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breast calcification and biopsy

On august 28 I went for my routine Mammogram and two weeks later was recalled for more specific mammograhy. Immediately after this second series was done, I was told I needed a Steriotactic biopsy because the flims showed an area of microcalcifications in my breast. I waited a week, and then called to see if an appointment had been booked. None had, and my doctor was unware that one was needed. However, he quickly checked into the situation and booked a biopsy for me which is due to take place on October 5th.

I am very thankful for the program of routine mammograms and the early detection made possible by them.

However, in this istance, I am very  concerned about the delayed process,  and in particular, what that delay  could mean if the calcification turns out to be malignant.  
What is the rate of growth of such early cancers?
Have I cause for concern?
I didnt think to ask for details of the lesion and now I wish I had.
I would appreciate any insight and advice in this matter.
28 Responses
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Avatar universal
well,i got my biopsy done today.. you gals were all correct, i had the sterotectic and it was not nearly as bad as i had feared.
i do have some concerns and it's 12:30am and can't sleep so i thought i would see if anyone was here.
there was some confusion, my dr wanted me to see a breast surgeon, the biopsy had already been scheduled...yesterday the surgeons office called and said that they set me an appointment for next wednesday, 10/4 and to go ahead with the biopsy today...is it me or does it seem crazy to have an appointment with the surgeon prior to the biopsy coming back, seeing as the radiologist is doing the biopsy... another funny thing...
my gyno called suggesting i see a surgeon about 4 days after i saw him, and 1 day after the diagnostic mamo....ok so fine right.. well i had to see my primary care dr on monday, (unrelated condition, most likely)2 days ago, they drew some blood, etc...well his office called today and left me a voice mail to call them... they NEVER call..they ALWAYS send a card..
these combined with the paranoia most of us feel, at least the first time around.... is really UNNERVING>......
i of course will call him back tomorrow morning...
i am just scared..
as crazy as this sounds, i felt like i had some MINUTE amount of "control" over the situation, learning etc, prior to the biopsy, then immediately afterwards i felt a HUGE relief, like it was out of MY control now...then after the voicemail i am freaked out again.... i am angry!!! this has taken a week out of my life for maybe nothing.... because i chose to panic...
WAITING is DEFENITELY the hardest part of all of this, at least so far for me...
you gals have been a HUGE help, thanks
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Dear azile:  Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits found within the breast tissue. There are different types of microcalcifications, and based on their pattern on the mammogram it gives the radiologist clues as to their cause. For instance microcalcifications that are more scattered are probably due to a benign (non-cancerous) cause, a
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
A related discussion, could someone tell my what a steriotactic bx is like? was started.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
A related discussion, Steriotactic bx:  just getting started was started.
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Avatar universal
I have just received the pathology report. The good news is that it was DCIS and was removed with a clear margin of 5 mm - the surgeon  said he went right down to the muscle.He also said it was progesterone and estrogen receptive, so will respond to Tomaxafon or a similar meidcation. The not so good news is that it was grade 3 comedo type ca. He said something else too, but I cant recall what it was - soemthing to do with a high rate of growth.  The next step will be for me to see the Radiologist and proceed with radiotherapy,likely after Christmas because I understand waiting lists are long. I am still thankful they caught it at such an early stage because I understand comedo type is very aggressive.But I also have a sense of unreality about it all. Hearing your discussions and comments about your experience is very helpful!
Thanks

