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Today I learned about the BI-RADS rating system.

It is used for breast cancer screening.

BI-RADS 0 means the testing is incomplete and further tests – like say an ultrasound – need to be carried out.

BI-RADS 1 means there is nothing to worry about. Testing has been completed properly and the results are negative. Nothing to worry about.

BI-RADS 2 includes some visible things but nothing of concern. Things like:

  1. Round opacities with macrocalcifications (typical calcified fibroadenoma or cyst)
  2. Round opacities corresponding to a typical cyst at ultrasonography
  3. Oval opacities with a radiolucent center
  4. Fatty densities or partially fatty images (lipoma, galactocele, oil cyst, hamartoma )
  5. Surgical scar
  6. Scattered macrocalcifications (fibroadenoma, cyst, cytosteatonecrosis, secretory ductal ectasia);
  7. Vascular calcifications
  8. Breast implants, silicone granuloma.

BI-RADS 3 means whatever they found is probably benign and wait 6 months to have a check-up. Apparently, this is not used very often because the 6 months wait causes too much anxiety. There is an official chance of cancer being less than 1% so I guess that means some people have had a 3 and then been diagnosed with cancer. I have one mass rated a 3

BI-RADS 4. 4 has three levels. This is where we start to get serious. This is where there is a real, though low, chance of cancer and we start getting %’s attached.

In this category we have 4A, 4B and 4C.

4A being the least likely to be cancer. There is a low suspicion of malignancy. Officially I have read it is where the chance of cancer is believed to be less than 10% but it seems the diagnosis is more around 13-14% as positive for real cancer.

4B is moderate at 36% and 4C high risk given at about 79%.

Then there is BI-RADS 5 which is highly suggestive. Something around 95% chance of being cancer. Scary right.

The next level is the last. BI-RADS 6, it is known to be cancer. You have cancer, it is cancer, you have a level 6.

I have a 4A. Given I have a 3 and a 4 BI-RADS rating, I get to have a fun biopsy.

My stress isn’t so much about the risk of cancer. It is low, I have cysts all over my body so it is likely just some random cyst near a cyst making the scan unclear. Having some scary man touch and then poke a needle into my boob isn’t a fun thought though. Not super excited about that.

This entry was posted in: Life


MT is an avid traveller, travel agent and lover of (almost) all food. TW is a reluctant traveller, digital marketing guy and fussy eater.

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