So I go back in today for a super close-up, ultra-zoom mammo. You might guess what that means: extreme squishing of an almost acrobatic nature. Like the tech was trying to fit my entire breast through the eye of a needle. Ugh, the pain. They're small but they're not THAT small. I waited around for about half an hour for the whatever you call the person who analyzes the films to, well, analyze the films. The tech came back and said, basically, that the guy has no idea what he's looking at because he's never seen anything like it. He was going to send my films to a colleague of his for another opinion because my pictures were so unusual. Well, you know me--I have to be one of a kind, right down to the tissue inside my boob.
What I have going on in there are microcalcifications, which are benign 80 percent of the time, according to About.com. There are two types of calcifications: macro and micro. The macro kind tend to be larger bits of calcium deposits, mostly due to aging, and are usually benign. Microcalcifications are smaller, little specks of white that usually appear in a kind of pattern, like little circles or lines, and indicate extra cell activity in the breast tissue. This cell growth could be a sign of early breast cancer. My microcalcifications are apparently shaped like fireworks (according to the mammo tech) so I guess my boob is celebrating July 4th a little early. I'm going in on July 7th to have a needle biopsy to find out if my little fireworks are precancerous cell growth or just my breast having a little Independence Day party without my permission.
There are a lot of non-cancer reasons why these microcalcifications might appear, including
- old injury to breast tissue, natural wear and tear
- mastitis, or inflammation caused by a breast infection
- calcium collected inside a dilated milk duct
So, for those of you who posted on Facebook, thanks for your prayers. I appreciate them very much. Hopefully this will turn out to be nothing more than an uncomfortable needle stick and an excuse to get a sympathy dinner out.