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Call back after 3D Mammogram

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willowrae
willowrae Member Posts: 7

Hi everyone. I am 43 years old and just had my annual mammogram. This year I opted for the 3D mammogram for the first time. I received a call back and have an appointment next week for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.

I have heard that there are significantly fewer false positives for 3D mammograms, so naturally I am quite concerned even though I can feel no lumps, nor can I see any visible changes to my breasts. Since finding out about the abnormal mammogram, I have been so hyper-focused on every sensation in my body and my anxiety is quite high.

I cannot seem to find any information, either anecdotally or in scientific studies about the false positve rates for 3D mammograms compared to traditional mammograms, other than the fact that there is some reduction in the number.

Has anyone here had a call back after a 3D mammogram that turned out to be benign? Has anyone here had no lump or other noticeable breast changes, but been diagnosed with breast cancer at stage II, III, or IV?

Ever present in my worries is the fact that a close friend of mine was diagnosed this year with Stage IV breast cancer and had been having routine mammograms.

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  • HopeWins
    HopeWins Member Posts: 81
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    so sorry for your anxiety. You will find women here with all those experiences, but clean mammos to stage IV at 43 is not the norm. My sister gets called back every time and has to have a US. She's 51 and all good to date. I had regular mammos when I was 41, 42 and 43 then skipped a few years and had a 3D at 47. Got called back and given BiRADS 4 (20% chance cancer) stereotactic biopsy negative, but showed ADH. Excisional biopsy revealed DCIS.

    You will get through this. Waiting and worrying is the worst but the odds that it's nothing are in your favor. I happened to defy odds but hopefully you wont! Lots of women pass through this board and have a call back and are cleared. They don't typically stick around to reassure women, so take what you read and hear in the context of the environment because this is a board for Breast Cancer and that's the experience of the majority of women here.

    Stay strong and try to enjoy the holiday!

  • willowrae
    willowrae Member Posts: 7
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    Thanks, HopeWins for your response

    I keep telling myself that statistically I should be fine. I am not normally someone who freaks out about medical situations but this is a new experience for me. I realize that if there is cancer, over 60% are diagnosed at Stage I. My friend's situation is not typical, I know. But if statistics didn't save her, it is easy to imagine them not saving me, either. I just wish there was more information about 3D Mammogram rates.

    I've got 8 children ages 5-17. Some have joined our family via adoption and the stress on them of worrying about losing another mother would be devastating for them. My husband and I are in process to adopt another child. Any cancer diagnosis (even one with a good prognosis) means our family cannot proceed with the adoption. That makes me quite anxious.

    Is it typical for anxiety to make a person second guess the sensations in their bodies?

    Again, thanks for responding. I don't want to worry my children, so I have not been sharing this with others besides my husband for fear that they would find out at worry before we know the full picture. I just need someone to share this with.

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
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    "Has anyone here had a call back after a 3D mammogram that turned out to be benign?"

    Yes, lots of people. I've read that 3D mammograms reduce the false positive rate by about 40%. Prior to 3D mammos, approx. 95% of callbacks turned out to not be cancer. Reducing that by 40%, it still means that almost 60% of callbacks from 3D mammos will be found to not be cancer.

    Since this is your first 3D mammo, there is no baseline with which to compare. As such, it's very possible that something was seen that warrants a further look but that might end up being perfectly normal, just the way that your breast tissue looks.

  • learningtoletgo
    learningtoletgo Member Posts: 5
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    I can totally relate to your situation. I had a 3D mammo on 10/9 with a Birads 0 and was called back also. Today was my diagnostic and ultrasound. The radiologist told the US tech that the results would be available in about a week and to follow up with my doctor. I also had gone a few years between mammograms. All I know is that my nodule has benign features and that it is 1.5 cm. Waiting for results is no fun. Hang in there!

  • learningtoletgo
    learningtoletgo Member Posts: 5
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    I am in the same exact situation as you. I had my screening 3D mammo on 10/9 and was called back for a diagnostic mammo with ultrasound. Just had both done today. Results in one week and was told to follow up with my doctor. From the screening mammo there is a 1.5 cm developing bilobed well-defined nodule in the inferior central mid level left breast measuring up to 1.5 cm. No microcalcifications or architectural distortion are associated. Waiting for results is nerve wracking! Hoping for benign results for both of us!

  • learningtoletgo
    learningtoletgo Member Posts: 5
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    I am in the same position as you. My screening mammo also was a 3D and it found a benign looking growth that the radiologist flagged for a call back. Yesterday, I had a 3D diagnostic mammo with ultasound. I am waiting for results in about a week. My doctor appointment is on December 3rd. Hoping for benign results and hoping the same for you!

  • HopeWins
    HopeWins Member Posts: 81
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    willowrae - you're smart to hold off on worrying your children for the time being. We are their insulators to the world. Take it hour to hour and try to distract your mind until you know more. Beesie is a wealth of information and is making great points. Mammograms are the best we have. However, they will cause call backs for many who have nothing to worry about and no flags for those who do. Try to find some inner peace that you are doing what you can to stay healthy for you and your family. It's the best we can do.

    It's totally normal to start wondering if shooting pains, sensations, tingles and everything your body is feeling is cancer. I think everyone dealing with the anxiety of pending pathology has been there. However, undiagnosed cancer is almost never the reason for these sensations. Wishing you peace as you push through these tests and results!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,119
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    Forwarding this message from the mods:

    Attention Android Users! Members who post from their Android phones have been experiencing a glitch which automatically deletes their post. Please refrain from posting from your Android devices until this glitch has been resolved. Thank you for your patience and cooperation!

