if there is a strong history of cancer. A 4 means 20-35% chance of cancer and a biopsy is recommended no matter who the patient is. I was clearly a 5 before though I wasn't told this until the day of my biopsy 5 years ago.

EAK13 said...

Sue here's all the best karma coming our way waiting for results...
Love Alli...xx

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I will be hoping for good results for you too Alli. They said there was a good chance they'd have my results Friday but that didn't happen.

Janet said...

White specks are calcifications. Radiologists are not psychic, labs just like any biopsy are needed to determine what the outcome is


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