Breast Screenings

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I have a sister who passed away from breast cancer. She was diagnosed when she was 45. I have been getting digital a mammography every year but I wonder if an MRI would be better. My gyn doesn't recommend the MRI for me. Should I seek out another gyn doctor?

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  • Posted

    go for breast ultrasound, yearly, it's way better then mammogram in detecting anything suspicious. MRI usually doctors don't recommend until and unless they are pretty sure of the disease

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  • Posted

    Hi New in South!

    An Ultrasound is better for dense breasts, and to define cysts. The 3 -D digitally enhanced mammography has improved earlier diagnosis, and therefore treatment and prognosis dramatically.

    Different insurances pay for different tests.

    Do you know if your sister received genetic testing?

    Your better route, is to get genetic testing, ie Myriad 25 , especially if other relatives have had cancer in your family.

    You didn't mention your age or how long ago your sister was diagnosed.

    I am going to private message you.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    i agree get genetics testing as if you do not have the BRCA gene for example then you are not of significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer. in the UK if you are very young 30-40 and have an increased risk sometimes a mammogram is done every other year with an MRI inbetween to reduce radiation to the breasts. however digital mammography is the best way of detecting early stages of breast cancer and changes in the breast. ultrasound is usually good on larger lesions, denser breasts as it is better at determining structure of a lesion (etc cyst is fluid, fibroadenoma solid but benign and cancer looks different).ultrasound is not a good method of screening for breast cancer but can be a useful additional imaging but not as a replacement. MRI is also not the best way of finding very small changes in the breast and can highlight sometimes completely benign things. MRI is good at looking at the extent cancer has spread however the idea of regular mammography is to detect the cancer before this happens. changes in the breast the size of a grain of sand can be picked up on mammography such as microcalcifications before they ever turn in to a lump you can feel. hope this helps

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response alex. I've been diligent with my digital mammograms. Perhaps when my sister was having her tests they were not digital. I don't know what would explain why things did not show up in the beginning or they thought it was nothing. Glad I found this site.


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    • Posted

      Hi New,

      Digital 3-D Mammagraphy is a relatively new imaging technology, that is vastly superior to the technology from even 7 years ago.

      My cancer would still not have been imaged by the old technology.

      Also, it depends on your sister's tumor type, the virulence of her tumor, the stage, etc. The oncological treatments have improved markedly, as well.

      It's estimated that a breast tumor takes 7 years to grow before it is able to be visualized or palpated with the old technology.

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