Summation Shadow?


Asked by Jill

Summation Shadow?

I posted earlier about having had a mammogram and then getting a phone call 2 days later to come back for an additional view. Thank-you for your comments. I called my family doctor because I am a nervous wreck that I have breast cancer. I have a painful to touch area in outer left breast. My doctor just phoned me to tell me that the first mammogram showed a "summation shadow" and that is why an additional picture needs to be taken to see what this is. She said that 99% of the time it is benign. I hope she is right. I do have occasional pain in upper left breast tissue near my arm, so I am worried that it is cancer that has spread to my lymph nodes. I should mention that I do not have a palpable mass, but do have a little puckering/puffiness in the areola above my nipple. My doctor told me not to worry and that it is possible that it is a cyst but that I might need an ultrasound and possible biopsy, but that it should be benign. I appreciate all your comments so far. Thank-you. Please offer any help you can.


Hi Jill - I want to repeat: breast cancer usually doesn't come associated with pain. Soreness in the armpit or on the surface of your breast isn't a breast cancer symptom: unless it suddenly increases, and your breast becomes hot/red, itchy, swells, and otherwise appears infected, in which case it MIGHT be a very rare form of breast cancer. Still, that's a huge MIGHT.

I hope you can believe your doctor, who's had years of education and training and probably experience, and who seems on top of things. He's telling you it's probably nothing to worry about. It's hard, I know; but try to realize that your fear is based on emotion, not fact. Have you read our post on fear? It might help you... Good luck - PJH

Answered by PJ Hamel