Only 5% of all breast cancer diagnoses occur in women under 40 years old. I am 35. According to my research, mammographic sensitivity decreases from 100% in fatty breasts to 45% in extremely dense breasts. My mammogram is negative so I guess I have extremely dense breasts. Ultrasound shows higher sensitivity than mammography with ranges of 86%-94% detection. My Ultrasound is positive for an approximately 10mm mass. MRI shows the highest sensitivity of ~95% detection (Radiology. 2004 Dec;233(3):830-49. Epub 2004 Oct 14.
My MRI results read as follows:
Left breast: Negative, no evidence of malignancy
Right breast: Biopsy-proven invasive breast carcinoma not seen on MRI. No abnormal right breast lesions on MRI.
Even with the little titanium piece of shrapnel that is now located in my tumor to help identify it, nothing can be seen on MRI.
My surgeon told me that 10% of cancer are occult to any imaging. I guess I am part of that 10% as well. From where I'm sitting, I feel like a complete medical anomaly.
What does this mean? Well, more tests. We are trying to get an appointment for a Sonocine http://www.sonocine.com/ this week. McKay Dee Hospital has one of these; it is FDA approved however not covered by insurance. From my understanding, this is like a full breast ultrasound. We still want to rule out any additional breast cancers, but it is kind of hard to do when the cancer we already know about doesn't want to show up on anything. I'm also getting orders to see a lymphedema therapist this week and thanks to some great friends I will be getting a final massage this weekend before my Valentine's Day lumpectomy.
I will keep you posted on what we discover.
I also want to thank everyone for continuing to send me positive energy, research articles, inspiring stories, etc, etc. It means so much. I can not believe the amount of women who have/had breast cancer that have opened up to me. Although I am not thrilled about being part of this 'breast cancer club', I am truly humbled by these women's support.