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Thread: Reading Mammagrams

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Reading Mammagrams

    After several "not malignant looking but you need a retest in 6 months", I've had it. Has anyone studied what happens to breast tissue like the under muscle after a cervical or high thorasic level injury? I'll get a referrel for a CT or MRI and go with whatever a radiologist says to it. I have enough stress in my life. So it'll be the last.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I guess I should assume male fertility, cholesterol levels, depression and which magic pill works best on getting a guy erect are all better areas of study than cure and cancer detection? So go with an MRI and if the word malignant doesn't come up then that's my last worry in this department.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton View Post
    I guess I should assume male fertility, cholesterol levels, depression and which magic pill works best on getting a guy erect are all better areas of study than cure and cancer detection? So go with an MRI and if the word malignant doesn't come up then that's my last worry in this department.
    If you can stay still for up to an hour, barring contraindications, a contrast enhanced breast MRI is very diagnostic. BSGI (Breast Specific Gamma Imaging) is offered at the better larger Breast Centers. I am unaware SCI is a factor in breast cancer. What makes you think that?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what's going on with your mammograms, Sue, but if they're "iffy" I definitely think an MRI is a good idea. I doubt they can tell if something's malignant just by looking at the MRI, but the imaging is definitely better than a mammogram, so they'll likely know if they need to do a biopsy.

    My Mom has stage 4 breast cancer (her second bout with breast cancer) and early detection likely saved her life the first go 'round. We're not sure why this time it was caught until it was already in her bones, but if you have a family history you should definitely get checked more often. I don't think SCI plays a role in breast cancer, but I don't think you should give up on getting regular checks if the MRI shows nothing.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I don't think SCI causes breast cancer. It just appears that when muscle atrophies it can wind up looking like tendon tissue which confuses any diagnosis. And while the radiologist is happy to write it doesn't appear to be any kind of malignancy; he has a problem with putting to print that these abnormal cells are benign. And they are all clumped in pec muscle insertion areas according to my Gray's and on the C5 side not the C7 side.

    I'll try going with the contrast imagining. Thanks. Sorry to hear about your Mom, Scorpion. My Dad's sister pretty much followed your Mom's story.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton View Post
    I don't think SCI causes breast cancer. It just appears that when muscle atrophies it can wind up looking like tendon tissue which confuses any diagnosis. And while the radiologist is happy to write it doesn't appear to be any kind of malignancy; he has a problem with putting to print that these abnormal cells are benign. And they are all clumped in pec muscle insertion areas according to my Gray's and on the C5 side not the C7 side.

    I'll try going with the contrast imagining. Thanks. Sorry to hear about your Mom, Scorpion. My Dad's sister pretty much followed your Mom's story.
    Tendon's, muscle & Cells are not visable on x-rays. Perhaps you are being fed a line of shit.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Actually I think she said areas. She compared the density of two areas to what tendons might look like. So probably my interpretation on this one but I got the gist. And just the feel from my self exams pre-SCI to post-SCI on the one side is not in anyway what we're supposed to be feeling. There are two large centers near me so I'll try to set up a BSGI this fall and maybe get a more understandable reason for the change and the first several mammagrams where these areas would actually shrink occasionally and then go back to my baseline. When the radiologist said 'shrank' I questioned how THAT works. This area of medicine I want to know nothing about.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  8. #8
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    Hi Sue
    I had a mammogram recently that was doubtful and was called in for an ultrasound. The Doc who did it said all was clear, no further investigation needed this time. It's the second time I've had a dicey mammogram. Maybe an ultrasound is the next step before the big expense of an MRI.
    Just a thought.

  9. #9
    Please don't stop getting mammograms or other legitimate studies for detecting breast cancer!

    I just heard today from PLG (one of the former SCI-Nurses) that she has been diagnosed with bilateral ductal breast cancer purely by finding it on her annual mammogram. Cannot feel a lump, and was doing self-breast exam regularly. She is getting married in 3 weeks, so is going to have her bilateral mastectomy 2 days after the wedding!! I pray that she will have a good outcome. Her first husband died of cancer shortly after she stopped moderating here (she quit because of his illness).

    (KLD)

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I just want readings I understand and radiologists feel sure of. Has the VA done any comparison studies on female patients like between cervical level SCIs and lower extremity amputees? If the future continues you with 'fine', 'need a retest', 'fine', need a retest'; that's enough stress to cause cancer.

    And please give PLG my best. I think I'd wait until after a real honeymoon at this point and move the wedding up.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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