Saturday, April 29, 2023

Birard Code WHAT?

Kaiser finally released the results from the mammogram + sonogram that I had Wednesday. I understood most of it, but had to learn something new.

For those of you who may have seen this term on your reports, and not understood what it meant, the BIRAD code is the 'diagnosis' result on your mammogram. I'll provide the scale here:

Category Definition
0 - Incomplete Additional imaging evaluation and/or comparison to prior mammograms (or other imaging tests) is needed.
1 - Negative This is a normal test result. 
2 - Benign (non-cancerous) finding This is also a negative test result (there’s no sign of cancer), but the radiologist chooses to describe a finding that is not cancer, such as benign calcifications, masses, or lymph nodes in the breast. This can also be used to describe changes from a prior procedure (such as a biopsy) in the breast.
3 - Probably benign finding

A finding in this category has a very low (no more than 2%) chance of being cancer, but hasn't been proven benign.

4 - Suspicious abnormality

These findings do not definitely look like cancer but could be cancer. The radiologist is concerned enough to recommend a biopsy. The findings in this category can have a wide range of suspicion levels. For this reason, this category is often divided further:

  • 4A: Finding with a low likelihood of being cancer (more than 2% but no more than 10%)
  • 4B: Finding with a moderate likelihood of being cancer (more than 10% but no more than 50%)
  • 4C: Finding with a high likelihood of being cancer (more than 50% but less than 95%), but not as high as Category 5
5 - Highly suggestive of malignancy The findings look like cancer and have a high chance (at least 95%) of being cancer. Biopsy is very strongly recommended.
6 - Known biopsy-proven malignancy This category is only used for findings on a mammogram (or ultrasound or MRI) that have already been shown to be cancer by a previous biopsy. Imaging may be used in this way to see how well the cancer is responding to treatment.

I've paraphrased or reduced length on a lot of this. You can find the original source for the above table on the American Cancer Society's website here.

The TLDR of everything is they rated the masses in my right breast as a BIRARD Code 5. That means there's a 95% chance it's malignant.

Now I understand why they were aggressive about getting the biopsy sooner rather than later. 

Trying not to have a meltdown. Maybe they're wrong. Maybe I'm in the 5%.


I'm not freaking out. If I say it enough, I might not freak out.

I may have cancer.

No comments:

Post a Comment