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Cluster Calcifications

vikiviki1
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

Hello
I have been diagnosed with 3 cluster calcifications in one of my breasts.
Does anyone know anything about this? I have to have two types of biopsies completed.
Please tell me what you know of the above.

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi there,

I don't know a whole lot but I did have something similar. I had a lump and clusters of calcifications. I had the lump and the biggest cluster biopsied. Apparently not all calcification is DCIS but often a cluster indicates that there is DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in Situ - non-invasive cancer). For me, the calcification cluster was DCIS and the lump was invasive.

of course you don't want to have cancer however DCIS is non-invasive and chances of recovery are very high.

best wishes

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi there,

I don't know a whole lot but I did have something similar. I had a lump and clusters of calcifications. I had the lump and the biggest cluster biopsied. Apparently not all calcification is DCIS but often a cluster indicates that there is DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in Situ - non-invasive cancer). For me, the calcification cluster was DCIS and the lump was invasive.

of course you don't want to have cancer however DCIS is non-invasive and chances of recovery are very high.

best wishes

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi there,

I don't know a whole lot but I did have something similar. I had a lump and clusters of calcifications. I had the lump and the biggest cluster biopsied. Apparently not all calcification is DCIS but often a cluster indicates that there is DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in Situ - non-invasive cancer). For me, the calcification cluster was DCIS and the lump was invasive.

of course you don't want to have cancer however DCIS is non-invasive and chances of recovery are very high.

best wishes

crselby's picture
crselby
Posts: 379
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Vikiviki, You've found a great place from which to get good, first-hand information. The women and men who post here have a wide variety of experiences that they'll share. I had one cluster of calcifications show up on my last annual mammogram. No ultrasound was done since they don't usually show up on that type of imaging. So I had a stereotactic core needle biopsy done and the pathology report was DCIS. Ugh. Before the surgeon I chose would do the lumpectomy to remove it, she wanted more images taken with an MRI. That machine shows things that mammography and ultrasound don't see. But the results often show things that turn out to be benign. The MRI showed 2 spots in the breast already known to have DCIS, and one spot in the other. So back I went for MRI guided biopsies. UGH. Both spots in the already affected breast were benign and the spot in the other breast didn't show up, so they couldn't biopsy it. (It 'went away'.) So I had lumpectomy surgery (no lymph node involvemnt with DCIS so no surgery needed in armpit) in July. Had brachytherapy radiation in September, and I was done. The docs want to follow you closely once you've had a cancer diagnosis, so I've had my next, 6 month follow up MRI and, dam, if that elusive spot in the 'unaffected' breast isn't back!

I'm telling you all this because often a reading of calcification clusters requires more tests and images and it tends to freak the person out. It's standard-operating-procedure, though, for the docs to want as much info before they do anything, so don't be surprised if they want you to have more images as well as the biopsies.

Post again if you have more questions. We'll all be hoping for you that the calcifications turn out to be 'nothing'!!!!
~~Connie~~

Cat64's picture
Cat64
Posts: 1192
Joined: Aug 2009

Hello & Welcome,
I first hesitated to reply to your post because almost 2 years ago I was mis-diagnosed with a "Cluster of Cysts" and ended up being diagnosed 8/11/09 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I didn't want to scare you or cause you any needless worry...but, I also felt I had to try to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to anyone else! Here is what I know: Calcifications are mineral deposits in the tissue. There are two types, Macro & Micro. Macro are large calcium deposits and micro's are of course smaller. However, clusters of calcifications CAN mean there is cancer or it CAN develop, it depends on the shape & density of the cluster. The clusters can sometimes be DCIS (ductal carcinoma insitu). Then again, it may NOT be cancerous. I'm so relieved to hear they ARE doing biopsies to check for sure! Do you know what kind of biopsy you are having done? I know it's easier said than done, but try not to worry too much until you get the results and know for sure what it is.
Hope this helps!
Hugz,
Cathy

sbmly53
Posts: 1459
Joined: Jan 2010

My calcifications were found at routine mammo. Several scattered, 1 cluster. I had the stereotactic biopsy and was found to have invasive ductal carcinoma. Surgery went well with clean margins, sentinal node removed, following up with 33 radiation treatments. 10 years ago, in the other breast, they were negative.
The biopsy I had was not difficult or painful but waiting for the result was scary.

Keep posting and I wish you well.

Sue

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8220
Joined: Aug 2009

5 years later .. DCIS and HER2 - breast cancer diagnosised.

Biospy is not too painful, however the waiting for results - is difficult.

VickiSam

Myshell
Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009

I had 2 area of clustered microcalcifications. I had myself convinced it was cancer. I had a core needle biopsy and it should atypical lobular hyperplasia...which is not cancer but increases the risk of cancer up to 7 times ( that's what my oncologist told me today...I've read online more like 4-5 times)...I had an MRI and I had another excisional biopsy and they did not find anything else yipee!
So now my onc is suggesting Tamoxifen for 5 years just to prevent cancer.
All that to say TRY NOT TO WORRY..it's easier said than done. the last 3 months have been horrible and the waiting was the worst. But I DO NOT have cancer!
The women and men on this site are AMAZING..but you have to remember that if they are still on the site...they probably had a cancer diagnosis. So you are not exposed to the great number of people whose tests are benign. I check in now and then because I'm trying to figure out this Tamoxifen thing to to check up on friends I have met here.
take it one step at a time...
and keep us posted!

Sunrae's picture
Sunrae
Posts: 808
Joined: Oct 2009

Myshell is right, most of us here have cancer. You don't hear much from those who are benign. Just a little note tho. I had micro calcifications show up for years but no one suggested that I should have more tests like ultrasounds, etc. My tumors were hidden because of the calcifications and should have been caught a year or two ago. I wish someone had told me to have more tests to clarify my situation. Wishing you good news and glad for those who are benign like Myshell. Please let us know how it goes.

canoegirl's picture
canoegirl
Posts: 169
Joined: Dec 2009

Try not to panic. I had micro-calcifications clustered together in 1995 had a lumectomy and they were interductal hyperplasia. Had them again in 2001 in the same spot and doctor was sure I had cancer. Once again interdauctal hyperplasia. Unfortunately this year I had a mass and 3 areas of casting calcifications and it turned out to be IDC and DCIS with 2 postive nodes. (ER, PR, HER +). Hope yours turns out to be benign, but I can see the value of Tamoxifen if it IS precancerous.

Good luck, I know it's hard to wait for the biopsi and results. Hang in there!
Hugs,
Marcy

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I had what they called microcalcifications, which I think is what you are talking about. I then had a needle core biopsy, which showed DCIS. But, after my lumpectomy, my path report also showed up Invasive bc. I then had radiation treatments. My nodes were clean, so, no chemo. Good luck to you!

Hugs, Diane ♥

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Wishing you good luck with your biopsy's! Let us know!

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