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.


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