You had your regular mammogram, just like you do every year. But this time, the office called and asked you to return for additional testing.
We understand you might feel scared. Being nervous about what happens next is normal, but knowing what to expect can help you stay calm and take the necessary steps with confidence.
What Does a Mammogram Callback Mean?
Typically, a patient is called back for additional testing because the doctor wants a closer look at a particular breast area. Although it’s natural to feel anxious and worry about the “what if”, it’s important to remember that a mammogram callback doesn’t mean something is wrong.
In fact, almost 90% of mammogram callbacks turn out to be nothing. Nevertheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry regarding cancer detection.
Mammogram Results: Common Terminology
The following terms may appear on your mammogram results, but don’t panic! They are all completely normal and just require further testing.
Calcifications are simply calcium deposits and are very common, especially after menopause. They are usually too small to feel in a breast exam and look like small white spots on a mammogram.
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that are also quite common, especially in women before menopause. They are usually non-cancerous (i.e., benign) and don’t require any treatment unless they cause discomfort.
In Minnesota and many other states, clinicians must inform patients if they have dense breasts.
Breast density can be broken into 4 categories:
- Mostly Fatty Tissue
- Scattered fibroglandular breast tissue
- Heterogeneous density breast tissue
- Extremely dense breast tissue
Dense breast tissue is common but could make finding small cancers on a mammogram difficult. Therefore, be sure to discuss screening options with your doctor if you have dense breasts.
Read our helpful guide on everything you need to know about dense breast tissue.
Additional Testing Following a Mammogram Callback
Following any abnormal results on your mammogram that require further inspection, your doctor may recommend additional screening options, such as:
A diagnostic mammogram is similar to a standard screening mammogram. The examination process is identical, except that the technician takes multiple images of a particular breast tissue area.
At The Breast Center of Maple Grove, patients who receive a diagnostic mammogram can obtain same-day results.
Breast ultrasound is a completely safe and painless examination that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images of the breast tissues. During the exam, you will be asked to undress from the waist up and lie on your back or side on the exam table.
The ultrasound technologist will apply a special gel on your breast and then move a small handheld device called a transducer over the breast to capture the images.
In some cases, mammography and ultrasound may not be sufficient for a diagnosis. In these occurrences, a breast MRI can provide detailed information to assist in an accurate diagnosis.
If imaging tests are inconclusive, your doctor might also schedule a breast biopsy. During a biopsy, a very fine needle is inserted into the breast to remove tissue, which will be tested for cancer.
Although most biopsies come back negative, it’s essential to be sure.
Breast Imaging at The Breast Center of Maple Grove
While most abnormal mammogram results are not breast cancer, it’s important to schedule additional testing to ensure an early and accurate diagnosis.
At The Breast Center of Maple Grove, one of our dedicated breast health patient navigators is available to help you understand your procedures, diagnosis, next steps, and options.
If it has been over a year since your last mammogram, it’s time to schedule your annual screening. We offer a state-of-the-art facility, comfortable atmosphere, convenient hours, and a team of compassionate experts.
Our team is here to help you get the screenings you need to ensure accurate results, which will allow you to confidently take the next step in your women’s health journey.