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Jan 21, 2007 09:32AM LightTheWay wrote:
Also I wanted to add (Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, 2005 p.g. 104) this as you did mention they wanted TO CALL YOU BACK IN SIX MONTHS.
"...How can we tell which are bad and which are the harmless kind of calcifications? We look at the shape, the size, and how many there are. If they're tiny and tightly CLUSTERED, and there aren't a whole lot of them, they're more likely to be precancer. If they're all over the place they're more likely to be benign.
Precancer occurs in the duct, which is very small. For the calcifications to fit in a duct, they have to be tightly clustered and very small. The big chucks of calcium we see on the mammogram couldn't possibly fit in the ductal system, so we know they're benign. They're usually old fibroadenomas that you had as a teenager, which have faded and become soft and less dense and now are calcifying. Sometimes they're calcifications in blood vessel that's getting older and harder.
**There's middle group of calfications that are less easy to characterize. They may be new, but there are just one or two of them. In that situation, we'll usually REPEAT THE MAMMOGRAM IN SIX MONTHS. If it's a precancer, we might see more calcifications, or a change in the shape or size, whereas if there's no change, it's more likely to be benign. Patients get nervous about that; if it's cancer and we wait six months it's probably because we don't think it's cancer. And even in the worst-case scenario, it's precancer, not cancer, and precancer takes 10 years to develop into cancer. "So six months won't make any difference, and the wait prevents needless biopsies."
Also this link: http://www.y-me.org/information/concerned_about_breast_cancer/calcifications.php
I can't remember if you said that you also can FEEL a lump aswell? However, the above statement may still apply to you, but the indentation is something not to neglect, I'm glad you're going back to your doctor about this.
Also, you mentioned the indentation appeared on "COMPRESSION", did you mean it only appeared as the plates on the mammogram were coming down on your breast? Also, have you done a self-examination, where you raise your arm behind your head to see you if you can make the indent appear again that way?
I've found the Dr Susan Love book a great source of information, and highly recommend those of us that have just started this ride to get a copy for themselves or get one out of the library. I'm reading up as much as I can so I'm forearmed, forewarned before I meet the surgeon.
Wow what a ride this is turning out to be...