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Jul 17, 2019 07:59AM
My annual screening consisted of 3-D/tomosynthesis mammo and ultrasound. My suspicious areas did not show on the ultrasound since they were calcifications, but they were seen on the mammo, so at the same appointment the radiologist had magnified views with mammogram completed. After that, other than the additional mammograms that were taken to complete my core biopsy and the ultrasound to guide the needle to the location of the area for my lumpectomy, I had no other scans. I was not given an MRI or any other scans to look for more cancer. My surgeon knew how nervous I was about the possibility of lymph node involvement, so he did have me get an ultrasound of the axillary area to see if any nodes looked enlarged or abnormal, but I think he was just trying to ease my mind because I was having the sentinel node biopsy anyway at the same time as the lumpectomy. During my radiation setup appointment, my ct scan did show the hematoma that I knew I had, so before my boost at the end of radiation, they gave me another ct scan just to redo my markings since it started to go down during treatment.
I have my first mammogram since completing radiation next month, and I will also be getting an ultrasound as there is an area on the other side they believe is a complicated cyst and they want to follow up on it a little more frequently. Back in January when I was diagnosed, I was so anxious to get into surgery. I just wanted the cancer out and to know if it had spread to lymph nodes, but in hindsight, I realize I didn't need to be in such a rush and maybe I should have at least inquired about why they weren't recommending me for an MRI. The 3-D mammograms are supposed to be very sensitive, but when I meet with my breast surgeon after my imaging tests next month, I am going to inquire about receiving MRI's as part of my monitoring plan moving forward. I don't want tests that will give me false positives and cause anxiety, but I also want to know that my follow up care is as thorough as it can be. My cancer was also extremely posterior and very difficult to get into view on the mammogram. On my screening mammogram, one group of calcifications only showed on one view, and the radiologist had to get quite creative with how to position me in the mammogram machine in order to get a better view and to complete the biopsy.
Now with all of that being said, my sister, who sees exactly the same doctors I do, does receive an MRI every year as part of her continued follow ups, and I know she had one at the time of diagnosis as well. However, her tumor was larger than mine and was an easily palpable lump, and her initial biopsy showed it was also positive for Her2. Maybe because she was obviously more advanced at time of diagnosis than I was, MRI was more standard in her case that it would have been for my early stage calcifications.
Kec, I am glad you asked this question because I have just started wondering myself how the imaging tests that were ordered for me compared to others with early stage bc.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou
1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right
4/7/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall
5/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)