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Biopsy of calcifications?????

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

Hello, I usually post on another board but for this particular situation, thought this would serve me better. I had mammagram a week ago that deemed it necessary for a retest on my right breast. Well I tested today and in walks the doctor telling me that they saw some calcifications that she thinks need to be biopsied. Has this happened to anyone here, and why do they biopsy calcifications?

Thanks, Valerie

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1862
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi, Valerie -

I also had a biopsy because of calcifications seen on my mammogram. I'm no expert, but, from what my gynecologist explained to me at the time and from what I've read:

The key difference is between macrocalcifications and microcalcifications. Macrocalcifications can just be a normal part of aging, are not usually found in clusters, and are commonly found in mammograms of older women (though I don't know exactly what "older" means). Microcalcifications can be tumors when they cluster in particular kinds of patterns that radiologists are on the lookout for.

Because I was only 40, it was unlikely that my calcifications were just normal aging, so that's a big part of why the radiologist wanted to err on the side of caution, and biopsy them. Do you know what type of biopsy you're having?

Traci

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

I had microcalcifications that showed up on the mammo. My doctor then sent me for an ultrasound guided core biopsy which showed I had bc.

Wishing you good luck with your biopsy! Praying it is clean!

Hugs, Megan

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

Thanks for your reply Traci. I don't know what kind it is, but I will definitely ask.

Valerie

Dawne.Hope's picture
Dawne.Hope
Posts: 820
Joined: Sep 2009

Tracey did a good job of explaining the why. I had my first mammo at 35 b/c of strong family history. I felt something at 39 and had another. There was a cluster of calcifications that wasn't on the first one. They biopsed and it was DCIS.

Good luck, vchildbeloved. Keep us posted on what you find out.

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

I'm sorry, I new at this particular situation, but what is DCIS? Thank you for caring. I will let you know.

Dawne.Hope's picture
Dawne.Hope
Posts: 820
Joined: Sep 2009

D(uctal) C(arcinoma) I(n) S(itu)
Depending on the onocologist, it is cancer in the earliest stages or 'pre-cancer.' It is cancer in the mammory ducts, but it hasn't spread outside the ducts.

Third_Generation's picture
Third_Generation
Posts: 121
Joined: Apr 2010

Valerie,
I had calcifications that they watched closely for over a year. I had bilaterals in January of this year. The biopsy had shown that it was now DCIS. months out now and doing great..this was my aunt's exact cancer and she has been cancer free for 13 years. When my mother had her first cancer in '71, she had to find it herself...the changes in technology and the early detections are a plus for us now.
good luck on all of this.
Brenda

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

I think that I'm getting more freaked over the biopsy itself than the calcifications from listening to some. The doctor did not say whether there were a lot, but that they were in one area.

crselby's picture
crselby
Posts: 380
Joined: Oct 2009

It was a year ago tomorrow that I got the word that the biopsy showed breast cancer. My annual mammos always showed large, individual calcifications (I nursed children for a total of 4 years) that never changed. Then last spring ('09) the radiologist detected a cluster of MICROcalcifications. It sounds like this is what your situation is.

I researched a lot on what the core biopsy was and it sounded barbaric. And it is, I guess. But necessary. And with the right amount of anesthetic, mine was very tolerable. Strange, barbaric, but tolerable. I had put it off for about a month in order to do research. By the time I got the word from the doctor's office that she wanted to see me that afternoon, I already knew she would tell me it was breast cancer. I was hoping it would be DCIS. What I didn't like hearing was that it was stage 3, meaning fast-growing and aggressive. But the cells hadn't invaded tissue outside of the ducts.... yet. Whew.

I went bonkers for about a month, until I could have the surgery. It seemed like there was delay after delay, hold up after hold up, doctors on vacation when results were coming in, frustration after frustration. I never felt so helpless and unable to take action on my own, in my life. I'm betting that is how you feel. Please know that it DOES get better. And posting here, where we understand what you're going through and where you can ask questions of veterans, will help!

Because I had DCIS in only one location (determined after an MRI of breasts), I chose to have a lumpectomy followed by brachytherapy radiation (only 5 days long). As I said, tomorrow is my one year 'cancerversary'. All is well. I hope the same for you.
~~Connie~~

SamuraiMom's picture
SamuraiMom
Posts: 296
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi there,

I had a routine mammo and they saw calcifications.

They gave me the choice of doing a mammo every six months to keep an eye on it or do a biopsy.

I have severe needle phobia so I was leaning towards the mammo route.

Thank God I opted for the biopsy.

While they are in there they don't just biopsy the calcifications, they check areas that don't show up on mammogram.

The calcifictions turned out to be nothing.

