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Topic: Whats bilateral ultrasound?

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried — Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time.

Posted on: Nov 16, 2007 03:58PM, edited Nov 16, 2007 03:58PM by luvz2bmama

luvz2bmama wrote:

Hi I am a 41 year old woman who just had a mammogram. I have had them in the past, last one 2 years ago. Nothing wrong but i just received my letter from the radiology place saying they need further evaluation and want me to have a bilateral ultrasound. What is it and why bilateral?? I am so scared and I need help..please give me some feed back so maybe i can at least get an open mind.

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Nov 16, 2007 04:11PM, edited Nov 19, 2007 11:00AM by Moderators

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Nov 16, 2007 04:17PM Beesie wrote:

Those letters from radiology can be scary.  But they are also very common.  And all that they mean is that your mammogram results weren't clear so they want to do more testing.

I don't know if you've ever seen a mammogram film - it looks like a blur of images in different shades of gray.  Sometimes things really stick out as being a abnormal - a clear white lump or dark blotch, for example - but often, the film simply can't be read clearly.  For example, if one area looks a little darker, maybe it's a solid lump or maybe it's normal breast tissue that's a bit thicker in that location.  Or if a few tiny white specs seem to be present, those may be a pattern of microcalcifications which could be of concern, or they may be common, normal benign calcifications.  Taking another regular mammogram wouldn't provide much more information than the first.  So the next step is usually either a diagnostic mammogram, and/or an ultrasound. A diagnostic mammogram is similar to the mammogram, but the image is magnified so that the radiologist gets a larger, clearer picture of any area that couldn't be properly seen on the original film. An ultrasound, since it uses different technology, provides a completely different perspective on the breast tissue. Once the radiologist sees the new film, he may be able to say with certainty that everything is normal.  That's what usually happens. I've been called back many times for either an ultrasound or a diagnostic mammogram and usually, that's the end of it. However, if something still looks suspicious or can't be identified, then it might be suggested that you have a biopsy. Even if you are sent to this next stage, there's still an 80% chance that it will turn out to be benign.

Here's more information about ultrasounds.  They are really easy - you just lie there, they squirt the jelly stuff on your breast and they use a wand to capture the images.  A "bilateral" ultrasound simply means that they will be doing an ultrasound on both your breasts.

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=breastus&bhsh=768&bhsw=1024&bhqs=1

I know it's hard, but please try not to worry.  Callbacks are scary but they are actually a normal part of the screening process and they usually don't result in anything serious.  Good luck.  Please let us know how it goes.

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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Nov 16, 2007 04:20PM Beesie wrote:

PLEASE IGNORE junebvv

This individual has been on the site under 4 different names this week.  It appears that he is being paid to promote certain websites. His posts have been deleted by the Moderators and he has been banned from the site.  Somehow though, he keeps popping up and preying on the women here.

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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Nov 16, 2007 04:22PM iodine wrote:

Pay no regard to the above post.  It's a troll who's other posts have been deleted by the moderaters.

Hi luvz2bmama, the ultrsound or sonogram is a painless procedure to get a "picture" of anything they think they may have a question about from the mammogram.

It's a great way to tell the difference between a cyst and a more solid lump,  Please don't be scared.  It's a great way to double ck. a mammo.  Sometimes they cannot tell if they see something or not on mammo and go for the next step - ultrasound. 

I'd say they're getting both sides just to get a base line. 

Don't buy any worry till you just have to.

80% of things they see are benign.  So try and take it easy and we'll keep positive thoughts for you for no problems.

I know it's easier said than done, I cleaned out all my closets and drawers when I was waiting.  Found it easier to do things I hate than stuff I liked.  But you may be different.

Deep breath!

Dotti---BE NOT AFRAID, Pope John Paul

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Nov 17, 2007 12:27PM luvz2bmama wrote:

How many callbacks have you had after a mammogram, requiring a bilateral ultrasound or other procedures? I had a perfect mammogram 2 years ago but this time i get a call back wanting that bilateral ultrasound. I must say everyones reply has been so comforting and I want to thankyou all for that. I just hope I can stick around to raise my 3 year old ..I think the worst  of everything and that brings me to my second question. I also was diagosed 2 years ago with type 2 diabetes and a low thyroid. I take medication daily and I have my diabetes under very good control. I go every 3 months for a a1c and other blood work to make sure everything is fine but my worry is that what kind of chances does a woman have of getting through breast cancer treatment when having these other illnesses? Is there one?

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Nov 17, 2007 02:50PM iodine wrote:

Of course , IF you get diagnosed, please know that MANY, many women have multiple other diagnoses prior and during breast cancer.

I was on my 9th year of mammos when I was called back for more views.  In case you've not read it on here, it usually takes about 8 years or so for any breast cancer of any size to be found. 

By having your other medical conditions under good control makes any bc treatment easier for your doc, and they do keep any other diseases in mind.  If not, you just keep reminding them.

We all know the feelings of 'what if" that you are going thru right now. 

If I had a magic wand and could make them go away, I would.

Please let us know how you are doing and post as often as you wish.

Dotti---BE NOT AFRAID, Pope John Paul

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Nov 17, 2007 03:50PM, edited Nov 17, 2007 03:51PM by Beesie

I haven't had any callbacks for the past couple of years, but probably pretty much every year for the 10 years before that, I did have a call-back, either for a diagnostic mammogram, an ultrasound or a biopsy. During that time I had dozens of cysts aspirated (all harmless) and I had 4 biopsies, each for something different.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago, but all the other biopsies were benign.  And prior to that period, when I was much younger, I'd had 2 biopsies, both benign.  So I know from experience that most of the time, call-backs and even biopsies end up being nothing serious. 

Good luck.  Hopefully yours turns out to be nothing serious.

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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Apr 10, 2014 04:37PM NewEnglandGirl wrote:


I have a history of fibroids.  I recently had a bilateral ultrasound (as I have had for years now).  The radiologist apparently said it was "inconclusive" and ordered a mammogram.  I have been under the impression (no pun intended) that ultrasounds came after inconclusive mammograms.   Am I mistaken?  I have no real belief that mammograms are very effective anyway and actually pose dangers (hence the ultrasounds).  Any feedback on this?

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Apr 10, 2014 04:54PM Kicks wrote:

VERY old thread with no other posts in 6 1/2+ yrs.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIc, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-Chemotherapy 08/25/2009 Adriamycin, CytoxanSurgery 10/21/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal (Right)Chemotherapy 11/11/2009 TaxolRadiation Therapy 02/04/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 02/11/2010 Femara