Mammograms: Not all negative results indicate cancer
A finding in the results of a mammogram does not always mean something serious. Learn here what to do if your doctor reports an irregularity in your exams.
Receiving a mammogram with "negative" results can cause you concern and anxiety. However, it is essential to understand that this does not always mean it is a health problem. In many cases, it may simply be a sign of dense breast tissue or a temporary abnormality that requires closer follow-up. Still, it is necessary to address the situation, and take steps to maintain good breast health.
Once you have received your results, you should talk to your doctor to resolve all your doubts and fully understand what they mean. They will explain the mammogram findings and explain to you clear information about your specific breast situation and the next step depending on your diagnosis.
However, you will likely have another mammogram study known as a "diagnostic mammogram". Although your previous mammogram was classified as a "screening mammogram," in this case additioimages will be taken for a more thorough examination of areas of interest.
In addition to this new exam, you may also have an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images of the inside of your breast in the area of interest.
In some cases, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will be required. During this study, you must lie in a narrow tube for about an hour while the machine creates more detailed images of your breast tissues. Although MRI is painless, it can be uncomfortable if you are one of those who are uncomfortable in small, tight spaces.
When you get the results, your doctor will continue with the follow-up and explain if everything went well or if there is anything that needs to be attended to.
If you feel that your anxiety about your situation is getting out of control, seek the company of friends, family, or support groups to talk about your emotions and share your concerns.
Communicating with your doctor, following a screening plan, and adopting a healthy lifestyle are important steps to maintaining good breast health and promoting overall wellness. Education and awareness are also key to empowering women to take care of their health and prevent breast disease.