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Unofficially Diagnosed?


Hi all!

I am 42, and went for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound yesterday. I’ve been going since I was 30 since my mother had bc at the age of 40. I had noticed some tethering of the underside of my left breast and then felt around and found a new lump. I have firbrocystic breasts with multiple cysts and fibroadenomas in both breasts. I have had two fibroademonas removed from my right breast. Following my ultrasound the radiologist came in with her calendar and asked when I noticed the lump. When I explained to her that I had first noticed the change in breast appearance she asked to see what I was referring to. I showed her both breast with arms relaxed and then both with arms raised. The left breast has what I call a double chin with two dimples. Upon seeing what I was talking about she nodded and said yeah we’re going to biopsy two spots. One being the one I noticed as being new and one in an area that I have previously been told was a cyst. Prior to her leaving I asked if she felt that the areas she was concerned about were really something and she said “yes I do” while looking like she was delivering disappointing news.

I don’t get to go for my biopsies until the 18th and I am not freaking out, but do like to be properly prepared. This is the first time I have straight up been told that the Dr was concerned.

I feel as though she unofficially let me know that from what she is seeing, I have cancer. I know that I may not but feel like realistically the odds are that I do.

Am I wrong for thinking this way?


  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,952

    Sorry that you find yourself worrying. Yes, you are wrong! Imaging alone cannot diagnose bc. I am sure that experienced radiologists “see” things but even then, nothing is for certain until it's biopsy confirmed. There is no such thing as an unofficial diagnosis and imaging leads one to a biopsy but a biopsy is the only thing that confirms cancer. Take care

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,185

    We're so sorry that you're here with this worry, @mholman81, and we certainly understand why you're feeling the way you do. It's difficult not to jump to worst case scenario, especially after interaction with the radiologist you've described. We second what exbrnxgrl said, only a biopsy can definitively diagnose breast cancer, even following worrying imaging. Imaging is the first step in the diagnostic process, and while it can tell us a lot, it can't tell us everything.

    We know the waiting is hard! Wishing you the best on your biopsy, and we're here for you. Please do keep us posted on what you learn.

    The Mods

  • mholman81
    mholman81 Member Posts: 2

    Thank you for your replies!

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 516

    One thing I have learned to do in this journey is to not try to read into faces/gestures/body language of radiology/scan technicians, and definitely not to ask them any questions, and don't talk anything other than the weather and wishing them a great day.

    Before any radiology test/exam, I tell myself prior, as many times as necessary until it sinks in, that I am not going to torture myself because the person has a sad face or looks worried (they are human! they have their own personal problems) and also that, whatever that person thinks or feels about my issue, DOESN'T COUNT, AND I DON'T CARE -apologies for the shouting.

    The only thing that matters is the final report, as interpreted by my doctor (oncologist or surgeon); I try very hard to withhold judgment until then.

  • vlh
    vlh Member Posts: 773

    Mholman, it's good that your radiologist is erring on the side of caution. An experienced radiologist has an eye for certain characteristics of concern, but remember that the majority of biopsy results are negative. I hope that will be the case for you, but understand your concern.

    Hugs, Lyn