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Doctor insights on: What Does Breast Cancer Look Like On A Digital Mammogram

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I have a family history of breast cancer and would like to know when my mammograms should start?

I have a family history of breast cancer and would like to know when my mammograms should start?

Earlier than 40: It depends on- how strong a family history, if other family members have been tested positive for the brca 1 or 2 gene mutations help guide when screening mammograms should start, or for considering genetic counseling. ...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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How does breast cancer appear like on a mammogram?

How does breast cancer appear like on a mammogram?

Quite variable: Breast cancer can appear as a spiculated mass, cluster of tiny calcifications, smoothly marginated mass, area of subtle distortion or be invisible on mammogram. Some tumors are only seen on ultrasound and a few are only felt by you or your doctor. The point is that the appearance of tumors on mammogram is quite variable. ...Read more

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When should young women go in for a mammogram done to detect for breast cancer?

When should young women go in for a mammogram done to detect for breast cancer?

Mammograms: According to the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, and others, annual screening mammography should begin at age 40. Screening may begin sooner if you are a BRCA carrier or are otherwise at high risk. ...Read more

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If mammograms slightly increase my risks of breast cancer, why does everyone say to get them?

If mammograms slightly increase my risks of breast cancer, why does everyone say to get them?

Early diagnosis: Because early diagnosis saves lives. Mammogram is a cost effective screening method that has helped decrease cancer mortality from breast cancer by about 37% since 1990s when mammogram became widespread used. ...Read more

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How often do mammograms miss breast cancer?

How often do mammograms miss breast cancer?

Approximately 10%: Mammograms are the best, most cost-effective method for identifying non-palpable breast cancers, but are by no means perfect. Some cancers (infiltrating lobular) are very difficult to see on mammography. Furthermore, some women have very dense breast tissue that obscures visualization of a cancer. Therefore, a normal mammogram should never determine how to evaluate a palpable breat lump. ...Read more

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Can mammograms miss breast cancer 5 years in a row?

Can mammograms miss breast cancer 5 years in a row?

Not likely: If you have dense breasts that are difficult to read with mammograms or a very slow growing tumor, it is possible but unlikely. It is important to combine a mammogram with a breast exam by your health care provider and your own monthly breast self exam. Make sure you are getting digital mammograms. ...Read more

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Is it possible that stage 4 breast cancer go undetected on a mammogram?

Is it possible that stage 4 breast cancer go undetected on a mammogram?

Yes: Mammography is about 80% sensitive for detecting cancer, so it won't find 20% of them. No test is 100% accurate. So, unfortunately the answer to your question is yes. ...Read more

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What are the current mammogram recommendations to prevent breast cancer?

What are the current mammogram recommendations to prevent breast cancer?

Variable: Most us radiographic and oncologic groups recommend annual screening beginning at age 40. (continuing as long as life expectancy exceeds 10 years.) European groups point out the lower likelihood of breast cancer in young women and the higher false positive rate and recommend later, and less frequent screenings. Obviously — a strong family history may change your personal recommendation. ...Read more

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Detecting breast cancer appropriate to have thermography for women vs mammogram?

Detecting breast cancer appropriate to have thermography for women vs mammogram?

The use of: Mammography as a screening test has been validated by many years of outcomes data. Thermography, not so much. ...Read more

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History of breast cancer in my family. Will a mammogram show anything if tiny tumor?

Breast cancer: Depending on your breast density/composition on mammography, a tumor as small as 3-4 mm may be identified. ...Read more

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At what age should I start getting mammogram with a close family history of breast cancer?

At what age should I start getting mammogram with a close family history of breast cancer?

10yrs earlier...: 10yrs earlier than the age of diagnosis of any close relative with breast cancer, or at age 40 (whichever age is lower). As an aside, you may want to clarify with a breast doctor just how high your risk is for breast cancer. Most cases of breast ca are environmental, not hereditary. People have a tendency to assume more risk than may actually be present. ...Read more

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How old should a female when she should start getting mammograms to check for breast cancer?

How old should a female when she should start getting mammograms to check for breast cancer?

Depends: In the absence of a family history of breast cancer, the american cancer society recommends annual screening mammography starting at the age of 40. This should be performed in conjunction with an annual clinical breast exam by the patient's doctor. A self breast exam is also recommended. ...Read more

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Is breast density a risk factor for breast cancer? Mammogram noted "extremely dense breasts".

Yes, breast density: Is a risk factor for breast cancer. The relative risk for extremely dense breasts is about 4x the relative risk of patients with almost entirely fatty breasts, and about 1.6x the RR for "average" density breasts. Find out all you need to know at http://www.breastdensity.info/ ...Read more

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Should I get a mammogram at 18 years old, my grandmother had breast cancer, should I take action now?

Should I get a mammogram at 18 years old, my grandmother had breast cancer, should I take action now?

No mammogram yet.: First of all, the probability of a teenager getting breast cancer is less than one in a million, so there is no need for a mammogram(until age 40). If your grandmother is the only member of your family with breast or ovarian cancer, chances are that you have no increased risk for breast cancer as compared to any other woman in the US. Nevertheless, you are never too young to learn self-examination. ...Read more

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I am 62, years old, if I do not have a family history of breast cancer, why do I have to have a mammogram every year?

