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Complete state of terror

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shamay
shamay Member Posts: 12
edited November 2021 in Waiting for Test Results

Hi all,

I'm 47 years old. On Monday I had a 3d mammogramdone. I've been waiting for the results and of course they came in tonight in my electronic chart and I had to read them. I have always had health anxiety and now, once again, I have been launched into the stratosphere with the results. I have been crying for an hour and googling (which isn't helping.) Can anyone comment on my results? I don't think I can make it through this weekend.

"Bilateral screening mammogram with screening Tomosynthesis 11/8/2021 9:16 PM

History:Asymptomatic.

Comparison: 7/1/2015 and 1/12/2009.

Findings:

Standard and Tomosynthesis views of both breasts were obtained.

The breast tissue is of scattered fibroglandular densities and fat.

Stable left mammogram in no findings suspicious for malignancy.

Now seen is a 14 mm focal asymmetry in the far superior right breast anterior

to the pectoralis muscle with areas of internal fat within it. Recommend

further diagnostic evaluation with mammographic views and possible ultrasound.

Impression:

1. Right: Incomplete. We will contact the patient to return for additional

imaging of the above described findings and issue a final report.

2. Left: Negative for malignancy."

I did have a mammogram in 2015 and 2009, which were negative and were not 3d, to the best of my knowledge.

Thank you for reading.

«1

Comments

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
    edited November 2021
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    shamay - first - stay away from "Dr. Google". It is not always accurate or current and as you've seen, can be terrifying.

    It is not unusual to be called back for a screening mammogram and an ultrasound, especially since you appear to have dense breasts. Take a deep breath and do your best to find something you like to distract you until you have the second round of testing. Oh - and do talk to your own doctor. That's who should be interpreting these results for you & explaining the next steps.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,052
    edited November 2021
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    Welcome, shamay! We know this can be scary and concerning, and we hope you get more info once you have further diagnostic testing completed. In the meantime, as MinusTwo suggested, try to stay off Dr. Google and keep yourself occupied and distracted! Please keep us posted!

    The Mods

  • Rubytoos
    Rubytoos Member Posts: 44
    edited November 2021
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    Most breast lesions are benign. Our bodies do change and morph so it isn't surprising that you might have some anomaly or change pop up in the 6 years since your last study. I totally get health anxiety, but as these things go, this is not an immediate 911. They are doing exactly what they should do--look for changes, remark upon and measure them, and recommend followup. It is honestly SOP. A lot of imaging facilities would ask you to wait around and do it the same day of the initial study. The odds are in your favor that whatever this might be, you will be OK. I can also tell you from experience that Dr. Google is an alarmist and the odds are that googling for medical information like this will get you worked up over nothing. Hang in there.


  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736
    edited November 2021
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    Hi Shamay,

    Your emergency here is your health anxiety. If you are not already being treated, please please start taking steps towards it. Whether it's starting with your family doctor, or if you have direct access to therapy/mental health support. Seriously - it will do so much for your quality of life just to feel like you are beginning to address it. Health scares are inevitable as we age (the outcome most of us hope for), so being able to cope with them better is a skill that will repay you over and over.

    There is nothing concerning in your report. It's just a scan that wasn't completed. I hope that some day every facility will be able to catch these before a patient walks out, so no one has to deal with the inconvenience of callbacks. It's a more sophisticated equivalent of someone having their eyes closed in the group picture. They need to retake the image to even be able to check it.

    Hang in there and remember to take care of your whole health, mental and emotional as well! Heart

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Thank you, MinusTwo, Moderators, Rubytoos, and Salamandra. I am trying so hard to stay off Google. I'm just unable to function. As Salamandra said the emergency is my health anxiety. I'm in a state of full blown mind numbing panic. I can't get interested in anything and I'm trying. I took some medication last night to help calm me down/sleep, but I'm right up again this morning, crying.

    I don't have anyone to talk to about it. My sister just asked if i made another appointment. And I don't want to tell my daughters 29 and 22, because right now I can't tell them calmly. My mom died last year (not cancer related) and my 40 year old brother died 3 months after her, which was a shock. My support system in gone. Sometimes I wish I hadn't been born. Anxiety can just crush a person. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through the rest of the weekend and then in to work on Monday. The tech took 2 shots of the right side. She said the first one showed a "crease" so she wanted to take another one. Now I think she knew something was wrong and took another picture for a better look.

    I'm sorry for my post. I don't know why I have to be like this. I'm just frozen in fear.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
    edited November 2021
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    An incomplete mammogram is what you have, Shamay. Read Salamandra's post again because you sound like you're still in panic mode. A lot of these kinds of results can be caused by an involuntary twitch while your boob was mashed, or gravitational shifting of tissue over the years. If they thought it was something concerning, the report would say so.

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Thank you for commenting, Alice. I'm in a sheer state of panic. I called the hospital, they can't get me in until Saturday morning. I also called my doctor, but she hasn't returned my call. I don't think I can wait another minute. I'm at work and I can barely function. I just want to cry. I feel like I'm waiting to hear awful news and it's just being dragged out. It's horrible. No on should ever have to go through this.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
    edited November 2021
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    Seconded - call your PCP or another doc and ask for some anti-anxiety meds to get through this. And I'd recommend that you DO NOT "tell" your daughters. There's really nothing to tell.