Helpful - 0
127512 tn?1193742216
Mine was widespread DCIS with a 0.09mm invasion. No radiation was recommended for me which worried me some but I was given tamoxifen and I am now looking to have my ovaries removed because mine was also Estro+ and Progset+. My lymph nodes were also clear. Did they check yours?
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Avatar universal
I'm so sorry to hear the result was cancer. You've had to wait a long time for results, and now it's time to take a deep breath, gather all your strength and fight this! I'll be sending you healing thoughts!
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127512 tn?1193742216
Atypical Hyperplasia usually means a strong possibilty of cancer. But I did not want to suggest that possibility to you. I would always want one to hold out for hope that it is not cancer. I am sorry about you diagnosis. Did you get a copy of your pathology report? Is it DCIS?
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Avatar universal
I just returned from my post surgical visit and am told the path report showed cancer. So the next step is Radiation, but I have another two week wait to find out when and where. The waiting is the worst. Thanks for listening.
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Avatar universal
I'm so sorry to hear they found cancer. I will keep you in my prayers. Keep us posted when you find out more.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for your ongoing concern. I had the Stersotactic Biopsy and it showed Atypical Hyperplasia.(?) The Surgeon then posted me for an Excisional Biopsy from which I am now recovering -- it was done  under general anaesthetic. There is a two inch incision -- and I am bound up tighter than a mummy in a tensor bandage. THe hospital staff were very comforting and supportive which really helped alleviate my anxiety. Now I am awaiting the pathology report - another anxious time.
I know now that even if malignancy is found it is really early on which is a very good thing... and makes me thankful for the annual MAmmogramm program.
I am just wondering what to expect next --- if it remains atypical  
hyperplasia with no signs of malignancy -- what can I expect in terms of follow up care?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
At the top of this forum page there is a place where you can do a search to find out more about atypical hyperplasia (in the question/answer forma.) I'm sure there other places with more complete information, also. I hope you recover well from your surgery. Thanks for updating us.
Helpful - 0
127512 tn?1193742216
Reading up on atypical hyperplasia will help with your question. I think I know but because this is what I had also but I don't want to give out the wrong info. Please do let us know your pathology report. Glad to see you back.
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Avatar universal
24 samples does sound like a lot, but they really try to get all of the areas so they don't leave any doubt and so you don't have to do it again soon. I agree with Cyn that a large number of samples doesn't necessarily mean higher risk for cancer. I've been told to wear a jog bra for the first 48 hours (even at night) after my biopsies. I also had to ice my breast, so I put a regular bra over the jog bra and put a small ice pack in between when I went to work the next day. That worked for me. When do you get your results?
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Avatar universal
HI, I just had my steriotactic biopsy today.  Is it normal for them to have taken 24 biopsies of 1 breast?  Will I be able to put a regular bra on tomorrow.  I am sore but doing okay.  They told me it would take 1 hour but it took 2.  The radiologist said it was a difficult case.  Is that an indication that the result will be cancer?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Without knowing what they were biopsying, it's hard to speculate about the length of the procedure, etc. 23 biopsies sounds like a lot, but you may have dense breasts making it difficult for the radiologist to see everything, thus the need for more samples 'just in case' he misses something. Total speculation on my part. When I had my first biopsy, they took about ten samples for 1 cyst (all benign). Did the radiologist explain anything that he was doing? I don't think the number of biopsies is indicative of a higher chance of cancer. Like all of us, you'll need to wait for the results to know for certain what you're dealing with. My thoughts are with you!
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Avatar universal
I remembered that you were having your diagnostic mammogram today. I am praying that all goes well for you.
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Avatar universal
I just posted on a thread near the top. Thanks so much for your prayers.
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Avatar universal
Thank you for asking about my appointment. I met with an oncologist last week for a second opinion on treatment options. My DCIS was so small that it was not tested for hormone receptance. It was too small to warrant radiation. My one option is to take tamoxfen for five years, but he did not feel that it is necessary. The degree to which it would change any future chance of getting a malignancy is almost negligible and does not out weigh the side effects of taking the drug. Of course, I will be monitored very closely. I feel very lucky that my particular situation offered me this choice.
I know that you have made a very personal choice to wait three months and then be rechecked. I understand your decision and I keep you in my prayers. When exactly is your next check-up?
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Avatar universal
I'm glad to hear the oncologist is comfortable with close monitoring. That does sound like a good choice in your case. I just made my appointment for a diagnostic mammogram on October 16.
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Avatar universal
I moved to another thread to hopefully move this conversation to a more positive note. How did your appointment turn out last week? Any better options? Some of us believe, like you, that what you chose needs to be what you are comfortable with.
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Avatar universal
Would a jog bra hold your make-do prosthesis in place in the meantime? I remember using toilet paper to act as a buffer between my itchy bra closure and skin. The toilet paper made its way to the bottom of my skirt and clung there as I directed a 6th grade music dress rehearsal. After that laugh I sewed a piece of soft cloth onto my bra strap.
Helpful - 0
127512 tn?1193742216
Goood to see your biopsy went well. I don't really think it is
crazy to see the surgeon first. They like to tell you why the test is needed and go over any mamos or ultrasounds that may have been done. Also they want you to know what the biopsy will be like. Keep up posted.
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127512 tn?1193742216
azile please keep us posted when you get your test. Also I hope you don't mind us using your thread we bounce around and do this sometime so we can save the top two for new or more important posters. We only get 2 post a day on here.

jc76001 I know what you are saying. I told the office that did my biopsy to call me at 4:30 on the day I was to get my results because I did not want to be alone when I got that call. I pretty much just knew mine would be cancer. So my husband came home from work early to be with me. It still seems like a terrible nightmare and I wish I could just wake up. It probaly sounds stupid but sometimes when I go to the bathroom I pull my shirt up and look in the mirror just to make sure it was not a dream. God bless anyone who has to go through this alone without having someone to hold them up.

Anyone know where to get a prothesis? I guess I'll call the American Cancer Society and see if they can tell me where to start. I went to eat lunch with my daughter the other day and I put one of those thawed out ice packs in my bra and before I left home I bent over to do something and it fell out. Thank God it do not fall out at her school. Those kindergarteners would not have known what to think. The other day it was roll up socks. Last night it was a folded up ace bandage. Sorta funny, sorta not.
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