Preventative: Yearly screening mammogram testing is recommended to watch for any early changes or concerns, as it is much better to find something early and small rather than wait until something may be found large and advanced or spreading. Part of a yearly physical examination may be blood testing and mammogram, and having normal findings is good. I am glad for you, and it is great for you to have good news. ...Read more

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Can a 57-year-old woman have breast cancer if last mammogram was 1.5 years ago and normal? Never had an abnormal mammogram. What stage cancer?

Can a 57-year-old woman have breast cancer if last mammogram was 1.5 years ago and normal? Never had an abnormal mammogram. What stage cancer?

Yes: The normal mammograms in the past won't protect you from future breast cancer. Also, mammograms are about 80% sensitive for detecting cancer, so 20% of cancers won't be seen. 1.5 years is enough time for a cancer to double 6 times. If you have a lump, see your doctor. If not, please resume your screening mammography. ...Read more

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When do you get regular mammograms? Breast cancer does not run in my family, but I want to make sure I'm doing everything to stay in good health. At what age do you recommend women start getting mammograms?

When do you get regular mammograms? Breast cancer does not run in my family, but I want to make sure I'm doing everything to stay in good health. At what age do you recommend women start getting mammograms?

Currently, : Currently, at our institution we recommend that a woman with no risk factors begin yearly screening mammography at age 40. However, the recommendation for beginning screening mammography has become more controversial due to the recently published recommendations by the us preventative services task force which recommends screening mammography for women age 50 to 74 years. A rationale behind this recommendation is that screening mammography in women age 40 – 49 years results in more false positive results with comparatively few cancers detected. Currently, both the american college of radiology and the american cancer society recommend yearly screening beginning at 40 years of age. ...Read more

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Is mammogram or ultrasound best for early breast cancer detection?

Mammogram: Mammograms are generally better at screening for breast cancer. Ultrasound is used more for a focus evaluation of an area of the breast that might be suspicious or appear abnormal. ...Read more

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Do you think I should get mammograms earlier or be tested for the breast cancer gene?

If you are: 45, you should already be getting mammograms according to ACS guidelines. If you have a strong family history, genetic testing might be appropriate, but talk to your doctor about it. ...Read more

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Can you have breast cancer without microcalcifications? Mammogram shows nodules, but no microcalcifications. 3mm, 9mm, and 7mm. All asymmetry

Can you have breast cancer without microcalcifications? Mammogram shows nodules, but no microcalcifications. 3mm, 9mm, and 7mm. All asymmetry

See Disclaimer: A typical mammogram will often cite a disclaimer stating something like a negative mammogram cannot exclude a malignancy. That means you cannot draw broad blanket conclusions, one way or the other, about micro-calcifications. You should have your breasts evaluated further by a breast surgeon. ...Read more

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Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

Is there any proof that radiation from mammograms can cause breast cancer? Is there any legitimate alternative to screen for breast cancer?

MammogramsSAVELives: The radiation exposure of a digital mammogram is 3.7mgy. This is associated with a lifetime-attributable risk of breast cancer of 1.3 cases per 100, 000. Mammography is a safe, proven technique for finding cancers well before they are palpable and there is no controversy about its use after age 50. Thermograms are 25% as sensitive as mammograms and not suitable for screening. ...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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How do you check breast cancer other than mammogram?

See list: For diagnosis:

physical examination
ultrasound
breast mri
needle biopsy
excisional biopsy

for staging: pet/ct scan
sentinnel lymph node biopsy
lumpectomy
mastectomy
axillary node dissection

For follow-up: usually physical examination, and mammogram or mri. ...Read more

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How can they detect breast cancer without a mammogram?

How can they detect breast cancer without a mammogram?

Cancer detection: Breast cancer can be detected in other ways, although mammography is the standard of care screening imaging exam. Speak with your doctor. Self exam, physical exam by your doctor, breast ultrasound and breast MRI can all detect potential cancers. They are complementary exams and one or more can be useful in the appropriate context. Definitive diagnosis requires biopsy. ...Read more

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Could a mammogram before 40 increase risk for breast cancer?

Could a mammogram before 40 increase risk for breast cancer?

Good point.: Risk of radiation induced breast cancer is probably negligible, compared to benefits of mammography. But you should undergo any test only when it is medically indicated, because every diagnostic test has its risks as well as benefits. ...Read more

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Is a mammogram the most effective way to detect breast cancer?

Is a mammogram the most effective way to detect breast cancer?

To screen : It is the most effective way to screen for breast cancer. It is easy to do, it is cheap, it can be done anywhere. It is not the most sensitive nor the perfect tool however. Thus, it is always advised to combine modalities- breast exam, mammogram-and if there is a suspicion- combining mammo and sono and/or MRI will be more sensitive to detect breast cancer. Ultimately biopsy is to confirm of cance. ...Read more

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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 men get mammograms and if not how do they know they have breast cancer?

Can men get mammograms and if not how do they know they have breast cancer?

Men can: Get mammograms. A small percentage of breast cancers occur in men, so if a man has a breast lump, a mammogram and/or ultrasound may be indicated. ...Read more

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How much can breast cancer develop in a year if mammogram was normal one year before?

How much can breast cancer develop in a year if mammogram was normal one year before?

The mean doubling: Time(the average time it takes to double) for invasive breast cancer is about 130 days, with a range of estimates from 80 days to 260 days. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
1,378 doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...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