Returned home today and checked the mail . . . now I'm freaking! Three days ago I went to a well-known imaging center in this area. All they do is computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, nuclear imaging and Digital mammograms. The center just installed a new mammogram machine and the managing radiologist needed "time" on the new equipment to be considered experienced or certified. A mutual friend, who is a radiology technician, called and said the radiologist needed ginny pigs. I said sure, because 1.) I'm 45, 2.) had a full hysterectomy nine years ago, 3.) take 1mg. of estrogen daily, 4.) much to my doctor's disgust have never had a mammogram (he threatened on my last visit to withhold renewing my estrogen prescription until I had a mammogram stating he needed a base density level, but gave in since I was recently laid-off at the time and did not have insurance.
I always check out a doctor (radiologist) who I'm going to see. In this case, the radiologist graduated from an accredited medical school twenty years ago, passed her licensing examination, and completed a four year residency and is board-certified by the American Board of Radiology.
My mammogram atmosphere was very relaxed and I had no problems allowing my friend/radiology technician to be in the room while the procedure took place. A total "girl" environment. Four images of each breast was taken (strait on view, turned slightly to the right, turn slightly to the left and the last image seemed as if my breast were sitting at a ninety degree angle from by body. This was considered a screening mammogram, not a diagnostic mammogram, but I had a licensed radiologist conducting the test. Between each image, we all looked at the digital images as they came up on the digital screen and the radiologist answered my questions when asked. No questionable thickness, possible cyst or lumps. My breast passed with flying colors.
Today I received a letter from the imaging center stating:
"Your recent mammogram examination showed a finding that requires additional imaging studies for a complete evaluation. Most such findings are benign."
What the heck!? I want to know what just "showed" up over three days? Who else viewed my images and deemed further test should be done? I understand that most people reading my post are not doctors and will state I need further imaging, but are false-positives common. I read on this site that false positives are more common in younger women (is 45 considered a younger woman), women who have had previous breast biopsies (no), women with a family history of breast cancer (no member on either side of my parent's family), and women who are taking estrogen (yes, for nine years).
Geez, call me, don't make me sweat it out over the weekend and don't send a letter that states "most such findings are benign". Benign usually is followed by the word tumor. While many will consider it silly, since I read the letter 4 hours ago, my heart feels as if it's going to beat right out of my body. I'm shaking as I type this. So, are false-positives common? THANK YOU!
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