Explanations

 

COMMON BREAST ABNORMALITIES

Breast Cyst
Breast cysts are accumulations of fluid that may be small or large and tend to be the most common cause of breast lumps in women. Simple cysts are round or oval and have smooth edges. Complex cysts can be filled with debris and may require aspiration to confirm that they are benign. Multiple cysts are very common. The exact cause of cysts is not known but they tend to change with hormonal variations. Breast cysts are not cancer and do not increase your risk of cancer. Unforunately, they may be quite uncomfortable.

Fibroadenoma
Fibroadenomas are common benign breast tumors. They range in size from being too small to feel by hand to several inches in diameter. Fibroadenomas are made up of both glandular and stromal (connective) breast tissue. Fibroadenomas may require a biopsy. Dr. Cross will inform the patient if a biopsy is necessary.

Breast Mass
A breast mass is any group of breast cells that are clustered together more densely than surrounding breast tissue. Masses can be either palpable (able to feel) or nonpalpable (unable to feel). Masses can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Micro-calcifications
Micro-calcifications show up on mammograms as “little white dots”. Approximately 90% of these turn out to be benign but need to be monitored.

DIAGNOSTICS

Diagnostic Mammography
Diagnostic mammography is an x-ray exam of the breasts that is performed in order to evaluate a particular complaint or abnormality detected by a physician, a routine screening mammogram or yourself. Due to insurance, you must have a doctor’s order to have a diagnostic mammogram completed. Diagnostic mammogram is different from a screening mammogram in that more views are taken of the breast in question. The goal of a diagnostic mammogram is to pinpoint the exact size and location of the abnormality and to image the surrounding tissue. If the abnormality looks suspicious, additional imaging and procedures will be ordered.

Ultrasound Imaging of the Breast
Breast ultrasound produces images of the breast via sound waves. Breast ultrasound can image both benign and malignant lesions. Breast ultrasound is frequently used to evaluate breast abnormalities that are found with a screening or diagnostic mammogram or by a physician during a clinical breast exam. Ultrasound allows significant freedom in obtaining images of the breast from almost any angle or orientation. Ultrasound can often quickly determine if a suspicious area is in fact a cyst or a benign or malignant lesion.

Mammography vs. Ultrasound
Both may be necessary for a complete picture and are considered complementary procedures. Mammography is excellent in imaging microcalcifications, whereas, ultrasound is unable to image microcalcifications very well. The list of comparisons can go on and on – but both are important and necessary to assist in diagnosis of breast abnormalities.***There may be additional tests that Dr. Cross will order for patients in particular situations, such as a breast MRI, chest x-ray, blood work, bone scans, PET scans or CT scans.




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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A research study by local surgical oncologist Michael Cross, M.D., F.A.C.S., concluded that use of the BioZorb® surgical marker appears to provide better cosmetic outcomes and may be associated with an increased use of breast-conserving surgery in his practice. The study found that more than 90% of patients who received the implant […]

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