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Have suspicious calcifications should I have the wire biopsy done. Already had the needle biopsy.

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

I recently found that I have microcalcifications and was told I should have a wire biopsy. They did the needle biopsy but were not able to determine if it was cancer or not...only that they were suspicious. Has anyone had the wire biopsy and does it leave a noticeable change in your breast? I am very small and concerned about having a biopsy for calcifications which I have heard turn out to be benign most of the time. I have to make a decision rather quickly so any advice would be appreciated.

webbwife50
Posts: 395
Joined: Jun 2010

It sounds like you need to have a discussion with you doc about all of this. You have to weigh the risk, and you cancer doc should be having that dicussion before you make any decisions. Maybe a second opinion would be of help..God bless and lots of hugs....alison

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks I did talk to the doctor a second one this morning. She said she just had a patient that did not do it and it turned out to be cancerous. I have had really bad luck with doctors and am hesistant. 2 botched hernia surgeries from different doctors and on the biopsy I just had they took a chunk of skin out accidentally when they looked away and the vacuum caught it...so you can see my reluctance around doctors and trusting what they say. I really want to speak to someone that has had the actual wire biopsy done and see how they felt and if they had any changes or abnormality after the procedure. Thanks for your support.

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

I had an ultrasound guided core needle biopsy which showed I had breast cancer. I am not sure what a wire biopsy is. Can you describe it?

It would be best to write down all of your questions and go over this with your plastic surgeon and oncologist thoroughly.

Good luck!

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks. The Wire biopsy is because the calcifications are so small they put a wire through your breast and attach it the metal clip (already inserted from the needle biopsy) and tie it to that. Its the only way they can locate the calcifications to remove that tissue since they are so small they can not be seen. Thanks.

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5671
Joined: Oct 2010

and pre surgery they did the wire locator -which I hated...I begged them to drug me up..and was told can't..like mammo and put wires in brest-just prior to surgery

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

Ok, thanks for the explanation Laurie. I didn't know about this. I always thought a core biopsy could be used. Good luck Laurie!

joannstar
Posts: 361
Joined: Nov 2010

about your concerns. I had microcalcifications that proved to be Stage 1 BC. I had a stereotactic biopsy which determined that and then a lumpectomy. They had to go back in to get clean margins, so I had 2 surgeries. My lymph nodes were negative. Because I am a triple negative, I have to have chemo (6 treatments of Taxotere and Cytosan) and 33 sessions of radiation. I've had 4 of the chemo treatments so far and while not pleasant, they are do-able.
I did a lot of research online (although I was told to be careful about what sites I went to). It seemed to me that microcalcifications were frequently cancerous but that the macrocalcifications weren't (how I wished that I was macro rather than micro). Ask questions, nothing is too trivial--it is your health and if you don't understand something, ask!!
Good luck to you.
Hugs,
JoAnn

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks so much. I have Microcalcifications too but they are small just one centimeter they say. So, what I hear you saying is that it is probably worth it to have the wire biopsy. They did a stereotactic and could not determine if they were cancerous because the samples were not large enough. Just they they are suspicious. Does the lumpectomy leave an indent? Would it require plastic surgery? I want to know from someone who has been through it rather than from a doctor's point of view. I can't find anything on line about how it may change you physically or to what degree after. Glad you made it through. Best Wishes to you.
Laurie

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

You have to do what is best for you and what your doctor's recommend. I would want to know whether I had bc or not, so, I would go through any test to find out. If I didn't have bc, I would celebrate. If I did, which I did, I would take whatever treatments were recommended.

I had a lumpectomy and I only have a very small scar, no indentation at all. My tumor was very small, and, I had a fantastic plastic surgeon. It is actually hard to even see it now.

But, we are all different and this varies with each individual.

Good luck with your decision.

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for your input. Do you by chance live in Atlanta and have the name of that plastic surgeon?

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

I had microcalcifications in my left breast at 5 O'clock right up against the chest wall. They could not do the stereotactic biopsy because of the location. They did a biopsy under MRI and then I had the localization wires placed right before my lumpectomy. Had to have two surgeries--for clear margins. Turned out to be Stage 3, grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma with 10 positive lymph nodes. I never felt a lump or anything. In fact, a routine mammo only 3 months before was read as "normal." I am not trying to frighten you in any way, but I'd say--better safe than sorry.

Good luck to you.

Hugs, Renee

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

I didn't know about a wire biopsy. If I were you, I would have the procedure. But, you have to do what you want only.

