It is important for any woman not to ignore a lump just because the recent mammogram was normal, and this is especially important if the breasts are dense. While cysts, other benign masses, and areas of normal tissue can present as lumps, malignant masses, especially those lacking calcifications, are frequently masked by dense breast tissue and a “normal,” “negative,” or “benign” mammogram does not mean that there is no cancer present. Tomosynthesis can help show some cancers not found with 2D-mammography, but ultrasound is the test of choice to evaluate palpable lumps and allows targeted assessment and correlation of the area being felt with findings on ultrasound. If there is a mass suspicious for cancer, the radiologist/technologist may also include ultrasound of the tissue in the axilla (under the arm) because the first place cancer will spread is to lymph nodes in the axilla. Cancers presenting because of symptoms prior to the next annual mammogram are called “interval cancers” and interval cancers are increasingly common with increasing breast density.Browse All Provider FAQ's
/ Providers FAQs / A patient recently had a “normal” mammogram and has extremely dense breasts. She now feels a lump. What should you recommend?