Have You Heard about Elastography?
I just discovered that there is a test that can be done that is painless and can help you prevent biopsy! For a BIRADS 4, the only test is a biopsy, right? But I just found something else.
The test is called Elastography. One article by Beth Orenstein entitled “Hard Decisions — Ultrasound Elastography Seeks to Help Characterize Breast Lesions and, More Recently, Throughout the Body” notes that if you have a BIRADS 4A for example, you can get this test. This additional test that is not invasive and not painful can provide the doctors with information to determine whether or not a biopsy is recommended.
So why don’t doctors go there right away? I don’t know. I just came across this. But I suspect it is because it is new, it is not available everywhere, doctors don’t really trust it, or they feel that the biopsy is the gold standard. Of course, biopsy is the only way to know for sure if what is seen is cancer, but again, biopsy is not completely safe, so tests like this are really valuable. A hopeful clip on YouTube provides a story of a woman who avoided biopsy when her physician (who authored a recent study on the technology) used the method. While this technology may work in some cases, it is probably not a solution for microcalcifications.