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Breast Abnormalities and Other Symptoms
General questions about breast health and possible symptoms.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
2/20/2018I have dense breasts and a lump in my left breast that has been previously biopsied and tagged and found to be fibrous tissue. I am 50 years old and there is no significant history of breast cancer in my family. The problem that I have is with my yearly mammogram. Almost every year I get a call back, and have to go in for more pictures and sometimes an ultrasound. It is always the left breast which is the side with the lump and tag. Sometimes they are looking at the lump, thinking that it has changed, sometimes they are thinking they see other areas of concern. I am concerned about all of this extra radiation as well as the expense and stress of this. Now they are recommending a six month follow up because last time I went, the radiologist thought she saw something which 2 different ultrasound techs could not find. Can I skip the follow up? is there a better way than having to go through this every year? Will 3 D mammograms help me? Thanks
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
2/20/20183D mammograms can see more than traditional 2D mammograms. Mammography is the gold standard for detecting breast abnormalities. We do not recommend skipping any follow-up imaging. As an aside, more than 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history, and only 5-10% of women diagnosed with breast cancer actually carry a gene mutation (like BRCA, which can cause breast cancer).

Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.

The contents of this portion of the website cannot be used as a substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other healthcare provider. It also may not represent the opinions of other Johns Hopkins professionals. It is a free service performed on volunteer time and intended to provide feedback to questions posted by consumers however should not be used as a directive or instructions to now follow. Seeing your own medical provider is always important in getting your needs and questions addressed. In the majority of cases, a clinical examination, review of pathology slides and xrays, along with other medical information is needed to truly provide a consultative service. If you wish to receive a formal consultation with our physicians please call 443-997-8282 for surgical appointments and 410-955-8964 for medical or radiation oncology appts. For breast imaging, call 410-955-4100.


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