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Biopsies and tests Biopsies and tests

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Unread 05-02-2010, 08:45 AM
Biopsies and tests

Hi ladies,
I see you all have had similar experiences regarding multiple biopsies and having to go through the stress and fear of always wondering when you're told that you have to have a biopsy whether there's a potential malignancy?

plus the different types of biopsies performed.

I'm leading into my question by asking all of you here when you first heard from your doctor after they recieved the report from the radiologist saying they they think you need to have a biopsy..
what exactly did they report they saw?
did any of you have an MRI of the breast? which then led to the biopsy?
In the six month follow up for a repeat test to see if any changes occurred, did the report state that the lesion or calcifications had changed with increased plateau kinetics as compared with the prior studies??

I am wondering how many woman go through 2, 3,4 and even 5 repeat biopsies to find out their not malignant? Years ago when they said a biopsy had to be performed, it was most likely cancer... but NOW there are so many biopsied being performed that its' just like having another CT Scan or an MRI? just another standard test..
It seems that so many of us who have to go through these multiple biopsies dont' eventually say " lets just wait and see" before you have to go and put me through another biopsy trauma.
Don't you think there's more biopsies being performed now than there was years ago?
why is this?
breast cancer has always been around, but the new tests haven't?
the radiologist makes money on performing these biopsies. so do the breast surgeons themselves.
I'm SO confused about all this.
am I to keep continuing have these darn biopsies when we're almost 80% sure it's not a malignancy even though the radiologist, (one person, not two) THINKS there's changes??
I hope you understand what I"m trying to say..
It's hard to stay calm when you recieve the call that the test is showing changes and they change your birad to a higher number and letter and in BIG WORDS "suspicious for malignancy"
I feel so angry about all this because it seems we're all being put through stress when really it's one person reading the report. why not multiple people reading the xray or mammo or what ever test is performed?
how can we trust just one person view on the reading?
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Unread 05-02-2010, 12:15 PM
Re: Biopsies and tests

(((lintek))) I'm sorry you are feeling angry and stressed.

I look at this from a completely different perspective. I have had two breast biopsies, and BOTH have come back positive for cancer.

The first time I had a mammogram that required me to be called back for additional views, the radiologist came in afterwards to explain that he was going to recommend that I have a biopsy. He said that about 20% of women who have mammograms get called back for additional views/compression, and of those, about 15-20% are sent for a biopsy, and of those, about 20-25% are positive for some type of cancer. That means, of course, that there are a lot of women out there who are going through the additional views and then biopsies, only to find out that they don't have cancer. And you know what? Too bad. If that's what it takes to make sure that my cancer was detected early, then it's worth it.

My last breast cancer treatment was almost four years ago. Since then, every time I have a mammogram, I dread the results because I fear it could recur again, and then there is an enormous flood of relief when the news comes and I've made it another year. And I would gladly go through that 100 more times if it meant that I wouldn't have to have cancer again.

Radiologists are medical doctors who are very highly trained in interpreting the results of these tests. If you don't trust the radiologist who reads your films, ask for the films to be read by a different radiologist. The first time I had cancer, the oncologist required that my films and samples from my biopsy be sent to a second radiologist and pathologist for interpretation. The results came back pretty much the same.

I find it appalling that you would suggest that a radiologist would recommend a biopsy to make money for themselves and breast surgeons. They do it because they are trying to make sure that cancers are caught at the earliest possible point, so that more women don't have to die, or lose their breasts. The difference over the years is that testing methods have become more refined, so that earlier detection is possible. Would you rather have fewer tests and biopsies, but end up with cancer that's so advanced that your chances of survival are greatly reduced compared to what they would be if it were detected as early as possible?

The five year survival rate for women with localized breast cancer is currently about 98%. For cancers not detected until they've spread to the lymph nodes or chest wall, it's around 80%, and drops from there. Your chances are about 1 in 8 of getting some type of breast cancer during your lifetime. If you are one of the 7 that don't get it, consider yourself lucky and try to remember the 1 who does, for whom early detection is soooo important.

About ten years ago, my SIL felt a lump in her breast. She was terrified of doctors and hospitals and tests so she did nothing for about two years. She passed away just before my first diagnosis. Very likely if she'd seen a doctor when she first felt the lump, she'd still be with us, my three nieces would still have a mom - but it was her decision to avoid the tests and doctors, basically her decision to decrease her odds of survival.

I don't mean to sound callous, but if it means that I was able to be successfully treated - twice - and am still alive, then I don't feel bad in the slightest if you had to have an "unnecessary" biopsy. Or two. Or ten.

