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How to Read a Mammogram Part 2

djmammo Member Posts: 1,003

Since I issued Part 1 of this topic I have seen member's posts where they have drawn conclusions regarding their reports based on only one or two of an abnormality's features listed in the report.

There are a finite number of features we look for in mammography and US to evaluate a mass. These include but are not limited to overall shape, margin, echogenicity, posterior shadowing vs through transmission, vascularity, etc. It is the relative combination of all these findings that leads us to a conclusion.

I think I have come up with a reasonable (?) analogy regarding the interpretation of a mammogram and in particular the method used in trying to decide whether a mass is more likely benign or malignant.

I call it the "Taco Bell Analogy":

Mexican fast food is made of the same half dozen or so ingredients: corn in the form of a wrapper or shell, flour, lettuce, cheese, beans of one kind or another, ground beef, chicken, seasonings etc. So in light of this fact what makes a taco different from a burrito? An enchilada different from a chalupa? It’s the presence and the ratio of the above ingredients.

You can't classify a mass using just one or two features just as you can't identify a Taco Bell menu item just by saying "it has cheese".

Additions and modifications to this “analogy" are welcome.

Edited by Mods to add: Unfortunately DJMammo has stepped away from the Community for personal reasons. Please do not expect an answer from him directly. However, you can still post here in an effort to get help from our other amazing members!