Good News In Breast Health: Mammography Might Save You From Surgery…

Good News In Breast Health: Mammography Might Save You From Surgery…

Our favorite thing about women’s breast health is getting to play a positive role in getting women on their way to their best possible health! And here’s one more way that we as radiologists can help… in specific cases, medical imaging can be used instead of surgery to confirm benign, noncancerous diagnoses.

In a press release from the Radiological Society of North America yesterday, there’s good news for women whose breast needle biopsies show abnormal lesions, such as atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) (defined here) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) (defined here).

Chances are, unless you’ve been told you have them, or know someone who has, ALH and LCIS aren’t acronyms you’d otherwise be familiar with. They are specific conditions in the breast that can be seen in association with some cancers. However, they don’t necessarily mean Cancer – they mean Caution. Because we want you to be as healthy as possible, we in the medical imaging community are always committed to acting with caution.

This new study examines what form that caution could take. In the past, ALH and LCIS were immediate candidates for additional surgical biopsies and removal of more tissue. This meant an additional procedure with all it entails, including discomfort and possible scarring.

Here’s what we as radiologists are excited about: non-invasive medical imaging that we provide can prevent the need for additional procedures in these conditions AND substituting imaging doesn’t mean putting them at greater risk.

After a diagnosis of ALH and LCIS, follow-up imaging, including mammograms and MRIs or breast ultrasounds, can be used to closely monitor the patients. (Stay tuned! Next week, we’ll be blogging more about breast ultrasounds.) This recent research gives us as doctors confidence that our patients are receiving the best possible care.

There’s one more important thing to note: every woman has individual risk factors and needs which will influence management options. When it comes to your personal health, you are on the front lines. This means having serious conversations with your medical care providers and knowing your options.

News like this is exciting and can change the way we take care of you. We want you to be fully informed so that you can enjoy your best possible health.




Image credit: Laughing Point by DarkEvil via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Public Domain

Originally published 8/16/13 on