Unread 05-04-2010, 07:57 AM
Re: Biopsies and tests

Sorry you miss understood my feelings about the medical system of biopsying Linda. I did not mean to insult you and sorry that you were appalled by what I wrote . It's MY opinion and I have the right to express my thoughts so I could get it out and find out the correct answer, rather than believe my illusions. Sometimes I NEED to be corrected being I have a difficult time expressing what I feel.
This is the reason I came to the board to ASK questions so I can LEARN.
maybe this way, I won't go around insulting breast cancer survivors or woman in general.
BOTH my sisters are breast cancer survivors.
I will find out tomorrow if my biopsy is negative or positive.
Meanwhile, I never expected to be spoken to so harshly from a woman who has gone through what you went through and without explaining it in a loving manner.
You made me feel insulted myself.
You sound like a very angry person and I'm sorry you went through what you did. but we need more people who can explain this horrible disease in a loving tone, not a mean one.
Good luck.
Unread 05-04-2010, 08:08 AM
Re: Biopsies and tests

Good luck tomorrow at your appt, I hope the news is good. I know worry about cancer is very stressful, although mine was endometrial and not breast. Still I know how it is to wait for a biopsy result and its scary at best. I'm sorry you are going through this and hope the results are negative.
Unread 05-22-2010, 08:29 AM
Re: Biopsies and tests

Thank you Greyown for your reply and best wish regarding my biopsy results.
I got the call from the radiologist a day earlier than planned.

It was late when she called me so she must have been working late. she received the pathology report a day earlier she said and couldn't help sharing the good news with me that it was benign. The results are: ASSOCIATED PAPILLARY APOCRINE HYPERPLASIA and CYSTIC CHANGES WITH STROMAL FIBROSIS.

I was told I have to have another follow up MRI bilat in 6 months and in 3 months a follow up mammogram with ultra sound.

I just don't understand why they don't just remove the suspicious lesion that has the potential risk for turning into a malignancy? and I also thought that when the doctor did the biopsy with the vacuum device, that it would've removed the entire lesion? I forgot to ask the doctor this....

the staff and doctors are absolutely caring and considerate there. knowing how woman are suffering while waiting for the answer to come back is the reason she makes the time to call back her patients asap.
she even will call the patient into her room after their mammogram to tell them the results the very same day.
I've never had this special treatment before.

I used to go to my local hospital for my yearly mammo,
but ever since I've been sent to these specialtists, I no longer go to my local hospt. center anymore.
If it wasn't for the specialtists, my family doctor would never have told me that my 2008 mammo report came back recommending that I have a 2 month follow up mammogram due to some suspicious looking findings even though it was a category 2 birad which means "benign findings".

I only found this out because the specialtists requested that I bring my previous mammo reports and pictures.

I am kind of upset that the doctor didn't even tell me this!

how could he just let that slip by? Just because he read that it said benign? and disregarded the radiologists recommendation?
my doctor KNOWS my family history too.
It's serious time for me to find another family dr.
I'm just delaying it because of my procrastination habit.

the way he treated me a few weeks ago when I went in because I was suffering symptoms of a urinary tract infection was enough signs for me to know we dont' have a good repore anymore.
I haven't seen him in a couple years due to my not needing to see him and only see my specialtists, like my rheumy dr, gyno and breast doctor. I never had the need to go and see my family doctor because I wasn't ill.
so when I DID go see him a couple weeks ago, he didn't even test my blood pressure or take my weight and didn't even look me in the eye to ask me how I've been??
now mind you, I've been seeing this doctor for like five years!!
why all of a sudden the cold treatment?

People can be really strange, even doctors I guess.

so I just wanted to share the good news with you greyown but found out i have some hidden resentment in me towards my pcp doctor because he overlooked to tell me something I found out to be important.

It always pays to ask for our reports when we have tests performed, even blood work. I have my own medical file I now keep so when I do have to see a new doctor, I have all the paper work that they need so they don't have to call the doctors to fax or email them over.
they love that.
it makes their life easier and mine too.

Oh, I forgot to ask you how you are feeling ? and I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis. cancer is cancer, whether breast, ovarian, cervical, endometrial, etc.
it's all scary and it all has things in common with the people who've been afflicted with it.
thank you again.
Linda S.
Unread 05-22-2010, 08:42 AM
Re: Biopsies and tests

Oh, I also forgot to mention what a difficult time I'm having with the healing of my breast from the breast biopsy back on the 3rd of this month.
I had the MRI, vacuum assisted type and I wound up getting a hematoma in the breast. I only looked at it after the biopsy but then when the pain didn't go away I decided to palpate it and felt a lump the size of a plum in it.
I called the doctors office to speak with the head nurse and she suggested I go right in to be seen. I had no fever and she called the dr. in to inspect it and she told me what it was and that it's normal but to come back if it gets any worst. said to put warm compresses on it and to take tylenol and motrin.

I can't even touch the breast like when the inside of my arm grazes along side the breast when I'm doing something.
I NEVER expected it to be like this weeks after the biopsy?
it's taking so long for it to heal. it's still black and blue and no where near yellow or light green which means it's nearing the end of the healing process.

IF i have to get another biopsy again, I'm wondering if I could recommend to the doctor a different type of biopsy being there's multiple types....

my tolerance level to pain has changed as I'm aging and my dentist told me this very true for most people.

anyone out there who had the same type of biopsy go through this too?

just curious...

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