In the December 6, 2016 post, I described having my first 3D mammogram this week. It showed that I have “sunshine breasts”—no clouds in my imaged fields. This makes me one of the lucky ones.
My official report came in today’s mail confirming that my mammogram was normal (benign) and that my breast tissue is primarily fatty. This means it shows up as black on radiologic images, making tumors easier to detect.
The report also included a statement about breast density that all women should be aware of—information that has been required by New Jersey law since May 1, 2014:
Again, I know I am lucky. I have never needed a breast ultrasound.
However, dense breast tissue factored significantly into Diane’s Story – Breast Cancer.
In Diane’s Story – Part 2, I described that in August 2015, when she first felt her breast lump, Diane had a 2D mammogram and an ultrasound. Both missed what was diagnosed eight months later as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), which is a relatively uncommon form of the disease compared with ductal carcinoma.
At that time, Diane’s insurance provider denied coverage for 3D mammography, although it is now becoming standard. And perhaps her cancer would have been diagnosed earlier, although no one can say for sure. Not only did she have an uncommon form of breast cancer, but her breast tissue is dense—which put her at greater risk for having her tumor missed on a traditional 2D mammogram.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has developed separate breast cancer screening guidelines: one for women at average risk and one for women at increased risk, which includes women diagnosed with LCIS (pre-cancer).
See Breast Cancer – Diane’s Story & More for more important information about diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Watch the video by BreastCancerAnswers®:
Next week, I will be going for my three-year uterine (endometrial) cancer checkup—on December 13, the actual anniversary of my hysterectomy. Note that uterine and breast cancer have some of the same risk factors. See more here: