Saturday, January 17, 2009

Update: My right breast

I reported a couple months ago about my experiences with a recent mammography, which showed some "breast calcifications" in my right breast that warranted further X-rays (magnifications), which in turn led to a prescription for an immediate biopsy due to irregularities. (blog entry "Gulp .. and whoa!", Nov. 8).

Naturally, I was alarmed and confused by the urgency and lack of specifics. So, I did some research on the Internet. It seems that such calcifications are fairly normal, and in 80 percent of cases are completely benign.  Plus, the type of cancer that is associated with calcifications is localized and very slow-growing.

For these reasons, I put off having the biopsy until this past week (much to the concern and/or consternation of family and loved ones, to be sure!).  I also started taking a regimen of vitamin and herb  pills, based on further research about which natural supplements seem to be beneficial for breast health.  These include a super-antioxidant formula (vitamins A, C, E, B-2, B-6 and several minerals); vitamin D (which helps the body metabolize calcium); cat's claw; and cranberry (which as a bonus also helps with fluid retention and kidney health).

Nevertheless, I was still nervous when I went for the examination on Thursday.  My appointment was at Bethesday Health City, a wellness center affiliated with a local hospital. First, they took their own set of X-rays.  And, then, the technician led me to the doctor assigned to my case -- and she informed me that she saw no reason at this time to do a biopsy; the calcifications seem to fall under the "normal" category ... PHEW!! 

I do have to return in six months to the same place for another round of X-rays to compare whether there is any increase in size or amount.  But I'm OK with that: I really do feel that I'm healthy and will be fine.  I'll just continue my current diet and exercise plan and try to live as "healthily" as possible.  Oh, and I'll stay on that pill regimen, too! 

2 comments:

Omega said...

Good news for you. I had an MRI recently and they told me something about a spot that could be cancer. So another (with contrast) ruled that out.

It can be a bit scary.

Tracy Allerton said...

Thanks, Omega!
Yes, it was a relief, to be sure.
I'm glad your story had a similar outcome.
Isn't it ironic that modern medicine involves bombarding your body with several rounds of radiation just to come up with a "diagnosis!"

 
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