    Edited to say - I don't mean to sound heartless. But for you to be in such stress is not healthy.

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Thank you for the suggestion, MinusTwo. I am waiting for my doctor to call back and I am going to ask for something to help get me through this. Also, I just called the hospital and they were able to get me in tomorrow at 840. I have always had health anxiety. It's crushing. I'm convinced that this is something horrible and I can't get a grip. The tech took pics of the right side twice and she said that she was trying to get rid of a "crease" well apparently it wasn't just a crease. Plus 14mm seems large. I wonder why the radiologist wasn't more descriptive. I'm sorry, I'm just not dealing with this well at all.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
    edited November 2021
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    shamay - call a different doc. No way should you have to face this w/o medication. And glad they're working you in.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited November 2021
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    what are you afraid of? I think maybe sometimes naming it helps. Your report doesn't say anything alarming - just that it's incomplete.

    But you're still afraid and panicked. That's ok. Those are emotions you're having. They're ok to have.

    But what are you afraid of? We can talk about it. Sometimes that makes it less scary.

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Hi Moth,

    I'm terrified it's cancer. I've had so much bad news in my life that I have no ability to think positive. All I want to do right now is run out of working crying. I just spoke to the business office manager and she said wow 14mm is really big. So now that's going to stay with me.

    On the report, they aren't saying anything, but isn't that suspicious within itself. I did forget to tell them I was in a car accident last year and I had a bruise by my breast. Also, I did take provera on and off for a year because I had dysfunctional uterine bleeding that ended with a hysterectomy this last May.

    Im just paralyzed by fear.

  • piperkay
    piperkay Member Posts: 132
    edited November 2021
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    First, it's beyond awful for an office manager to make any kind of comments of a medical nature to a patient! At the risk of sounding harsh - because it is - I think that person ought to be fired. Completely unprofessional and unacceptable.

    Second, 14 mm is 1.4 cm. Certainly not anywhere near worth a "Wow! That's really big!" My tumor was 8mm and was called "tiny" by my breast surgeon.

    Obviously no one wants any kind of tumor, but you certainly don't need to be terrorized by someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.

  • mle42
    mle42 Member Posts: 124
    edited November 2021
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    Hi Shamay,

    The fact that your initial report doesn't say much is NOT suspicious in and of itself. "Incomplete" really really really does simply mean incomplete. Focal asymmetry is common and mostly does not mean cancer - it just means they want to take a closer look to be sure. And to second what PiperKay said, IF this is cancer (which is a huge IF and nowhere even remotely close to a certainty right now), 14mm is NOT "really big". Whomever told you that has no idea what they are talking about.

    I'm glad you got a follow up appointment for tomorrow, because I do understand (and vividly remember) how hard it is to wait to get complete results. But please try to remember that this is not an emergency, nothing is going to change if you wait a few days (or even a few weeks) longer. And remember to breathe, sweetie, you're going to be OK.

    Emily

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
    edited November 2021
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    Shamay, right now, the only urgent health issue you have is your out-of-control panic. You need to deal with that. Now. Call your PCP and get an immediate referral to a mental health professional.

    And please look at the diagnoses, treatments, and other descriptions under the posts of people who have replied to you. Really read them. We've all gotten through cancer diagnoses and treatments. Some, like Moth, are living with cancer at stage 4. There are weirdos like me who have had different kinds of cancer. And here you are, going to give yourself a stroke or heart attack over just a very small possibility. Please don't do that to yourself.

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293
    edited November 2021
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    shamay, ok, sure, that's the elephant in the room. What if it is cancer?

    But you're way too many steps ahead.

    back up.

    right now you just have an incomplete report. The imaging needs repeating. There are so many many many steps between this and cancer.

    And if it is cancer, then what? Then you'll deal with it, like everyone else here is dealing with it.

    It probably isn't - odds are it's not. Most imaging follow ups end up being benign. Even most biopsies end up being benign. And if it's cancer, that sucks but you can handle that too. You really can. So either way, you'll be fine, you'll handle it.

    hang in there


  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Piperkay,

    Yes, she went over and over the size. She even tried to show me with her fingers saying, it's not like a pen tip. It's really big.

    Emily, thank you for pointing out the test is incomplete. It's the reference to 14mm that is really making me nervous.

    Alice, you are right. I do need mental health assistance. I realize the difference between my anxiety and that of a reasonable person and I'm way past reasonable at this point.

    I'm going to leave work early, I'm not getting anything done and I keep crying. I'm so scared, it's going to be second to second till tomorrow.

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited November 2021
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    shamay - I’m so sorry you are experiencing the fear factor but all of us completely understand it. Been there, done that.

    What I can offer you is what I was told when I had to go back in for a breast ultrasound. The tec told me I had the all clear and could get dressed. Then the radiologist came in and informed me I had breast cancer. My point is not to scare you but to let you know no one but your medical team is competent or knowledgeable enough to say what’s really big or what’s not.