Good luck,

Megan

joannstar
Posts: 361
Joined: Nov 2010

After the 2 surgeries (which were wire guided) I have 2 scars (1 from the node removal and 1 from the "lumpectomy")but no "indent". It was on my larger breast (are any of us even?) so I wasn't worried about losing a little. I was a bit worried about the scarring...my breast surgeon said that she'd make sure I could dance at the Pinky Pussy Cat--well, not quite, but the scar is hidden under my bra. This was my first surgery experience and I was petrified, but it all happened so fast, I just put one foot in front of the other.
My tumor size was just 1.2cm which made it Stage 1 Grade B. Originally they told me it was Stage 0 DCIS, but after the surgeries, I was reclassed as IDC (invasive).
My feeling (having just gotten married for the first time at 57) is that I will do what will give me the best chance to stay around...I'm just starting to have fun!!
Good luck to you in making your decision and don't let a little vanity get in the way of being sure you are ok.
Hugs,
JoAnn

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Don't you want to know if it is cancer or isn't? If you just ignore this, who knows what might happen.

You will make the right decision. You probably just need some time to think and research all of your options.

Sending you good luck!

Hugs, Angie

crselby's picture
crselby
Posts: 390
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Laurie. This is a hard time, making decisions, doing research, and all. And just not knowing what's going on. Stay calm and positive.

I too have had botched surgeries (gall bladder and bunions) so I am skiddish of doctors. I had a jerk radiologist do my stereotactic core needle biopsy (SCNB). My biopsy showed definite cancer, DCIS. But I found an awesome female breast surgeon (Phoenix AZ), not near but worth the 45 minute drive to see her. She took a huge sample after locating the area with the wire. She cut out the 'clip' left by the SCNB, cut out the tumor, and, per my instructions to "get clean margins no matter how much you have to cut", cut out a total of 10 centimeters (not millimeters) of tissue.

My breasts are different from yours, they are large and soft. The scar is small and barely noticeable. But one breast is smaller than the other, not noticable with clothes on! No dent, though, but my tissue is, as I said, soft.

Hope this gives you something to go on. Please let me know how it all turns out. Fingers crossed!
~~Connie~~

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4547
Joined: Aug 2009

I had the wire localization years ago, small dent not bad, but I had large breasts too.

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Connie,
Wow that is alot...my calcification is only 1 CM they said but not sure how much tissue they will cut out. My tissue is hard and dense and I work out alot so it may be quite noticeable but sounds like ahance I will have to take. Thanks for the story and your support.
Laurie

Different Ballgame's picture
Different Ballgame
Posts: 870
Joined: Jan 2010

Cancer is cancer. Size does not make a difference. Most people who have calcifications are cancer free. Then there are others, like me, who had 1 calcification that was cancer. Wire does guide the surgeon to the calcification site so surgeon can be in the correct spot to get clear margins.

I certainly understand your concerns about more surgery. So....what kind of surgeon do you have? If the surgeon is a general surgeon, find an oncology surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. Your surgery will be much better since the surgeon is trained specifically for this area of expertise. I do not mean to infer that general surgeons are not qualified, because they are, but oncology surgeons approach the surgery differently.

In my case, two surgical biopsies yield margins that were not clear. That meant they had to look via a microscope at the breast tissue that was removed to see if there were more cancer cells.

Cancer has three rates of growth. If cancer is in the 3rd category, it is growing quickly and you need to act quickly. If your cancer is in the first or second growth rate, you have some time to make informed decisions. Time can equate to 2-3 months.

Lots of Hugs,
Janelle

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Janelle,
It is a facility that specializes in Breast Cancer. That is all they do. My needle biopsy was not enough tissue to be analyzed either so that is why they have to do the surgical biopsy I just dont want to continue to be cut open if they are not able to find anything in this next one and then have to go back in. This place is supposed to be one of the best in the area but I have a general fear of doctors. Thanks for your support. I definitely have more questions for the doctor now.
Best wishes to you,
Laurie

Rague
Posts: 3440
Joined: Aug 2009

but remember that we are each unique and what one has been through is not gong to be exactly what you will go through. Ask - gain all the knowledge you can but don't assume that you'll be told exactly what you'll experience - highly unlikely that can happen.

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

You are soo right..about that. It has not yet but the message is consistent not to take chances.

sbmly53
Posts: 1506
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm not sure what you mean by the wire guided biopsy. I had the stereotactic which showed my microcalcifications to be cancer. When I had my surgery, a lumpectomy, it was wire guided. Depending on what they take out, it can make a dent. But, honey, please don't let that be your main concern. This is your life.

