I just posted a message this weekend about how important it is to get a mammogram before your ba. I just thought I'd respond again to the mammogram post and once again quickly explain what happened to me. I was scheduled for a ba on 9/27 and am 39 years old. I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding since I was 35 so had never had a mammogram. The doctors recommend a baseline between the ages of 35 and 40 and since I was getting a ba, I really wanted to have a mammogram before my ba so that we would know what my breasts looked like pre-ba.
I had my mammogram on 9/22, five days before I was scheduled for my ba. Well, after being called back into the mammogram room twice, I was starting to get worried. It turns out that I had lots of little white spots on my breasts but more on my left breast. The doctor sat down with me and explained what I was looking at. He said he felt better since the spots were on both sides and they were calcium deposits. He felt comfortable telling me that I had to come back in 6 months for a repeat mammogram. I then told him I was supposed to have a ba on 9/27, five days later, and then he decided to consult with the other radiologist in his group.
I went home and went on the internet and read about abnormal mammograms and how cancer can show up in one of three ways, one of which is calcium deposits. It went on to say that 80 percent of the time, if the little white spots are on both sides and smooth and round, that there is nothing to be concerned about. But, it said in 20 percent of the cases, it can indicate a precancerous or cancerous condition, especially if the shapes have rough edges or an uneven contour.
Well, on Tuesday, I talked to the other radiologist and he recommended we do a needle biopsy the next day. He said the right side looked absolutely normal but the left side was of concern because the shapes were different, the spots were all over, and they looked "mildly suspicious." I went in the next day and they did the needle biopsy with me back under the mammogram machine to find the area that the doctor wanted to concentrate on. When they finally found it, they put in a few shots of novacaine and then took nine samples.
Each time they took a sample I heard a loud pop. Then the doctor took three random samples. I have to admit, it was an awful experience as I got hot, sweaty, couldn't breath, and felt nauseous and almost fainted. A regular mammogram will seem like a piece of cake now!
I found out on Friday that everything was benign and that the tests showed no malignancies. I am so glad that I had the mammogram before my ba and advise all of you to do the same. Make your mammogram appointment before you schedule your ba so that what happened to me doesn't happen to you. It was such a disappointment when I was counting down the weeks, then the days, only to find out I was going to have the needle biopsy instead of my ba. The radiologist and my plastic surgeon will be speaking tomorrow to discuss when it would be okay for me to proceed with my ba. I still have to have a repeat mammogram in 6 months if I do have my ba or if I don't. I hope this helps all of you in the pre-ba phase.
Fondly, Jenny---BA Sister in Waiting!