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Breast Abnormalities and Other Symptoms
General questions about breast health and possible symptoms.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
After my annual screening I was called back for an ultrasound and additional mammogram.The ultrasound result is a cyst at the 7:00 position and a morphologically benign-appearing lymph node at the 9:00 position. The mammogram result said there are hazy calcifications in the posterior third of the right breast. They are fairly tightly grouped and slightly amorphous in appearance but have irregular shapes. I had a stereotactic core biopsy on the calcifications on Dec. 14. Pathology report says benign breast tissue rare microcalcifications. Negative for atypia and malignancy. The mammography report references the pathology report and says the same thing as well as the targeted calcifications are lateral to the calcifications that were noted on the screening and diagnostic workup. Both sites of calcifications are very faintly visualized and extremely difficult to see. The radiologist is recommending another biopsy. My PCP is referring me to a specialist but she cant see me until mid March. Im assuming that because I have dense breast tissue, (heterogeneously dense category c) that is why it was so hard to see the calcifications? Does lateral mean that they missed the calcifications they were after? Is mid March a reasonable time to wait to see the specialist?
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
1/8/2018Dense breast tissue refers to the appearance of breast tissue on a mammogram. Having dense breasts means that you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue and not much fat in the breasts. It's a normal and common finding. Dense breast tissue appears as a solid white area on a mammogram, which makes it difficult to see through.

Breast calcifications are calcium deposits within breast tissue. They appear as white spots or flecks on a mammogram but can't be felt during a breast exam. Breast calcifications are common on mammograms, and they're especially prevalent after menopause. Although breast calcifications are usually noncancerous (benign), certain patterns of calcifications such as tight clusters with irregular shapes may indicate breast cancer or precancerous changes to breast tissue, so it's best to have these worked up.

Lateral does not mean they missed the calcifications, but that there are others to the side of the targeted area, which they'd also like to biopsy just to be sure they are ok as well.

I would not want to wait until March, not because you're in any danger, but because that is very anxiety producing! If you would like a second opinion, we'd be happy to see you much sooner (in a week or so) and can also set you up for that other biopsy. You can call 443-997-1513 to schedule an appointment. If you cannot travel to Hopkins, you should seek out a reputable breast surgical oncologist and get an appointment sooner than March, just so you can put this to rest.

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