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Doctor insights on: Can A Mammogram Detect Cancer

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Can mammograms detect breast cancers?

Can mammograms detect breast cancers?

Yes most of the time: Accuracy of mammography in varies serious positive for ca any where from 78% to 90 % but over all not 100% as in biopsy. For the diagnosis other parameters are involved like specific findindings, besides age, family history, physical findings, genetic diseases, personal habits, medications etc regular breast examination, awareness is also essential for early diagnosis and cure. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,344 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Does a shadow on a mammogram mean cancer?

Does a shadow on a mammogram mean cancer?

Mammogram: A shadow doesn't absolutely mean or suggest cancer. The radiologist is trained to pick up subtle variations seen on mammogram and will suggest biopsy if the area is concerning enough. Speak with your doctor as well as the radiologist and see what they suggest. ...Read more

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Can mammograms cause cancer? If so can you share your information?

Can mammograms cause cancer? If so can you share your information?

NO: More benefits by regular mammogram examination than the fear will cause cancer, accumulated total radiation in 20 to 30 years, are with in safe limits, those yeas will be exposed to more radiation from air travel to visits to beach. Take care of yourself by regular visits to your doctor and mammograms if indicated. ...Read more

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If mammogram suggests cancer at 85, will most women die from it or with it?

If mammogram suggests cancer at 85, will most women die from it or with it?

Mammogram may: Detect a lump or calcium, but you do not if its cancer or what kind until biopsy or removal. If it turns out not to be cancer, no sweat. Intraductal (dcis), unlikely to be cause of death. If invasive, depends on size, receptors. Treatment can be simple and not a burden, so a lot depends on frailty and hardiness of the 85 year old. Find out what she worries about...Probably not death but comfort. ...Read more

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My mammogram showed a questionable abnormality. What are the chances that I have cancer? What is the next step?

My mammogram showed a questionable abnormality. What are the chances that I have cancer? What is the next step?

Check recommendatios: You need to get a more clear answer as to the type of the abnormality. Some are benign and some are suspicious. Please check with your provider. If there were enough concerns a biopsy maybe needed. Sometimes a short term follow up is suggested. Sometimes additional images and an ultrasound maybe needed. Make sure to get the proper answer from your provider. If needed a biopsy can clear the issue.. ...Read more

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I had a routine mammogram, last week and they want me to come in this week for more umages. I'm scared to death its cancer.

I had a routine mammogram, last week and they want me to come in this week for more umages. I'm scared to death its cancer.

Don't be: Call back rates vary from site to site, but can be 12% or more. Your radiologist is just being careful. He or she will review this additional films, and let you know if further investigation is necessary. Even if you were to have breast cancer, remember that only 8-9% of patients with breast cancer die of breast cancer. Don't waste your energy worrying. Really. Good luck. ...Read more

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What are chances of spot in mammogram being cancer?

What are chances of spot in mammogram being cancer?

CHECK BIRADS: Radiologists have adopted a common language to describe mammographic abnormalities, called the birads system (you will see this on your report). A birads 3 abn has a 0.5% risk and is closely watched. A birads 4 (15-30%) or 5 (50-75%) abn should be biopsied to determine if it's a cancer. Birads 0 means that further eval is needed (ultrasound, comparison to prior mamms, etc). I hope this helps! ...Read more

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I did a mammogram and was called back severally for a follow-up mamogram. Does it mean I have cancer? I am really scared.

I did a mammogram and was called back severally for a follow-up mamogram. Does it mean I have cancer? I am really scared.

Not exactly: It just means they see some irregularity and want to get some compression views. If additional imaging shows an abnormality, an ultrasound may be done. This is a lot more common given digital mammography. We are seeing a lot more detail and a lot of the time it is benign. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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In my family 2 immediate relatives had a rare & aggressive cancer, not detectable by blood or mammogram. What tests do I need to protect myself?

