Womens Health

Nodular density on mammogram

My recent mammogram showed a nodular density and my doctor told me to make an appointment with the surgeon to see what he wants to do. What does this mean?

The finding of a nodular density on mammogram refers to fibrocystic changes that are usually benign. However, the presence of nodular densities makes the mammogram more difficult to read because it is more difficult to see a small lesion on mammogram or to palpate a definite lump on physical exam.

The denseness of the tissue thus makes it more likely that a cancer might be missed and your doctor wants the surgeon to recheck the exam and to make the decision whether there are any suspicious areas that should be biopsied.

The nodular density finding itself is not a risk factor for breast cancer; many women have these changes. Your doctor and/or the radiologist is shifting the responsibility back to the surgeon who has more experience with looking at the combination of mammograms, physical exams, and postoperative pathology to decide if further evaluation is necessary. This is the way things normally work.

Palpable lump but nonspecific findings on mammogram/ultrasound

My two aunts (one died) had breast cancer and my mother died from ovarian cancer. I recently had a mammogram because of a small lump in my right breast that is about the size of an eraser. The mammogram report is quite confusing.

It says: Complex adult glandular breast tissues predominating in the upper outer quadrants were seen. Vague nodularity suggested on the current study is not well appreciated on the previous examination, but we cannot confirm abnormality on two views suggesting this may be due to positional overlap on the oblique projection only. Ultrasound of the upper outer quadrant was performed at the site of clinical palpable finding and redundant fibroglandular change was identified without cystic or solid mass. Based on this constellation of finding, we would recommend clinical management of the questioned palpable finding. No definite focal target for biopsy is identified on these images.

If clinical findings are not convincing to require surgical intervention at this time, we would recommend short term follow up with mammogram to confirm stability of the current presentation. It also states a finding of "probably benign."

Can you please help me understand this better? The surgeon did not want to biopsy at this time. Should I get another opinion since I can feel a definite lump and there is cancer in the family?

Find the answer to this question on the next page...

Table of Contents
1. Mammogram anxiety
2. Nodular density
3. Need a biopsy?
4. Breast lumps
5. Breast cysts
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