False Alarms

After 10 mammograms, up to one-third (1/3) of women will have an abnormal test even though no cancer is present.

  • More views

About 7% of all mammograms are abnormal. Most of the time this requires only extra mammogram views or an ultrasound to make sure there is no cancer. Sometimes, you will be asked to return early (in 6 months) for another mammogram.

About 2% of all mammograms will be abnormal enough to require a needle biopsy of the breast. One in 5 women will have a biopsy after 10 mammograms.

  • Open biopsies

Safer now using local anesthesia and conscious sedation. Cosmetic effects.

  • Fear and anxiety

Many women experience fear and anxiety after a false alarm. This can last many months.

  • Lost work

During an exam you will lose a half day of work. You will usually lose a day of work for biopsy.