Abnormal mammogram: Cause for concern?

As a woman, you know how important it is to get a mammogram to screen for any abnormalities. You will...

As a woman, you know how important it is to get a mammogram to screen for any abnormalities. You will likely never have abnormal results, but if it does happen, you may not know how to react. Your Atlanta-based OB/GYN can help you understand your test results, and evaluate what course of action you should take if you do have something abnormal show up.

A few different elements can cause an abnormal mammogram, some that are benign and some that should be treated right away. These elements include:

  • Cysts or small growths: Cysts and some tissue growths can cause your result to come back as abnormal. But they are usually benign and do not require any treatment unless they cause you pain. Many times you or your doctor may not feel a cyst or growth, but it shows up on a mammogram.
  • Breast changes: Breasts can change over time, which will show up in your test results and can alert your OB/GYN. Sometimes this can be caused by a previous test that was incomplete or faulty. Although changes in your breasts can happen naturally and do not mean that you have anything wrong with you, sometimes it can cause concern because the tissue in your breasts might be reacting to something harmful, like cancer.
  • Tumors or suspicious growths: Your Atlanta OB/GYN will let you know right away if she suspects that you have a tumor or suspicious growth in your breast, which may require immediate treatment. The sooner you can catch a malignant tumor or growth in your breast, the higher your survival rate will be. Your doctor will let you know how quickly your tumor or growth was caught. You may need to have surgery so that your OB/GYN can examine the tumor or growth to see if it is cancerous. If it is, treatment for breast cancer may include more extensive surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

If you've had an abnormal mammogram, don't let your fear keep you from having another one. Think of your mammogram as a way to make sure that you are healthy. If you do feel stressed out over your results, try doing something relaxing or distracting to take your mind off it until you can have further testing done. The more you try to stay relaxed and anxiety-free, the less stress you will be putting on your body.

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