However, if I hadn't done the biopsies, I would have found about my DCIS form of breast cancer too late.

DCIS doesn't show up on mammo until it's in an advanced stage.

So I say do it. If I hadn't, five years from now I'd been in a much worse situation.

xxoo,
SamuraiMom

Christine Louise
Posts: 429
Joined: Feb 2010

From www.dcis.info: Microcalcifications — tiny specks of calcium in the breast — are very common and are usually benign. However, DCIS appears as microcalcifications on a mammogram. While microcalcifications are not DCIS, they can be an indication that DCIS is present. Mammograms cannot diagnose DCIS; only a biopsy can do that.

In different years, I had microcalcifications that were benign and micros that were DCIS.

All the best to you, Valerie, and hoping your biopsy is benign.

marilyndbk's picture
marilyndbk
Posts: 238
Joined: Sep 2009

Valerie-don't hesitate to have the biopsy. My calcifications were positive in 2001. I had lumpectomy, 36 rads, Tamox and then in 2009 a recurrance in the same breast. Again calcifications turned out positive as well as small invasive tumor found. I have had bilateral mast with Latissimus flap reconstruction. I still have several procedures to finish with reconstruction but am very grateful both times it was found early enough to be successful (so far--never very far off my mind about another recurrance) Take care. Marilyn

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

Thanks Marilyn. I hear you loud and clear. I won't hesitate again. Best to you!

Valerie

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Praying that your biopsy will be benign Valerie!

Sue :)

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

I had a microcalcification biopsied. The calcification wasn't cancer, but they often form near fast growing cells (read cancer). Sure enough, some weird cells (atypical ductal hyperplasia) showed up, that led to a lumpectomy, that eventually led to a diagnosis of actual breast cancer. I was sure I was a goner. I was totally strung out, not knowing if I had a month or a year left to live. That was back in 2002.Obviously I had more than a year left to live. Since then I have learned that I was actually very very lucky. Because we biopsied and played it "safe" with all those exploratory surgeries, my cancer was caught very very early. It turned out to be the sort that needed surgery and tamoxifen. My doctors recommended no chemo--my cancer wasn't that aggressive and the tamoxifen had a great chance of preventing a reoccurance. I had lots of follow up visits and still go once a year for a clinical breast check with my mamo, but so far so good when it comes to breast cancer. I hope your biopsy is negative (no cancer at all), but if not don't panic like I did. You have nothing showing on the mamogram right now except the calcifications. So if anything actually turns up in the area, you are catching it early too. And that's the best way to find cancer (even if it seems like a strange kind of good luck!).

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

Thanks, that's a really great post, very comforting! Will let you know how it goes.

Best wishes to you.
Valerie

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Hoping and praying that you hear the word Benign!

HUGS!

Tux's picture
Tux
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2009

Valerie, I had calcifications that were also biopsied last year; the result was DCIS diagnosis. I am very grateful that it was caught early. I am hoping that
you will get a good report back. I understand what you are going through. My thoughts & prayers are with you. Let us know your results!

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

I too had microcalicifications that proved to be bc after I had the core needle biopsy. I am grateful too that it was seen on the mammo, as, mammograms save so many of our lives.

Sending you prayers and positive thoughts.

♥ Noel

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Please post to let us know how your biopsy goes Valerie! Good luck!

Lex♥

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

I will. It's scheduled for Friday. Thank you so much for your concern.

hoop77's picture
hoop77
Posts: 84
Joined: May 2010

Hi! My mammo also showed three groups of microcalcificatios which they thought should be biopsied. The Dr. was 95% sure it was nothing, but it turned out to be invasive lobular cancer. She only biopsied one cluster and thank God she chose the right one because there was only one tiny calcification that was cancerous! I owe her big time.... Even tho they caught it early, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy because lobular cancer tends to migrate to the other breast. Turns out that it was the right decision because my entire breast was filled with lobular in-situ cells and the other breast looked suspicious...The tumor was only 5 mm, teeny tiny, but I am so happy with my decision. No chemo, no radiation and no worries of having to go through this again. Hope your results come back negative and you don't have to worry anymore.

vchildbeloved
Posts: 133
Joined: May 2008

Wow, I don't know which one to say; that's quite frightful, or what a blessing! Well, either way, I will know soon. My biopsy is scheduled for today. Seems like everytime I back in the gym and progressing in my profession, BAM here we go again. But I won't complain; I'll give it over to the Lord.

Thanks you guys,
Valerie

hoop77's picture
hoop77
Posts: 84
Joined: May 2010

It was totally a blessing I feel. Now I don't have to worry about it ever again. Sure hope you got good biopsy results. I am here if you need to talk...

Laura

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