In my family 2 immediate relatives had a rare & aggressive cancer, not detectable by blood or mammogram. What tests do I need to protect myself?

Screening: Not all conditions including cancer have good screening tests. You should talk to your physician and likely a genetic counselor to determine risks and optimal follow up. ...Read more

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From what age should women have mammogram every 2 yrs instead of 1 yr? A 52 yrs old woman with benign (non cancer)findings sh. Have mam. Every 1or2 yrs?

Mammography: This is a matter of controversy at this time. At age 50 mammograms every two years may be reasonable, but yearly mammography can still be done. I would be guided by your physician or gynecologist. ...Read more

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Can mammograms detect all kinds of breast cancers?

Can mammograms detect all kinds of breast cancers?

No: 10 to 15 percent of breast cancers can not be seen on mammograms even if a mass or other finding is physically identified. For that reason women are told to examine themselves monthly and see their doctor for an exam yearly or more if they have prior history of breast cancer that was treated. ...Read more

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Can the radiation from a mammogram cause cancer?

Can the radiation from a mammogram cause cancer?

Yes: Mammograms have been fine tuned to expose the breast to very little radiation. But no matter there is a small percent risk of causing cancer that is less than the risk of not catching a breast cancer that is not radiation caused early if you did not do mammograms. ...Read more

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Which test is better for finding cancers, a mammogram or an ultrasound?

Which test is better for finding cancers, a mammogram or an ultrasound?

Mammogram: Mammograms are excellent for finding any abnormality in the breast, and thus are best as a screening test for cancer. Ultrasounds are most useful after finding an abnormality on mammogram or examination; we can then direct the ultrasound to the area in question to help determine if it is worthy of biopsy or observation. ...Read more

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Had a benign mammogram and cancer blood test was negative, what does this mean?

Had a benign mammogram and cancer blood test was negative, what does this mean?

Not exactly sure: What the question is asking. It means there are no signs of cancer. Mammography is about 80% sensitive at detecting breast cancers. I'm not sure of what blood test you mean. ...Read more

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Could you tell me what are chances of suspicious lump in mammogram being cancer?

Could you tell me what are chances of suspicious lump in mammogram being cancer?

Much depends: On the specific mammographic characteristics of the mass with respect to the probability of cancer, but in general a BIRADS category 4 (suspicious) lesion has about a 30% positive predictive value for malignancy. This means 70% of the time it is benign. A category 5 (highly suspicious) lesion has a 95% positive predictive value for cancer. ...Read more

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If my mammogram is normal and I feel a lump, does that mean that it isn't cancer?

If my mammogram is normal and I feel a lump, does that mean that it isn't cancer?

No: A screening mammogram is designed to find cancers that are not palpable; while effective, it can miss 10-15% of breast cancers. If you have a palpable lump, then you need a diagnostic mammogram & ultrasound which will focus in on this lump. Even if these tests are normal, I recommend that you see a breast surgeon for a formal exam, just to be on the safe side. ...Read more

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If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram, should I be concerned about cancer?

If small calcifications show up on a digital mammogram, should I be concerned about cancer?

Need follow up: Calcifications can be benign or malignant. If malignant, it is usually a early, treatable cancer.
If calcifications are on a mammogram that were not present before, you need additional mammogram views. This includes magnification for a better look. In most instances, it will be recommended to repeat the views in 3-6 months. In some cases a biopsy may be necessary. ...Read more

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What is the probablity of a suspicious lump (after the woman has a mammogram) being cancer?

What is the probablity of a suspicious lump (after the woman has a mammogram) being cancer?

A BIRADS category: 4 (suspicious) lesion that goes to biopsy has about a 20-30% chance of being cancer. A category 5 (highly suspicious) lesion has a 95% chance. ...Read more

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Just had mammogram and have a nodular density requiring further investigation. Can this be cancer?

