Thanks everyone for your replies.
I had my annual mammogram yesterday and the consultant agreed that due to the density of my breast tissue he would recommend having the MRI. He suggested that I have this in six months time so in effect I will be having a check every 6 months with the MRI and the mammogram. I feel happier knowing that he took my worries seriously.
I was in the position that the size of my cancer did not show up on my initial mamogram, ultrasound or MRI, due to the cancer it was and dense breast tissue.
I also went through chemotherapy. And it turns out that dense breast tissue becomes much looser after chemo, as there was a marked difference in the breast tissue on the old and new mamogram of my still healthy breast. Everything was very clearly visible - and thankfully all was ok.
Like you, I was quite keen for a more in depth scan, however was made aware of that should something appear in the other breast it is actually another primary cancer, rather than a secondary. Give me a primary any day - rather than a secondary diagnosis! Apologies to the secondary ladies, who may read this, but I am sure they understand, what I mean.
I was also told to take it easy with scans, as each and every one adds up to increased exposure to radiation, which in turn could cause issues further down the line.
It is a challenging situation to be in - as always, no matter what - we are between the devil and the deep blue sea.
The decisions are always with us - and the more educated they are - the better.
Thank you for your replies - part of me thinks that if the consultant thought the MRI would be useful then he would be recommending it so leaving it to me to make the decision is not all that helpful. I was leaning towards having the MRI so it's good to have some endorsement.
I guess the question is would the MRI have picked it up in February or was it a case that there was nothing there at that point but was very aggressive and grew fast in the following months. I don't think anyone can give me an answer on that really.
My husband has read that there is another scan which is combined with the mammogram (thus reducing the radiation risk as it's carried out at the same time). I can't remember what it's called (4D Tomography or something like that); however, although it is fairly routine in the US only a couple of hospitals in the UK have the equipment.
Mumoftwo - yes mine showed up on the ultrasound but when I asked if having an ultrasound alongside the mammogram would be a better option, they said the ultrasound wasn't as good and tends only to be used once a lump has been found/identified.
Hi Cookiepuss, after finding a lump last year, a mammogram did not show it also due to dense breast tissue, but it did show up on the ultrasound. I will now have an ultrasound to compliment the mammogram until such time as my tissue is no longer dense (which will happen as I age). I certainly welcome the reassurance of an additional check. Michelle xx
I haven't been in your situation exactly, but mine was diagnosed 2 years after a clear routine mammo (not 8 months). When I queried why it hadn't been picked up then I was told it was because it would have been too small to see in 2014. Fair enough, but I know I'd jump at the chance of an MRI next month when my first annual mammo is due if I were given the choice, purely because I'd like the peace of mind that another sort of diagnostic would give that nothing had been missed, even though I know that is probably irrational.
I undersand that MRIs can sometimes highlight "false positives" so I get what your consultant is saying about more tests if that happened, but personally I'd prefer to have the temporary stress of a few more tests, rather than an ongoing niggling worry that something had been missed at the mammo. It's obviously a diffiicult decision for you though, and only you can make it, but I guess you have to do a pros and cons list and see which one is longer? Good luck with whichever way you decide to go. xx
I just wondered if anyone had been in the same position as me and could offer some much-needed advice?
To cut a very long story short, I had a mammogram in Feb16 which came back negative. However, in Oct 16 I found a lump and was diagnosed with HER2+ breast cancer with some node involvement. Chemotherapy, mastectomy and RT followed and I am currently having Herceptin every 3 weeks until Feb 18.
As it is a year since I was diagnosed I am due to have my annual mammogram - given that the mammogram I had in Feb last year did not pick up the cancer (due to dense breast tissue) I am concerned that I will have the same problem from now on and that if there is anything there it might get missed. I therefore asked my consultant about having an MRI scan as a back up - he was non-commital and said he would leave that decision to me; whilst he understood my concern he felt that MRI's can pick things up which then require additional tests and stress.
Has anyone else had a similar situation as I really don't know what to do for the best?