“Areas of Concern”

Whew, I already hate that fucking phrase and I just heard it once, five minutes ago. So, yesterday, the technician told me that they were most likely going to call me back in because it’s my first mammogram and they don’t have anything to compare how my boobs look now except to each other. It’s very easy to be nonchalant about that until they call and are all “You have some ‘areas of concern’ we’d like to get a closer look at.”

It just lands with a thud. And then you schedule the appointment, text your brother, and wonder if you should text your mom. And then you realize you started this post fifteen minutes ago, but somewhere between this paragraph and the last you went somewhere else. When you got back, your face was wet.

15 thoughts on ““Areas of Concern”

  1. I almost always get called back for a recheck. I’m now surprised when I don’t. The first time was really scary (mostly because my mom had just had a lumpectomy), but now it’s ‘normal’. Here, when you have a recheck, the radiologist will meet with you afterwards to tell you the results. I hope that’s the case where you go, too. The general experience of a mammo has much improved since my first one 20+ years ago (I started younger than usual). They always tell you not to panic, but you always do – at least a little. But don’t worry too much about it. Whatever they’re concerned about isn’t going to change dramatically between now and then and there isn’t anything you can do about it right now anyway. Go get your recheck and let us know the results. It’ll probably be fine. And if they mention ‘calcifications’, really don’t worry. When I hear that word I just know it’s a new radiologist. :)

  2. I am also always called back for rechecks. My breasts are cystic and depending on what point during my menstrual cycle they take the mgram, they get troubling readings that require a redo. It freaks me out every time, but as Opus says, there isn’t anything that can be done that is helpful other than getting some communal reassurance and getting the positive thought generator going.

  3. Opus, yeah, they said that the appointment is going to take two to two-and-a-half hours because I will have answers by the end. Since she told me that the chances were really high I’d be called back, I’m less freaked out about it than I would be, but, yeah, like Bridgett said, it’s just a little more nerve-wracking than I was expecting.

  4. Hang in there, you. I’ve had this happen every year for ten years (more info than you probably want here) and last year went all the way up to a biopsy before they told me the same thing they always tell me: I’m super cysty. It doesn’t make the process any easier, but I’m always grateful that they’re thorough.

  5. I texted my brother and told him I was sorry I ever let my boobs take up chewing tobacco, which made me laugh, so now I’m feeling better. I still haven’t decided whether to worry my parents or not.

  6. I wouldn’t tell your mom just yet. It’s like when you first find out your pregnant–you may want to tell everybody but it’s good to hold onto it a bit. And if they want to do ultrasound, that’s a good thing because it’s a different diagnostic. You’re getting a baseline so further scrutiny is good. Having to go back a second time sucks. Sorry for the waiting but hope you get good news at the end.

  7. Don’t worry your folks yet. There is probably nothing to worry about. If there is, you can tell them when you know exactly what it is.
    Hang in there.

  8. Yeah, I’m with the “don’t worry your folks” crowd on this one. Also with the “it’s probably cysts” crowd. That’s never happened to me, but it’s happened to lots of my friends, so just be glad they’re paying attention.

  9. More than half of the women called back for more testing have nothing wrong. You will be one of them.

  10. ::raises hand::

    I too have gotten the dreaded “areas of concern” call (and my gals are nowhere near as magnificently featured as yours, good lady), and … it was nuttin’. “Minor calcification,” “bit of cysts” and “think the tech, while very nice & professional, got the angle a bit wonky and got part of a shadow of your rib in there because, wow, you really DON’T have much to squish there, do you, hon?” were the formal results. That, plus, “Well, we got a good baseline, and you got in here early because of your maternal family history, so all’s well.”

    All manner of things shall be well. xoxo

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