What does it mean if nodules are seen on a mammogram?

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amooremd (Physician - Radiology (not verified)) - 04 / 02 / 2012

A "nodule" is really an imaging term that describes a small round thing that can be seen on a mammogram and doesn't blend in with the rest of the picture. Most nodules are really benign things, like cysts, fibroadenomas, or small lymph nodes that sometimes live in the breast. Occasionally a "nodule" can turn out to be just breast tissue superimposed on itself. This becomes evident when you perform extra pictures or do an ultrasound of that area. Fibroadenomas are benign solid tumors that can arise in the breast, and cysts are benign fluid filled structures that can arise in the breast. When we see a nodule we do other mammogram films called "spot" films, that compress the area in question. Sometimes it disappears when we do those pictures, proving the density was caused by superimposed breast tissue. Sometimes we will also perform ultrasound to look at the area in question.
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