I am not well endowed and when it came to the surgery, I was willing to have a mastectomy to save my life. My lumpectomy makes me 'uneven'. A good bra, a little padding, go a long way.

Sue

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Its a surgical biopsy to take out more tissue. The stereotactic biopsy I had a week ago did not produce samples large enough to test. I guess my main concern is that because I am so small it will show. I know that sounds really bad and I should be more concerned with the results of the biopsy. You are right but can I ask if you can tell the difference after your lumpectomy and was it cancerous?

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I agree with the other posts, do it. You have to know.

Hugs, Kylez

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I wouldn't take ANY chances. I know that it's kinda scary to think about, but having it turn out to be cancer is even scarer!! You need a definative answer and if the only way to get it is by means of the "wire" biopsy, that's what you should do.

I'm a nine year BC survivor. I initially had a needle biopsy that came back negative! My doctor didn't like how it "felt" and said it should come out regardless. So, he took it out and it ended up being cancer! Had he not been extra aggressive, I probably wouldn't be here typing this to you!!

Don't want to freak you out, just want to be honest. It's only my opinion. You have to make your own decisions. Just make sure you make INFORMED decisions and can have peace about them. Don't let "fear" lead you down a worse path.

Blessings,
Sally

LaurieMal
Posts: 10
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks Sally. That seems to be the consistent message I am getting to have it done. Kudos to you for surviving it and fighting it. It's comforting to hear other people's points of view as opposed to just the point of view from the doctors.
Laurie

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

You can fight it too Laurie, but, you need to find out first if you have bc. Please think about having the test to know.

Hugs, Angie

swalters
Posts: 33
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Laurie,
In 2007 I had a stereotactic biopsy for microcalcifications and they found DCIS. I then had a wire localization, ie lumpectomy or wide excision. The surgeon took out a 1" X 2" X 3" piece of tissue and left only a small dent even though I had quite small breasts to begin with.

You are correct that many women have unnecessary biopsies. At my annual mammogram last fall, they thought they saw new calcifications and after an ultrasound wanted to do 3 biopsies. I got a 2nd opinion from one of the top radiologists in the country after having a RODEO MRI which couldn't find any areas of concern. Because this dedicated breast MRI has less than a one percent false negative rate, the 2nd radiologist recommended having a followup MRI in 6 months instead of the biopsies. That MRI again was clean, so I was able to avoid 3 unnecessary biopsies.

There is not a one size fits all plan that is right for everyone. You must be comfortable with whatever you decide.

Please feel free to send me a PM if you want to talk about this more. It is very difficult making these hard decisions.

Hugs and good health,
Sandie

jk1952's picture
jk1952
Posts: 613
Joined: May 2009

Laurie, I think that my case was a lot like yours. In 2000, microcalcifications were found when I had my annual mammogram. I then had a stereotactic biopsy which was inconclusive, even after having four radiologists review the results. At that time, the surgeon felt that at worst that I may have DCIS. She recommended the wire-guided biopsy which showed DCIS but also a small amount of invasive cancer.

She recommended a second opinion from radiologists in Vanderbilt which specializes in early stage cancers. I'm telling you this to encourage you that second and third opinions can be very important in your diagnosis.

I had small breasts, and the wire-guided biopsy made only a small scar and indentation. I continued to wear a bra with no padding, and it wasn't noticable.

Of course, everyone is different, but when my doctors have recommended biopsies, I've had them done. Early detection is the key and I feel so fortunate that both of my cancers were detected so early. (I did have a recurrence last year, but I'm doing very well because it was caught so early).

Joyce

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1404
Joined: Feb 2010

about 20 years ago. It was outpatient surgery, I went to the mammogram room and they fed a wire into me since the suspicious area was deep inside my breast. The surgeon cut around the nipple, a scar you can barely see today. He took out what he needed, enough to test. Turned out to be benign. Of course, 20 years later, I ended up with cancer in the same breast, but different area. That biopsy years ago was easy and I looked the same after.

Best of luck to you,
Victoria

Rague
Posts: 3440
Joined: Aug 2009

Personally - I would not be thinking abut the posibility of minor scaring - IT's your LIFE! My cancer is IBC (Inflammatory BC) and it's very aggressive so the fastest, most aggressive route was always my choice. I do realize that our 2 DX's are very different but as with everything in my life that has potential for less than good - I hit 'it' with everything possible - no what "if I'd done more" for me. If you choose not to have the biospies done and 3 mths/6 mths/3 yrs/6 mths/X yrs you develope camcer in the area - can you (and your family/loved ones) handle the "What if?"

