Womens Health


The report says that the radiologists did not see a definite mass on mammogram or ultrasound and if your surgeon feels there is a mass he should manage it as he thinks best.

If the surgeon does not feel a mass that warrants immediate biopsy, you should be followed closely and the mammogram should be repeated certainly earlier than the usual one year. I understand your concern.

The general rule-of-thumb is to biopsy a discrete lump even if the mammogram is negative because there is an incidence of about 15% false negative mammogram readings. There can be some exceptions to the "discrete mass" rule but only a very experienced breast surgeon should make those exceptions.

If you do not feel satisfied with the options or plan suggested by the surgeon, that's what second opinions are made for. You said the surgeon did feel the lump even though it was small but you did not say what he planned to do. Does he want to follow you and repeat the mammogram in a month and then decide whether or not to biopsy?

If he did not think it should be biopsied immediately, did you express your concern to him or did you just keep quiet? The management in a case like yours is not black and white but in that gray area of either approach is probably acceptable.

Did you appear to be overly anxious about having the actual biopsy that might influence the decision to go ahead with biopsy now? In any case, express your concerns to the surgeon and ask for a definite plan. If you do not feel comfortable with that, then seek a second opinion.

The surgeon thought it was too small to biopsy. He just said keep an eye on it and get another mammogram in 6 months to recheck the breast. I did not say anything. I just feel really disgusted, if they can feel a lump how can it be too small to biopsy?

You need to say something. Call and tell the surgeon you are not comfortable with that and think you should have a biopsy. If he still does not think so, see another general surgeon, preferably one who does more breast work.

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