    If you can and have meds to help you calm down a bit take them. I am the poster person for worrying and I had to have meds. No crime in that. We can’t help you be less afraid but meds can help you.

    Kept the faith and keep us posted.

    Diane

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
    edited November 2021
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    Shamay - good luck tomorrow BUT did you get some medication for your anxiety? It's my thought you'll have a hard time even doing the testing in the state you're in. PLEASE get some help. That REALLY more important than ANYTHING at this point.

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Unfortunately, my doctor never called back. I do have some meds though which I have been taking. I am going to take some now. I left work early, but then I forgot my phone and had to go back. When I got home, I ate and went to bed. I just got up about 40 minutes ago and I've been crying ever since. I cannot even fully express what I'm feeling. No one should ever have to go through this. Health anxiety is hell.

  • irishlove
    irishlove Member Posts: 489
    edited November 2021
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    Shamay, thinking of you and hoping you find some peace. I might point out that 14mm is not really big! Mine was 15 mm and I was initially diagnosed with IDC, stage 1A. Well, a miracle happened along the way. A second pathologist report was done on the tumor and I was rediagnosed at Stage 0! I had an encapsulated papillary carcinoma. My fear was overwhelming at first and then I realized that even if I receive a "bad" report, I'm still alive and kicking and options are many. Please ask questions rather then suffer in silence and find that supportive friend or family, although this forum is the best!

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Thank you for everyone's encouraging words. I'm at the hospital now, waiting. I think there are like 8 people ahead of me. I just want to cry. I'm shaking so bad. I'm, so so acared.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
    edited November 2021
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    Shamay, any results yet?

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Hi all,

    After my imaging and ultrasound. I was told everything was okay. However, I'm reading my results and now nervous. Don't know what to think......

    image

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,830
    edited November 2021
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    Congratulations on making it through your test! A three month follow up sounds very reasonable and will give you time to address your health anxiety. Well done!

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 756
    edited November 2021
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    Think fat necrosis is an injury to breast. I am attaching a link for you. You can also use the search feature here by typing in fat necrosis. Sometimes by reading and learning about it can help put your emotions in check. While I do understand how hard it is not to worry, that report is good news!!!! Really good news. Hope you find a way out of your terror. Please reach out if you need to, to a professional, or we are here for you too. Take care

    Fat necrosis within a breast - Moose and Doc (breast-cancer.ca)



  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Thank you to everyone that commented. You'll never know how much you actually kept me going. I am literally hanging on by a thread.

    Tomorrow I am going to call my gyn and see what she says about the "probably benign" and the recheck in 3 months. I also want to reiterate (even though I told the tech) that the accident was over a year ago. Anyway, I think I want to have this removed if it is possible. My health anxiety is such that sometimes I can't function.

    And I'm am going to try to find help. I've lived my whole life like this and it seems (which may be hard to believe) that it's getting worse. I go from one thing to the next. This one, I have to say, has been the most terrifying one as of late.

    I really thank you all. If you ever wonder, your words DO make a difference. Sometimes they are the only thing keeping someone from falling off the ledge.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
    edited November 2021
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    Shamay - good news. I recommend you take the 3 months to get your anxiety under control. No point in having surgery when you're this shakey. I think your gyn will agree if you tell her all the circumstances that you've shared with us. Remember, a GYN can prescribe also - both medication and a referral to a counselor. It doesn't have to be a PCP.

    Please keep updating us.

  • shamay
    shamay Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2021
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    Unfortunately, I was unable to get my anxiety under control. I read and reread the report, contacted the breast center at the hospital and was told, no physician is going to do a biopsy. I called my doctor and she gave me information to contact a breast surgeon's office manager. The office manager was supposed to get back to me yesterday after talking to the surgeon, but she never did. In her initial email, she just said that probably benign is a term that all facilities use and that it would have been marked tissue sample or as suspicious if the radiologist was concerned. She said she was sure I had nothing to worry about.

    Last night, I could not sleep. I was up until 5am (I have to work at 5am, in a very demanding position.) I called the hospital breast center today and spoke to a supervisor who spoke to the head radiologist. He stands by the reading however; he stated if I want a biopsy, he will do it. Today they will be calling to make an appointment.

    I'm sorry, I'm sure you all think I'm a nutcase. My anxiety is off the charts. Also, I am an RN. Instead of helping this knowledge is just enough to make me dangerous. I know enough, but I'm not a doctor.

    I wouldn't wish health anxiety on anyone. It is a paralyzing daily horror.

  • B-A-P
    B-A-P Member Posts: 409
    edited November 2021
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    I’m going to second wrenn. You need to get some help with the anxiety as it seems like a bigger problem than the issues in the breast. I think 3 months is more than reasonable to get a re check but you can’t spend that time in fear. Worrying about it won’t change the outcome. All of us herr have experienced the anxiety you feel and we’ve all been diagnosed. We are getting through it because there’s no other choice. You can’t lay down in fear. Please get some help. You can’t live this way. I mean this in the best way possible.