After you've had a mammogram, your physician's office will typically send a letter in the mail with the results. For most women, these results come back normal, but there can be cases where spots or masses have been observed and you'll need to return for a follow-up. If you happen to be called back to your doctor after your mammogram, here are some important things to be aware of.
Other Issues Besides Cancer
In many cases, the images your doctor sees are not necessarily cancer. They could be an indication of noncancerous cysts or areas of the breast tissue that are denser than others. Your doctor may have you take a diagnostic mammogram, which consists of more in-depth images so that they can be sure of what they're seeing before making a definitive diagnosis. Other testing options could include an ultrasound or MRI of your breasts so the doctor can get a clearer picture of what is going on.
If A Biopsy Is Needed
If your physician still cannot make a positive diagnosis based on the images they've retrieved, a biopsy may need to be performed so they can take a sample of the areas causing concern. This procedure involves making a small incision in your skin so the doctor can retrieve a sample. This sample is sent to a medical lab for testing, and results can take a few days to a few weeks. While you're waiting for results, it's important to note that a recommended biopsy is not necessarily a cancer diagnosis. Doctors need to be sure that they can rule cancer out completely, which is why this test is so important.
If You Get A Cancer Diagnosis
If your doctor informs you that your biopsy has returned with a cancer diagnosis, it's important to prepare yourself for the next steps in treatment. Create a thorough list of questions for your doctor about possible treatment options, the severity of the cancer, and what your next steps should be. Keep in mind that breast cancer is often treatable if caught in its early stages, so you'll want to listen carefully and follow your doctor's instructions about what to do next. It's also a good idea to bring a family member or friend along to your appointment so they can help listen and make notes to refer back to later. Look for support groups in your area so you will have someone to talk to and support you throughout the process. Regular mammogram screening at a clinic like Women's Care Inc is essential, and you should receive them per your doctor's recommendation so you can keep track of your health.