I certainly don't know what is right for you - I can only say that for me there will be no stone left unturned in my fight with IBC. I was DX'd Aug 8 2009 and had Chemo (4 A/C), mod. rad. mast., Chemo (12 Taxol), rads and am on Femara for 5 years (10 mths done), At this time I'm riding NED (No Evidence of Disease).

Prayers for you to make the choice that is appropriate for you and yours.

Susan

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

Laurie, have you come to a decision? Praying for you!

chriskaput's picture
chriskaput
Posts: 109
Joined: Jul 2010

I would have the wire biopsy. If it's the only way you can be sure if it is cancerous or not, I wouldn't play around...especially when you say that they mentioned it looked "suspicious" with the needle biopsy. What doctor says it looks suspicious, is he a surgeon/breast specialist? I had the wire biopsy done before my lumpectomy. I cannot tell you if it leaves a scar because I still have the bandages on...had my second lumpectomy yesterday (for clear margins).

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I'd have the wire biopsy done too. I would have to know if it was bc or not. I hope you think long and hard about this and make the right decision and choice for you.

Let us know.

savvysma
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2010

Laurie Mal,
When they found more calcifications on this mammogram than last they wanted me to come back in 6 months and I pushed to have it looked at. They also told me that since I was only 38 and microcalcifications are usually benign I didnt have much to worry about. However, I did have atleast 3xs the calcifications I had had the year before. The surgeon said a needle biopsy was not effective for microcalcifications so we did an excisional biopsy with wire localization which is the same thing I believe you are talking about. She compared it almost to a lumpectomy. It was towards the top left of my left breast and although she took out a significant size (i think it was like 4cm after it was sewed up all I could see was a little scar, the shape itself did not change for me. Mine did happen to be DCIS.
That's too bad you have had such bad experiences with your drs. I hope this will be a better. Good luck making your decision. Please keep us informed!

filimu's picture
filimu
Posts: 74
Joined: Aug 2010

Of course, your decision is up to you, but I believe you need to have the biopsy to determine WHAT it is...so it can be treated if necessary. Don't worry about if it leaves a dip or scar. That's what plastic surgeons are for. We've all dealt with lots of doctors, some great, some not so great, and a few that were downright not good at all...but most really care about us and have our best interests at heart. We wish you the very best and will stand with you through this process, as you make your decision and beyond...

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Just wondering Laurie Mal if you had decided yet? I haven't seen anything else posted.

Hugs, Angie

candacemc
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2010

I just had the wire guided biopsy perfomed after calcification crystals showed up on my first mammogram. On the film, it looked like sea salt sprinkles. Anyway, the first step was the surgical wire biopsy, it was a piece of cake. I had two microscopic tumors developing within the crystals, they were both removed and sent off to a lab. I did not even have stitches, they were so small, in the center of my breast and surgical tape was sufficient. I was healed in 4 or 5 days. The mental stress was the most difficult part, the fear! The result was Stage 0 bc and due to the amount of crystals I had, the recommendation was immediate mastectomy. I took an aggressive approach and had a double mastecomy. My lymph nodes (9 taken) were all clear and I'm now in the reconstruction phase. Late May 2010 this journey began.

PLEASE do not wait, time is not on your side. Whatever the outcome, the less time you have to manage cancer, the less options you have available- Elizabeth Edwards. (not a direct quote, but I just read this and it really stuck with me) You have to have a doctor/team that you trust. Ask for referrals, recommendations, do online research, whatever it takes to get yourself mentally in a comfortable (well, comfortable is a stretch) position to take on whatever your future holds. Knowledge is power! Also, call the American Cancer Society in your community, they have been incredible as I try to navigate my way through this confusing time.

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

I had almost the same experience. Microcalcifications, stereotactic biopsy. One calcification was cancerous, Invasive Lobular. I had dense breasts so doctor ordered an MRI to get a better idea what they were dealing with. This too was inconclusive so the doc asked me what I wanted to do. Since lobular tends to migrate to the other breast, I opted for double mastectomy and he thought that was the best choice too. My tumor was tiny, only 5 mm. The surgeon said they had a hard time even finding it in the tissue! My mastectomy was May 4th and I finished reconstruction Aug 26. The whole process has been a whirlwind really. It's totally doable and frankly to not have to worry about cancer, chemo or radiation is a Godsend. I would make the same choice all over again!

Please do your research and find doctors you like. Don't let the radical options scare you. It's really not that bad and your life is more important than a couple of lumps on your chest! Best of luck in your journey!
Love,
Laura

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