Tessa's Tête-à-Tête
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Friday, 17 June 2005
Topic: Health Issues
Just over four weeks ago, I had to attend the mobile unit in the Festival Theatre Car Park in Chichester for a routine breast screening X-ray or mammogram. They look after you very well in West Sussex and call all women between the ages of 50 and 64 for screening every three years, a scheme which they are gradually changing to include women up to 70 years of age.

Then, last week the letter arrives, "Please would you attend Worthing Hospital Assessment Centre for further tests". So, off I went last Wednesday. It was the left side they were interested in - more squashing between glass plates from various angles! Then the radiographer had to change all the plates to take yet another X-ray with a magnified film of the area. "That's it, you can get dressed and we will call you in a few minutes to see the Doctor".

Five minutes later, I am shown into the Consultant's room. All my X-rays are on a light board. He points at a tiny cluster of white dots; "These are tiny particles of calcium which we call Microcalcification", he said. He explained that these minute calcium deposits were, in all probability, harmless but, that they could represent a pre-cancerous condition known as Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS). Despite the carcinoma tag, DCIS is non cancerous and cannot spread. However, if it is left, there is a chance that it could develop into a proper cancer eventually.

To determine whether DCIS is present, a sample is needed. That means, a stereo tactic core biopsy through a hollow needle. Sounds horrible but they give you a local anaesthetic and I was assured it would not be painful. "Are you needle phobic?" Well, I don't think so, after all I have donated blood over sixty times!

My appointment is on the 5th July and then I will have to return again to hear the result and find out if the microcalcification is benign, a very common condition requiring no treatment, or if they want to remove a chunk out of me! Will let you know how I get on.

Posted by Noviomagus at 17:39 BST Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink

Friday, 17 June 2005 - 23:42 BST

Name: doubledog

Whatever it is, you sure did catch it early!

Saturday, 18 June 2005 - 10:44 BST

Name: Tessa

Yes - and the chances are that it is all a big fuss about nothing!

Saturday, 18 June 2005 - 11:09 BST

Name: doubledog

Better that way. When it comes to cancer, I like a big fuss about nothing more than I do little or no fuss about something! :-)

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