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Ultrasound results please help

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I'm 45 and at my regular check up my dr. told it was time to start mammograms. Since I'm self employed, my insurance doesn't pay for preventative care so I decided to pay for a "herscan" 3D ultrasound instead of a mammogram b/c it was advertised as more thorough and I was going to have to pay anyway. The results came back and I'm very worried after googling. Can anyone chime in?

There is a Heterogenous mass 1.3cm x 0.9cm x 1.6cm with internal color doppler flow. Margins are partially circumscribed and partially indistinct. Visibly abnormal findings, follow up needed with breast specialist.

My dr. sent over a referral to the breast specialist yesterday and I've called and left messages but no one there has called me back. Since this was my first ever test of any type, I'm concerned not knowing how long this has been there? I have a normal BMI, exercise often, never smoked, and breast fed my children for a cumulative 5 years between them. I'm just shocked and worried.

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Hi austinbirdy, and welcome to our community.

    We're so sorry for the reasons that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us. You're sure to find our community a wonderful source of advice, information, and support — if it turns out you need it.

    First, stay away from Dr. Google; this will do no good for your anxiety as you wait for answers.

    Next, you may find this thread helpful on Interpreting Your Report. Of course, no answers here outweigh the information you'll receive from your doctor, but we hope you can find something to ease your worries until you get some answers.

    Please let us know when you hear back from the breast specialist's office and what you learn. We're here for you and hoping for the best! Let us know if there's anything else we can do for you.

    —The Mods

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 422
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    First of all, the vast majority of all lumps found are benign. That's the first thing to remember. Secondly, if worst comes to worst the mass as it appears now is not all that large. IF it is cancer it probably has been there awhile because most breast cancers are relatively speaking slow growing. That's a good thing. They are normally found pre-symptomatic before cancer spreads outside the breast. Other than that there is nothing I can say to calm your fears because I've been there. This information gathering time is awful. The best you can hope for is for a quick turnaround and that's normally what we see here in the states. Just get the quickest appointments possible, do what they tell you to do, and then you'll have your answers one way or another. But truly most of the time (I think like 90%) these kind of things just turn out to be normal changes in the breast. Best wishes to you and we're here if you need us.

  • austinbirdy
    austinbirdy Member Posts: 3
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    Thank you both for taking the time to reply. This site has the best and most information I've found and I really appreciate the support. I just wish there was some way to get this specialist to call me back to make an appointment. This is the 2nd day of calling and leaving messages with no reply.

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 261
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    Hi austinburdy,

    The unknowns and Dr. Google are the worst when you get an abnormal mammogram/ultrasound.

    1. If there were no prior mammogram/ultrasound for comparisons it is common to get a callback for more imaging or possible biopsy on your first one.
    2. Unfortunately, new findings aren't an emergency in the medical world. Neither is cancer. The patient anxiety unfortunately has too much time to interfere while waiting for results.
    3. You could try to send your report to your GYN and ask your GYN to refer to a facility that may respond faster. Or you could contact your PCP for the same thing. You don't have to rely on one facility to get the ball rolling if you already have a relationship with a GYN or PCP.

    I wish you luck on quick results.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 745
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    This is incredibly stressful to navigate, but also unfortunately there is nothing surprising to me about the longer response times from medical facilities. Like wondering44 wrote so well - this is much more urgent for you than it is for them. From a medical perspective, this is not an emergency.

    Though it is scary, the most likely possibility is that this is not cancer, although it may need excision. The next most likely possibility (though far behind) is that it is cancer, but it is treatable with minimally invasive surgery and without chemo, with a very positive prognosis. Yes, there are plenty of worst case possibilities too, but first of all they are much less likely than our panicked brains think; secondly, many of them still have favorable outcomes; and thirdly - dealing with a known quantity is always better than dealing with the uncertainty of the phase that you are in.

    Do your best to manage your anxiety. You did the right thing by getting screening, you're doing the right thing by following up, and you can trust yourself to do the right thing with whichever results you get. And these boards will be here and be a great resource!

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 338
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    @austinbirdy Unfortunately, you are experiencing what to me might be the most memorable part of any medical situation including, for me, my cancer diagnosis and treatment. Waiting, and wondering, and ruminating over possibilities is truly awful. I often say that medicine as a practice is only fast on television. In real life, it’s all at a snail’s pace.

    I think I earned at least a Master’s in Dr, Google, and I did learn that for breast cancer, we’ve got time to wait for our appointments, test results, and we have a very reasonable amount of time to make decisions.

    I’m also very grateful for all the encouragement I got here to make sure I spent time doing things I loved even during waiting times. I had to force myself to pull away from hyperfocusing on medical thoughts, but in hindsight, I’m grateful for the times I did. I hope you can find something distracting and fun for you as you go through steps to resolve what the ultrasound showed.

  • austinbirdy
    austinbirdy Member Posts: 3
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    Honestly these messages have meant so much to me- I really thank you all for taking the time to reply. I haven't wanted to share this news with anyone but my husband and best friend because I just don't know yet what I'm dealing with, and while I do think that's the right thing to do it has felt really lonely and scary. These kind messages from you all have made me feel supported over the past several days and really did calm my nerves over the weekend.

    My husband made a call on Friday afternoon to a friend who is a radiologist (head radiologist I think) at the Oncology center where I had been trying to get in with no response. That doctor was able to get in touch with the doctor directly and I got a call first thing this morning at 8:30 a.m. with an appointment for tomorrow morning. SO relieved about that. They will do the biopsy tomorrow if they think they can get to it.

    I guess today I need to figure out what questions I should be asking at this first appointment. It's strange- I am usually such a great advocate for my kids, parents, ect- but so far with this I feel a bit "frozen" if that makes sense. Like my mind is going blank. I think if I prep a little for the appointment I'll have a better chance of being more present for the information coming in.

    Again, big thanks from me for your kind words and support during this time.

  • jessicargrimes
    jessicargrimes Member Posts: 8
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    How did things go for you?