Today I had two appointments out of town, and I am exhausted! My first appointment was for a mammogram. My second appointment was for phototherapy. It had been over two years since my last mammogram and I always dread it. I have very dense breast tissue and many times the mammogram is followed by an ultrasound. Now, with the improved testing with 3D mammograms, they haven’t had to use that.
I go to an imaging center that has the mammogram office suite on a floor with all the Breast Cancer offices. As I walk down the long corridor I see large pink ribbon wreaths and breast cancer signs and information everywhere. It really is intimidating and I feel extremely tense. Then, we are given our little pink robes to wear into the mammogram room. Talk about nerve-wracking.
My past mammogram results and pictures were sent to this imaging center so that the radiologist can compare today’s pictures with those of the past. It wasn’t even 2 hours before I got an email that said my results were in. I went online with my mobile phone and found that I could rest easy for another year. The results were negative. Thank you, God!
Breasts are made up of fibrous and glandular tissue and fatty tissue. I’ve always been told that mine were dense. When I see my 3D pictures, I see all kinds of white on the screen. That’s scary, because cancer appears white, too. But, dense breast pictures have a lot of white, and that doesn’t mean cancer.
I was told that my tissue shows “scattered areas of fibroglandular density” which is one of the four levels of breast density.
The four levels of breast density are:
- Almost entirely fatty
- Scattered areas of fibroglandular density
- Heterogeneously dense
- Extremely dense
Having dense breast tissue can increase a woman’s chance of breast cancer. It’s also harder to spot cancer on mammograms. So, I’ll be going back in one year to have this done again. I will try not to think about the danger. But, regular testing is so important. And, don’t forget monthly self-exams.
@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman