Following a breast imaging procedure, you may be diagnosed with one of the following conditions or we may recommend further evaluation.
Lymph nodes are normal structures found underneath the arms and commonly in the breasts, as well as other areas of the body, and serve as filters that help fight infections. In women with breast cancer, cancer cells can sometimes be found in the lymph nodes, which is why they are sampled using a needle or removed at the time of surgery for a sentinel lymph node biopsy. Evaluation of the lymph nodes under the arm is done as part of staging a breast cancer to determine the extent of the cancer.
Cysts are fluid pockets commonly found in normal breast tissue, particularly around the time of menopause. They can produce a lump that can fluctuate in size and associated tenderness with the menstrual cycle, but many produce no symptoms and are found during mammography and ultrasound. Cysts are considered benign and do not turn into cancer. Having cysts does not increase your risk for breast cancer.
These benign tumors are common in women in their 30s and 40s; approximately 20 percent of patients have multiple fibroadenomas. They can produce a lump that can fluctuate in size and associated tenderness with the menstrual cycle, but many produce no symptoms and are found during mammography and ultrasound. After menopause, fibroadenomas may decrease in size and develop calcifications. They do not turn into cancer and do not increase your risk for breast cancer.
Papillomas are benign tumors that are like little polyps that develop in milk ducts. They may produce nipple discharge — and in fact are the most common cause of spontaneous nipple discharge — but do not usually produce a lump.
Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)
ADH is considered a premalignant lesion. If diagnosed on a core biopsy, an excisional (surgical) biopsy is recommended. ADH is commonly diagnosed on needle biopsies done for microcalcifications detected on a mammogram.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
Unlike ductal carcinoma in situ, LCIS is not considered to be true cancer, but a risk marker lesion. Patients with LCIS are at an increased risk for the subsequent development of breast cancer, with the risk applying equally to both breasts.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
DCIS is an early form of breast cancer situated inside the milk duct. In this type of cancer, deposits of calcium develop in the duct and these deposits can be seen on a mammogram.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
The most common type of tumor, invasive ductal carcinoma makes up 65 percent of all breast cancers. It typically presents as a lump that may be detected on physical examination or with mammography, ultrasound or MRI.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma is a less common type of cancer that makes up 10 percent of all breast cancers. It can be subtle in presentation and may not be apparent on physical examination or mammography.
Also called colloid carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma represents approximately 2 percent of all breast cancers. A subtype of invasive ductal carcinoma, it commonly presents as a mass detected mammographically. The cancer cells are surrounded by mucoid material.
Inflammatory carcinoma is a rare form of invasive ductal carcinoma; its presentation simulates a mastitis, or infection. The breast is usually not very tender, but is swollen, red and warmer compared with the other breast, while the skin is stretched and thickened similar to an orange peel. Most patients also have enlarged axillary lymph nodes.