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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19306
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Please can you give me advice. I have dense large breasts and

Customer Question

Please can you give me advice. I have dense large breasts and had a follow up check up with the breast consultant the other day after a mammogram I had recently which showed all ok. she wants to do a biopsy tests next week on my right breast which is fuller than my left one and glandular tissue lower part of my breast is firm and tight she not giving anything me info. I'm not sure if it's precautionary she doing it for, shouldn't a mammogram show abnormalities. Of course I'm extremely worried and have looking on the internet and reading horror stories. I've read about different Color fluids that can come out with the tissue sample. What would be the worst case scenario?
Also I have discharge from both nipples had it for many years. But she now want to do a biopsy on the other breast. HELP. Very concerned
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Is this fullness a new finding on exam?
Has an imaging test beyond a mammogram been done?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
I had asked for some further information and have not heard back, so will address what information is available.

There are several issues to consider in this situation.

Regarding whether a mammogram would show abnormalities, the answer is no, not always. A mammogram is very good, but it is certainly not perfect. Mammography will fail to detect about 15-20% of cancers when in the early stage. WIth time, all cancers will cause an abnormality on the mammogram, but the goal is to detect the cancer early. Of the 15-20% of cancers that are missed, a common reason is because of dense breasts that obscure the ability of mammography to image the breast tissue and detect subtle changes.

Since the mammogram is not perfect, it is important to also attend to any other potential findings that may indicate a possible cancer. The most common would be a lump that is detected, but it may present as a fullness in one breast compared to the opposite side. Fullness of one breast would be more worrisome if it is a new finding.

The evaluation of a lump or fullness that does not have a corresponding abnormality on mammogram may ultimately require a biopsy, but it is more common to do an additional imaging study of the breast, either an ultrasound or an MRI, and there is increasing evidence to support an MRI in this setting.

As for the worst case scenario, that would be the finding on cancer on the biopsy. It is more likely that no cancer will be found, but that is the condition that would cause the greatest concern.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.