Question about screening

My mother went for her screening today after being referred by her doctor, she said she wasn’t particularly worried before she went, but since has now changed her tune.
She was under the impression it was just a mammogram, I’ve not seen the letter so it’s possible she may have missed something, but it turned out she had several tests done. She had the mammogram, but I believe she also had an ultrasound and a sample removed with a needle from the lump (or something like that).
It’s worried her because when she went for a mammogram about 5 years ago, she only had the mammogram, no further tests were carried out. She’s worried the fact they’ve done more tests indicates they’re quite concerned. Is it normal for them to do this many tests, or is this not a very good sign?
Thank you

Hi Emmies,


If a GP refers a women to the breast clinic because she has found a lump or change in her skin/nipple etc  then it is quite normal for the hospital to carry out a mammogram, ultrasound and potentially an ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration or core needle biopsy. There are many causes of breast lumps and sometimes they need to take and test a sample, to check the tissue since some harmless breast changes, such as fatty necrosis, can apparently look very similar to cancer on the ultrasound and mammogram. Hence the needle biopsy to check the cause of any lump.


Most lumps are harmless, so while I can understand you being concerned, try not to worry too much. Did the hospital provide your mother with an appointment date to get the results? 


When I was referred, I saw a specialist, then had the mammo, ultrasound and core needle biopsy, before seeing the specialist again (all on the same morning - I think different hospitals do vary on this) and was given an appointment date to get the results. With me, based upon what they had seen on the mammo and ultrasound they actually advised me they couldn’t be sure until the results came through but did suggest I might want to take someone with me to the following appointment to get the results (which from recollection was about a week later).


I hope this helps, it’s hard waiting for results, but there are many innocent causes of breast lumps and changes, and I hope that is the case for your mother.


If you have any more questions do post again.  The forum is full of women who have been through it and can provide support and advice should it be needed. 


Seabreeze (nearly 4 years post diagnosis and doing ok  : )   )




Hi Seabreeze
Thank you for your reply, yes she has been booked in for an appointment for results, just over a week away from now. After feeling the lump she was told they’d probably want to do several test, as the doctor said she couldn’t tell just from feeling it, but I’m pretty sure no doctor can do that so that wasn’t much of a surprise!
It’s a nervous wait indeed, all we can do is hope for the best. Thank you again for your response, it’s reassuring to hear it’s not unusual to have several tests.