Yes,: But at least 80% of mammo recalls turn out to be nothing of concern, and of the remainder that might go to biopsy, 70-80% of those turn out benign. The odds are strongly in your favor. It is common (approx 10% of the time) to get called back for additional imaging due to a questionable abnormality on screening. ...Read more

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I had a negative mammogram but it caused a large, painful lump which isn't going away. Could it be cancer?

Hematoma?: Sometimes a mammo can cause some local trauma and give you a hematoma (collection of blood). Best to have it examined to be sure. ...Read more

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Birads 0 with no signs or symptom of cancer on mammogram means incomplete meaning the mammogram was done incorrectly? Or what does it mean exactly?

Incomplete: It means that the mammographic evaluation is incomplete based on the screening exam. The radiologist has identified a potential abnormality that requires special extra views, and possibly ultrasound, to completely evaluate and render a final diagnosis. Many times it turns out to be nothing, sometimes it is something that needs a biopsy. ...Read more

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Birads of 0 with no signs or symptoms of cancer mammogram. What does this exactly mean can it be cancer? Or just needs a better look at a certain part?

Birads 0: This radiology finding means the radiologist wants to compare your current study to any prior studies, or that additional radiology testing may be indicated. See this site: http://www.Cancer.Org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/examsandtestdescriptions/mammogramsandotherbreastimagingprocedures/mammograms-and-other-breast-imaging-procedures-mammo-report. ...Read more

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Can mammograms detect all types of breast cancer?

Can mammograms detect all types of breast cancer?

Yes: Yes, however, it depends on your breast density. The more dense your breast tissue is, the increased possibility that a mass may not be seen. ...Read more

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My sister got a mammogram result of "suspicious cluster microcalcifications". Is that a cancer sign?

My sister got a mammogram result of "suspicious cluster microcalcifications". Is that a cancer sign?

Biopsy Needed for Dx: A mammographic report of "suspicious microcalcifications" warrants a stereotactic (nonsurgical) biopsy to definitively diagnose the abnormality. This is categorized by radiologists as a bi-rads 4 abnormality, which should be listed on the report. These are found to be cancerous approximately 15-30% of the time. ...Read more

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Is code 3 mammogram benign I hope I don t have cancer no one said I did so you are saying im not out of the woods yet?

Is code 3 mammogram benign I hope I don t have cancer no one said I did so you are saying im not out of the woods yet?

Code 3 mammogram: In a small percentage of mammograms, after appropriate workup with additional views and ultrasound, the findings cannot be clearly called benign, nor are they worrisome enough for biopsy. These mammograms are called code 3. Code 1 & 2 are benign, and 4 & 5 are suspicious.

If code 3, a 6 month followup evaluation (usually repeat mammogram and ultrasound of just the breast of concern. ...Read more

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My mammogram was abnormal. What are the chances that I have breast cancer?

My mammogram was abnormal. What are the chances that I have breast cancer?

Check BIRADS: Mammogram reports will include a birads category in an attempt to standardize interpretation. A birads 0 means that additional testing is needed, such as a magnification view or an ultrasound. Birads 3 means that the abnormality is "probably benign" (<2% risk) and warrants 6-month follow-up. A biopsy is recommended for birads 4 and 5 abn, which have a 15-30% and >75% chance of being malignant. ...Read more

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Can a radiologist tell if a nodule is cancer just by looking a on a digital mammogram?

No. Diagnostic: Radiologists specialize in mammo interpretation, but they describe findings, suggest more imaging, but the truth comes only after biopsy. Screening is done with x-rays that are not sensitive in many cases, diagnsotic procedures can be much more sensitive. False results, positives and negatives, plague x-ray mammograms. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
663 Doctors shared insights

Mammogram (Definition)

A mammogram is the "gold standard" screening test for breast cancer. It's well established that yearly 'grams will DX cancers well before they are palpable, leading to earlier diagnoses and saved lives. All experts agree to begin yearly mammograms by age 50; many (including myself) believe the pro's outweigh the con's to begin at 40. Regrettably, less than half of all women ...Read more