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Breast Microcalcifications and biopsy Breast Microcalcifications and biopsy

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Unread 02-28-2004, 10:55 AM
Breast Microcalcifications and biopsy

Hello- I am new here and I was wanting to know if anyone else has had this? Found one small hard irregular knot on breast about 3 months ago. Finally went to gyno on Thurs- sent yesterday for diagnostic mammo. They ended up doing sono as well, and the radiologist came in after and told me I needed a surgeon to do a biopsy. My gyno called me a few hours later- and had scheduled me a appt. with a surgeon on Monday morning. They already couriered my films to him. She said I had two areas of very tiny microcalcifications clustered (hence I can feel a tiny knot) So, she is sending me to this surgeon on Monday. I wasn't nervous until now, because isn't this a little quick? I am sure it will be benign- but I just feel maybe I am not being told everything-she was a little vague/ ann just told me to not worry- it most likely will come back benign. Then why the rush??? Thats my point. Anyone else have these results? Had the biopsy? What should I expect? I wonder if the surgeon will do the biopsy Monday, or just go over the films. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Unread 02-28-2004, 02:44 PM
Been there, done that

Hi, I've had a number of microcalcification clusters. It's when the radiologist(s) label cluster as "suspicious" that you have to start being concerned. My first suspicious cluster showed up in mammo in October '97. Had a stereotactic core biopsy then which came back negative, but . . . . Continued to watch the cluster in semi-annual mammos. Finally, in October '02 mammo, doctor said the cluster had changed. Biopsy -- again. (Actually the stereotactic core biopsy was not the best procedure for definitive results.) Had a Mammatome biopsy. Results -- ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Lumpectomy after which tumor was determined to be stage 0. Thirty-three radiation treatments. Five years of Tamoxifen (one down). I'm fine.

Had a suspicious cluster in the other breast. That was biopsied May '03 with core needle under ultrasound procedure. Results -- benign fibroadenoma. Actually, just looking at the lump on the ultrasound screen, two radiologits were 99% certain that the tumor was not cancer.

Have an acquaintaince who has so far had four biopsies due to microcalcification clusters. All results -- benign.

Far greater percentage of results is benign. There are better biopsy procedures than even ten years ago. Excisional / incisional procedure no longer always needed.

From what you say, I too wonder about the HUGE rush, but who knows . . . .

I'm not a doctor. I can only tell you of my experiences. I am "experienced". Feel free to e-mail or PM me if you'd like.

Good luck. Most likely it will be benign.

Mary D.
Unread 02-28-2004, 03:01 PM
Breast Microcalcifications and biopsy

Hi (((Eurika))) and welcome to Hystersisters! There are several of us here who've been through this. I just had a lumpectomy a few weeks ago, after microcalcifications led to a mammotome (stereotactic) biopsy which showed some not-so-good cells in there. When I went in for the biopsy, the radiologist told me that something like 80% of them come back benign.... so the odds are in your favor.

If they haven't told you they're doing the biopsy at this appointment, they may not be just yet. When my films were sent to the surgeon and I went in to see him, it was just to get his opinion on which type of biopsy was feasible in my case. I was lucky that they could do the stereotactic biopsy because it is much less invasive than the surgical biopsies are... the downside was that when it turned out not to be benign, I had to have the surgery anyway. Still, if it had been benign I'd have been spared the surgery.

When your surgeon explains what they're planning to do, you might want to come back here and do a search on the particular type of procedure you're going to have. There are some really good links posted here, for example, which explain the stereotactic biopsy procedure, plus a couple of us have posted detailed accounts of our experiences with the biopsy and lumpectomy. Since you haven't seen the surgeon yet, it might be TMI (too much information ) at this point though. Hopefully everything is going to turn out just fine, you'll have the biopsy and they'll just tell you they need to watch you to see if there are changes over time.

Good luck, and do let us know how it goes, OK?
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Unread 03-01-2004, 03:27 PM
Back from surgeon

Well, I am confused. The surgeon feels because of my age, no first degree relatives with breast cancer-that the chances of malignancy is low-so he has recommended waiting 6 months. He said he can't be 100% sure is benign, but biopsy is the only way to rule out cancer. He also said because of my implants-and where this suspicious lump with microcalcifications is right near the implant-I can't have a needle biopsy. He said I would need a surgical biopsy( more intense). He said it is outpatient, with about a 1-2 inch incision, and there are some risks involved. One being a slight risk of puncturing my implant. He is a plastic surgeon so I am sure it is a low risk. He said if it turned out to be malignant-waiting 6 months was not a death sentence. I disagree!!! He said it could spread in that time, but I had to way the risks. He truly felt that waiting was the thing to do, unless it started getting bigger or other complications between now and then. He said for me and my husband to talk it over and let him know. He would do the biopsy if I wanted, but he still felt it would come back benign. I am nervous because he didn't tell me, but I got my radiology report and the radiologist recommended a biopsy and my BI-RAD is a 4. What should I do? He said I could get a 2nd opinion, but he felt they would also say to monitor it for 6 months because stastics show at my age and the fact of no 1st degree relatives with bcancer-that it is more than likely to be benign. Any advice would be appreciated.
Unread 03-01-2004, 03:55 PM
Breast Microcalcifications and biopsy

This is just my opinion, but I think it comes down to whether you feel the risk of the biopsy is greater or less than the stress you will feel if you wait.

Dr. Susan Love, in her breast book (which is great btw), does say that six months is not a death sentence... that even if you have something there, if it's small, six months is a very short time in the lifetime of a breast cancer. It can take five or ten years for a small lump to grow to a large invasive cancer.

For me, the big issue would be, could I get through six months of waiting? versus, the risk of a problem with your implants or the possible discomfort of the procedure.

About the risks... they are just numbers. I am older than you are, but I don't have any first degree relatives with breast cancer, either. I've never had a single breast lump of any kind. And my biopsy turned out positive. So, you never know.

Ultimately, you will need to decide what's best for you. We're here for you whatever you decide to do!
Unread 03-01-2004, 07:25 PM
Breast Microcalcifications and biopsy


I think it is second opinion time!

You have a palpable lump. You have been able to feel this lump for at least 3 months. A Bi-Rad of 4 indicates a biopsy may be indicated. The hold up is your implant. The surgeon is a plastic surgeon.

How about going to a breast oncology service at a university hospital and having the film re-read and a second opinion on the biopsy?

MD Anderson in Texas has a great website

As ((Linda)) mentioned, Susan Love's book and website is also great. She has a section on "do you need a biopsy" which might help you formulate questions to ask your doc.

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