Getting a call from the doctor’s office saying you had an abnormal mammogram can be nerve-wracking. However, abnormal mammogram results do not necessarily mean breast cancer.
Out of the millions of women who get a mammogram in any given year, many will receive abnormal results, but only about 10% of those women will require further testing. Of that 10%, about 80% will show benign (noncancerous) results.
Having an abnormal mammogram result is very common and has something to do with the high sensitivity of the mammogram technology. 3D breast imaging can detect breast cancer in its earliest stage, but it can also pick up unharmful growths and cysts.
If you are called back into the clinic for a follow-up visit after your mammogram, your healthcare team will investigate what could have caused the abnormal results. A majority of women who have follow-up testing, such as diagnostic mammography or ultrasound, do not have breast cancer.
Why Would a Mammogram Have Abnormal Results?
No two mammogram results are the same, as a woman’s breast tissue has its own characteristics and they may change with time. Abnormal mammogram results may show masses, lumps, or microcalcifications.
The masses may be fluid-filled cysts, benign tumors, or benign calcifications. Dense areas of breast tissue, which are common in women who receive hormone replacement therapy, can also produce abnormal results.
What Happens During Your Follow-Up Appointment?
Women with abnormal mammogram results will be asked to have follow-up diagnostic testing. This testing may involve a special diagnostic mammogram or diagnostic ultrasound to focus on a particular area of concern.
An MRI of the breast may also be recommended. Like ultrasound, this technology uses no radiation. A breast MRI will likely involve having a contrast agent injected into your bloodstream so that the images can pick up any masses or tumors.
What Can I Expect Afterward?
The results of your follow-up test will be reviewed by your healthcare provider. Only about 10% of women who undergo follow-up testing after an abnormal mammogram will need to have a biopsy of the tissue to determine whether breast cancer is present.
3D Mammogram in The Bronx
If you ever have an abnormal mammogram, it’s normal to feel anxious. Do not hesitate to ask questions and to discuss the next steps with your doctor. Remember that your healthcare team is there to provide you the support you need.
Here at Starling Diagnostics, we harness the latest in radiology testing for our patients – ensuring accuracy and speed in our diagnostic scans. We also specialize in providing exceptional women’s specialty healthcare, performing 3D mammograms, DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) bone density scans, and ultrasound testing.
We have a highly skilled and compassionate staff who are proud to serve the members of our community. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a test, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (718) 319-1610 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being part of your healthcare team.