|Women's Imaging: orchids at the doorway, orchids inside...|
It's always a surprise.
We show up for our annual mammogram, and the doctor sees something.
(Actually, not all of us show up. Women who do not have health insurance or who live far from a clinic may not have that surprise until they feel a lump--much later in the growth of a tumor.)
Today after the usual two x-rays per breast, my radiologist asked for three more of my right breast, including a close-up of the lower breast. Ten minutes later she asked for a closer close-up.
Then came the news: a patch of eight or so tiny specks of calcification. They looked like the cluster of stars we call the Pleiades.
"Calcification is sometimes a sign of cancer, sometimes not," Dr. Iyengar said. "We won't know until we do a core needle biopsy."
Vocabulary Lesson One for breast cancer patients: needle biopsy.
Cancerquest.org defines needle biopsy: