When you visit an imaging center for a mammogram , it’s natural to be anxious to get answers about your results. Radiologists strive to deliver medical imaging results quickly, but above all, accurately. The radiology specialists in San Antonio who read your mammogram will consider several factors about the image before providing results. Here are some of the things the radiologist reading your mammogram will consider. Keep in mind that having an abnormal result on your mammogram doesn’t mean you have cancer. It simply means that you may need further imaging, such as an ultrasound, or a biopsy.
In most cases, the tissue in both of your breasts should appear the same on a mammogram. If your radiologist notices a mass, sac, or other area of tissue that looks different on one side than the other or that simply isn’t on the other side, then he or she may recommend further diagnostic testing. These kinds of asymmetries can refer to any difference between the breasts that is noted on the mammogram.
Skin thickening is a common symptom with breast cancer, particularly inflammatory breast cancer. During a mammogram, skin thickening may be noticed before you can see the telltale orange peel appearance on your skin. When thickening is detected on your mammogram, your radiologist or physician may recommend a biopsy or ultrasound for further testing.
Calcifications, or calcium deposits, are extremely common. Radiologists classify them as either macrocalcifications, which are large and look like dots on the imaging test, and microcalcifications, which are small and resemble white flecks. Generally, macrocalcifications are not considered to be a cause for concern. Microcalcifications may require further testing, especially when they appear in clusters. These kinds of calcifications can sometimes indicate that ductal carcinoma in situ, which is a non-invasive type of cancer. However, keep in mind that many women have microcalcifications clusters and do not have cancer.