Can you imagine that your life could be saved by an ultrasound, a quick, painless test, performed in your breast specialist’s office ( or Breast Center) ? My life was saved by this very ultrasound machine! My intraductal breast cancer was seen by my physician on this US machine , not my Mammogram. I had very dense breasts on MMG and there were 2 areas of concern at 6 and 9 o’clock, like the position of the hands on a clock, that warranted further evaluation to determine if these areas were cancer. I was relieved that to my Dr on breast ultrasound , these areas appeared benign, not cancer. She always recommends a follow up exam to look again in 3 months, just to be sure. Both of my breasts showed dense tissue but nothing suspicious. It was on a follow up US exam that Dr L stopped over my left breast in the upper outer quadrant, think of a clock, the hands would point to 2PM. We could see a small fuzz ball spot in the tube like duct , right in front of our eyes! At 2 o’clock, not at 6 or 9 , where the previous area of concern was located. This was a different , unrelated space.I am so thankful for her complete and thorough US of the entire breasts, at each exam.This is the reason my breast cancer was diagnosed as Stage 1B, not Stage 2 or worse, next is 3, then 4. The earlier the diagnosis is made and the lower the Stage of the cancer, the greater the chances are of survival and cure. In my case, I have a high 90% chance of cure! To increase my odds, I made the decision to have a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction in August 2006.I am grateful to my wonderful surgeons, including Dr Scott Sullivan in New Orleans for using his gifted hands of a surgeon to bring me through the long operation. 10 years later, I am happy, healthy and looking forward to at least 1 or 2 more decades of life after cancer!
To raise awareness for Breast Cancer detection, every year in October women are encouraged to have a Mammogram according to her age ,personal and family history of breast cancer. What many women are not aware of is the importance of consulting her health care provider about whether she would benefit by breast ultrasound. Younger women and older women on hormone supplements may have dense breast tissue that interferes with the visualization of some cancers. Breast ultrasound can, in some very young women, be of more benefit in determining normal breast tissue from abnormal. The combination of both MMG and US is a strong consideration for all women with DENSE breast tissue. The combo may save your life too, it certainly saved mine! Thanks be to great health care providers and the science that they use!