It’s essential for a woman’s breast health to do a mammogram annually or biennially so as to detect any signs of cancer or any other abnormality.
One of the commonly occurring abnormalities seen in mammogram results is breast asymmetry.
However, usually breast asymmetry is nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, in case of a large variation in breast size or a sudden change in breast density, it could be a sign of cancer.
Causes of Breast Asymmetry
When one of the breasts is quite different in size, form, position or volume than the other, it’s called breast asymmetry.
This condition is quite common and more than half of the woman population is affected by breast asymmetry. There are numerous reasons for the condition too.
Your breast tissue can become asymmetric when you are ovulating.
Breasts can look bigger and feel fuller and more sensitive due to blood flow and water retention. However, they return to their normal size during your menstrual cycle.
Another condition known as juvenile hypertrophy of the breasts can also cause breast asymmetry. Though it’s rare, it can make one breast become noticeably larger than the other.
This can be corrected with surgery but may cause several psychological problems and insecurity.
Know about breast asymmetry correction surgery at https://www.bbclinic.com.au/breast-asymmetry/ or check out other reputable clinic’s website.
Mammogram Results of Breast Asymmetry
A difference between the sizes of the two breasts is common, but their density and structure are usually the same.
Mammograms, a kind of breast exam, can evaluate the internal structures of breasts.
If your breasts are found to have different densities in the mammogram and if a mass is found, the difference can be classified as one of four categories:
These images are not very reliable because they are evaluated with only one projection i.e. they are one-dimensional. There could be difficulty in seeing overlapping dense structures in the breasts.
If a lesion or abnormality is found in this image, your doctor will call for another test with three-dimensional imaging.
2. Global Asymmetry
This type of imaging shows if there is more density or volume in one of the breasts than the other. The findings of this test are usually the results of normal variation and hormonal changes.
If it shows a mass, your doctor may ask for additional imaging.
3. Focal Asymmetry
There are two mammographic views in these images showing a density, but it enables your doctor to tell if it’s a true mass.
But to rule out the possibility of abnormal or cancerous masses, further imaging and evaluation will be needed.
4. Developing Asymmetry
This asymmetry type shows a noticeable change between past and present exams.
The density could have increased or may be new. Findings of these tests are enough to express a possibility of malignant cells.
Image Courtesy: buoyhealth.com
If asymmetry is found in your mammogram, additional images may be needed to find if the change in density or shape is normal or not.
The first step is a comparison of past mammogram tests for changes in density or shape. If there was no asymmetry in the past or asymmetry has increased over time, your doctor will ask for additional tests.
This technique helps in diagnosing abnormal findings from vague mammogram images. It uses ultrasound waves that create images of the internal structure of your breasts.
Breast ultrasound images can help in finding if the mass is a fluid-filled cyst, if it’s benign or if it’s possibly a cancerous tumour. In certain cases, the mass can be solid as well as fluid-filled.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used to detect breast cancer or other abnormalities.
If other tests show some abnormalities or possibility of cancer, the next test is biopsy. It’s done on a portion of the affected breast tissue that is removedto be tested.
If unfortunately the biopsy results are positive, you’ll have to take further treatment as per your doctor’s advice.
But if thankfully it’s negative, you are free to undergo something like breast implants at Breast & Body Clinic or if you are not in their area you can just visit a trusted clinic near you.
So, all the best for your breast asymmetry!