The “Blind Spot” in Breast Imaging

On mammograms or other Radiology examinations, there can be “blind spots” which may delay the diagnosis of breast cancer. It is therefore critical to turn our attention to these regions when reading mammograms, ultrasounds, and Breast MRI. The blind spots may vary for each Radiologist. However, whenever I train a new Radiologist to read mammograms I always advise them to turn their attention to the three blind spots I have identified : (1) the Nipple Areolar Complex and the region immediately behind the nipple (the retroareolar region) (2) the retroglandular fat or the posterior third of the mammogram inclusive of the fat behind the gland tissue (tissue that appears white on the mammogram) and the (3) axilla (armpit). Over the years, I have found that attention to these three regions can often detect cancers under 1 cm in size, in advance of when they would become clinically detectable.