Ask The Experts: What happens when my mammogram shows up abnormal

According to the Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2018, over 2,000 girls are recognized with breast most cancers annually, and one in 13 girls will get it of their lifetime.

That is why it’s the most typical kind of most cancers affecting girls in Singapore.

While breast most cancers normally happens in older girls between the ages of 40 and 60, it could possibly have an effect on youthful girls too. One in six girls in Singapore underneath the age of 45 has been recognized with extra aggressive types of the illness, based on the Breast Cancer Foundation

Going for a mammogram is one of the best ways to detect breast most cancers early, says Dr Lee Wai Peng, Senior Consultant and Breast Surgeon at Solis Breast Care and Surgery Centre. Here, she shares extra concerning the implications of abnormal mammogram screening outcomes.

When do you want to go for a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast and is used to search for any abnormal lesion. It is non-invasive and one of many easiest screening exams for breast most cancers.

A mammogram can choose up cancers at a really early and treatable part, method earlier than malignant lumps may be felt. When carried out recurrently, it improves one’s possibilities of survival, and ladies might even keep away from having to go for in depth remedy equivalent to chemotherapy.

The Health Promotion Board recommends girls aged 40 to 49 to go for mammogram screening yearly after talking to their physician about the advantages and limitations. Screening is really helpful as soon as each two years for these above 50 and who’re asymptomatic.

Healthy girls under 40 with no breast-related signs ought to seek the advice of their medical doctors earlier than going for a mammogram. After all, they usually have extraordinarily dense breasts, which is able to render mammograms much less efficient.

What does an abnormal mammogram outcome imply?

An abnormal mammogram outcome means that there’s a probably suspicious lesion seen on the X-ray picture of the breast. However, it doesn’t mechanically imply that the affected person has most cancers. 

It will depend on whether or not the underlying reason behind the lesion is benign or malignant, though the opportunity of most cancers can’t be dominated out. 

There are three doable outcomes: 

  • Benign 

This implies that the lesion is non-cancerous. They could also be fibroadenomas – non-cancerous breast nodules, that are made up of breast tissues, frequent amongst girls underneath 30 – breast cysts, that are fluid sacs within the breast, or fibrocystic modifications, wherein the breast feels lumpy. 

These situations can happen to any girl from her 20s till she reaches menopause. 

  • High danger

High-risk lesions might embody atypical ductal hyperplasia (a pre-cancerous situation of abnormal cells within the milk ducts) or lobular carcinoma in situ (cells that look cancerous within the milk glands), also referred to as LCIS. 

Such high-risk lesions are sometimes suggested for full elimination upon detection. If left alone, they’ve a excessive probability of creating into invasive breast most cancers. They make up 5 to twenty per cent of abnormal mammogram findings.

  • Malignant 

If a malignant lesion is detected, it means breast most cancers. Your physician will advise on the suitable course of remedy. 

What happens after an abnormal mammogram outcome?

During session with a breast specialist, the physician can consider for any breast-related signs, equivalent to ache, swelling or lumps, or any predisposing danger components for breast most cancers. 

A medical examination is normally achieved to search for indicators equivalent to breast lumps or nipple modifications which may account for the mammographic abnormality. 

This could also be adopted by additional acceptable imaging equivalent to focused mammography, 3D mammogram and an ultrasound to find out the reason for the abnormality. 

A breast biopsy could also be provided to sufferers if the outcomes from these imaging strategies stay inconclusive for breast most cancers.

Some 10 per cent of girls with abnormal mammograms will want some type of biopsy. Of this group who bear a biopsy, an extra 80 per cent could have a benign outcome. A breast biopsy may be carried out through minimally invasive strategies equivalent to vacuum-assisted biopsy with the help of ultrasound or mammogram.

Currently, vacuum-assisted biopsy is really helpful to take away benign breast lumps as a result of it’s minimally invasive and simply tolerated by girls of all age teams. 

There may additionally be a chance that mammograms would possibly miss extraordinarily minute lesions, particularly in girls with extraordinarily dense breasts. Advanced imaging know-how, equivalent to 3D or digital mammography, may also help choose up these much less apparent lesions.

If the biopsy result’s malignant, the affected person will likely be suggested on acceptable remedy.

The physician might first request the affected person to bear extra detailed exams to find out what kind of most cancers she has and if the most cancers has unfold past the breast.

If the tumour is detected at an early stage and has not unfold past the breast, the affected person can go for breast-conserving surgical procedure, which removes most cancers cells and a few neighbouring tissues, with out the necessity for a mastectomy (full elimination of the breast).

It is prudent to hunt a specialist session to guage the abnormality. Most of the time, this doesn’t equate to breast most cancers. Even if most cancers is detected, it’s usually at a really early stage.

Visit Solis at to seek out out extra or name 6979-9011 to e book an appointment with our breast specialist immediately.

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