    The Mods

  • willowrae
    willowrae Member Posts: 7
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    I go in tomorrow morning for my diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. I can't sleep.

  • Buddyrock
    Buddyrock Member Posts: 6
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    I hope all goes well for you today!
    I go in for my 6 month check in 30 min and I was up at 3am.

  • willowrae
    willowrae Member Posts: 7
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    Update - I had my diagnostic today and got the all clear. I'm so relieved!

    Thank you to everyone who reached out to me when I felt so isolated. I appreciate you so much.

  • Buddyrock
    Buddyrock Member Posts: 6
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    Great news! Me too!

    This is a very helpful forum.

  • willowrae
    willowrae Member Posts: 7
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    I'm so happy to hear that, Buddyrock!

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
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    That's great news! Thanks very much for posting the update!

  • willowrae
    willowrae Member Posts: 7
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    And I will post this, in case someone ends up reading this someday with similar questions. The mass they found was 19mm. There's no way I would have felt it, even though it was really easy for me to see on the mammogram.

    It turns out it is just a really dense area of normal tissue.

  • emilyisme
    emilyisme Member Posts: 21
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    So after going through breast cancer last year with chemo, surgery and radiation, I go for my first mammograph on 12/23. I'm thinking that it might be beneficial to ask for a 3D instead of a 2D. They've asked if I wanted one before and I have some flexible spending money I need to spend before 1/1.

    What do you think? Worth it or a waste of money? TIA

  • willowrae
    willowrae Member Posts: 7
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    I'm so sorry about your prior cancer diagnosis.

    I'm a very frugal person. And I intend to pay the additional money every single time for the 3D. I will find places to cut costs to cover the expense.

    I certainly wouldn't tell you what to do, but the upgrade is worth it to me.

  • JDML
    JDML Member Posts: 6
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    Hi Everyone,

    I too was just called back for more scans and ultrasound imaging after having my first 3D mammogram. I had my scan on Monday and was told it would be two weeks or so before they would have the results but I was called back four days later and was scheduled for more scans and the ultrasound on my left breast.

    Normally I am not one to worry until I am told there is something to worry about but my father died two years ago from Metastatic HER2 Positive breast cancer so I am concerned due to the hereditary factor of breast cancer.

    Does anyone know if them calling me back just four days later is reason to be more concerned than if they called me in two weeks later?

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,119
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    As members have posted before - many, many women are regularly called back for a diagnostic mammo and ultrasound. If you have dense breasts, or scar tissue, or any number of things - they just want to get a closer look. I was called back EVERY TIME for 35 years until I actually did grow some DCIS in my late 60s.

    Try not to worry & don't borrow trouble.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    JDML, a male immediate family member with breast cancer is a big red flag that you need genetic counseling and testing. Have you had it

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,119
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    Thanks for catching that Melissa. I missed it.

  • JDML
    JDML Member Posts: 6
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    Thank you for the positive advice Minus Two. I was worried that they got back to me in only four days instead of two weeks or more as they had told me after the scan. For now, I am just going to let it go as my Mom always says and “Give it to God". I can't sit and worry for three weeks as that was the soonest they could get me in when a radiologist was available to be there. September 15th is when I'll either be relieved or need to start worrying.

  • JDML
    JDML Member Posts: 6
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    MelissaDallas - No I have not had any genetic counseling or testing. They did tests on my father when his breast cancer came back after 8 years of remission and it was then metastatic HER2 Positive. They told us that he had markers (what ever that means) but that the markers he had they didn’t have enough data on and left it at that.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    JDML, it sounds likely he may have had a gene “variant of unknown significance” which could be any number of genes, but of course BRCA is most commonly tested for. With the rapid progress in genetics, even in a just a couple of years there may now be more solid information abouthis VUS and whether or not it is a problem.

  • JDML
    JDML Member Posts: 6
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    Thank you Melissa for the info. They never gave us anything regarding the test results, just met with my Dad and told him he had multiple markers but not enough data on them and sent us on our way. I will contact my dads oncologist and see if there is any way I can get the results from his genetic testing and then go from there.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    the genetic testing results are in his medical records just like lab results, whether anyone in the family has a physical copy or not. I would definitely want to talk to a genetic counselor. Two reasons: if I tested positive for the same VUS(s) as my parent, I would be on the contact list when more information on that gene becomes clear in the future; and b) if you have it too, that may contribute to the research and understanding as to whether the VUS is “bad” or not. The more people who test positive for a particulat variant, the more info as to what specific cancers, if any, may be tued to it

  • JDML
    JDML Member Posts: 6
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    I will contact my dads dr today and see if I can get a copy of his records. I received my mammogram report today and it said there is a focal asymmetry with possible architectural distortion in the center of the left breast approx. 7-11 cm from the nipple. Everything I've read says it can go both ways, benign or cancerous so I am hoping that because I have large breasts that it is just harder to read the scans.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929
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    JDML, on further inspection it can be something as simple as a fold in your skin under the compression plates. Voila! Never mind. No problem.

  • JDML
    JDML Member Posts: 6
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    That is what I am hoping for. :o)

    Thank you again Melissa for all your info and support. I've never been called back before and after taking care of my dad throughout his battle, it has brought back unpleasant memories and for the first time, put doubt in my own head about my chances of getting breast cancer too. I will let you know what I find out on September 15th as they said I would get the results right away after the second mammogram and ultrasound.