should I insist upon biopsy?

JulieC
JulieC Member Posts: 37
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
My mother, grandmother & 3 aunts all had breast cancer. during my anual exam the doc had discovered a lump in my left breast. I had noticed it about a month before but wasn't too concerned because I have fibercyctic disease..plus I knew I was going to doc soon anyway. so the doc said I should have a diagnostic mamogram..& I should also make an appt. w/a surgeon because she thought it s/b biopsied. so I had the mamo..then they also did a sonogram to get a better look. then I saw the surgeon...he said by looking at results of sonogram & mamogram that he did not feel it was necessary to do the biopsy. I was a bit surprised but I figured he was the expert so I didn't insist. but he did advise me to make an appt. w/genetist to see if I carry the gene that makes me prone to cancers. my father also had cancer...of the colon. my oldest sister died of brain cancer. Anyway...I now am wondering if maybe I should have just insisted upon a biopsy. the lump is still there & even seems to be growing..although he did say it could get bigger & if it did to come back & may have it removed. so anyway, I would like someone elses view of this. should I have insisted upon the biopsy? (fyi...i'm 46)
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Comments

  • QQN4answers
    QQN4answers Member Posts: 16
    The fact that you ask the question means you are not comfortable with the Dr's decision. IMO I would get it done if nothing else then for your peace of mind. Good Luck...
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    What was the dx of the lump, from mammo and sono?
    That's very important here. Was it just a fluid filled cyst which effaced upon compression or something solid and not readily identifiable for assessment on film alone?

    I'd want a biopsy. That's the only way you're going to know for certain. You deserve the peace of mind and fine needle biopsy (if applicable in your case) is not very painful at all and just takes a few minutes. Mine was done in my surgeons office. No anesthetic needed. No big deal. My husband held my hand tightly and it was over in a flash. Just a sharp pinch and it was done. (My tumor wasn't deep inside the tissue, which helped make this possible)

    I find it interesting that the docs offered no opinion as to what it MAY BE. Knowing that is just as important as knowing what it MAY NOT BE. It's your body and with your family history, and no reassurances from the doctors involved, I'd personally run for a 2nd opinion straight away.

    A stand out lump which doesn't go away or change with your cycle, should be considered suspicious until PROVED otherwise. The docs clearly haven't proved to you that it's nothing to worry about.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • sillyspirit
    sillyspirit Member Posts: 20
    Get the biospy!.. I had almost the same situation. the doctors "thought" my lump was only a cyst. but I insisted on a biospy and sure enough it was cancer. if I had listen to them I wouldn't be here.
  • krisrey
    krisrey Member Posts: 194
    Hi Julie,
    This is only my opinion but here it goes!!!
    GET THE BIOPSY!!! Or at least a needle aspiration!
    Like ink stated, there are still questions to be asked here..you need to get more information. If bbreast cancer was in my family like that I would sure insist on a biopsy.
    There is no cancer in my family history and I got breast cancer anyway. My lump did not show on the mammo, but upon view of the ultrasound they thought it was a fiber something, also had fine needle aspiration and it came back negative by my GYN. Went to surgeon anyway and he thought it was a fiber something...But he insisted on getting it out anyway..thank GOD HE DID..it was already in one node.
    To be honest, I can't imagine with your history that they are not looking more aggressively into this. Unless they can tell its a cysts????
    Last week I had two suspicious lumps in my other breast and they didn't even think twice, they biopsied them right away, thankfully they were not cancer this time.
    Please let us know what they say..
    Kris
  • JulieC
    JulieC Member Posts: 37
    inkblot said:

    What was the dx of the lump, from mammo and sono?
    That's very important here. Was it just a fluid filled cyst which effaced upon compression or something solid and not readily identifiable for assessment on film alone?

    I'd want a biopsy. That's the only way you're going to know for certain. You deserve the peace of mind and fine needle biopsy (if applicable in your case) is not very painful at all and just takes a few minutes. Mine was done in my surgeons office. No anesthetic needed. No big deal. My husband held my hand tightly and it was over in a flash. Just a sharp pinch and it was done. (My tumor wasn't deep inside the tissue, which helped make this possible)

    I find it interesting that the docs offered no opinion as to what it MAY BE. Knowing that is just as important as knowing what it MAY NOT BE. It's your body and with your family history, and no reassurances from the doctors involved, I'd personally run for a 2nd opinion straight away.

    A stand out lump which doesn't go away or change with your cycle, should be considered suspicious until PROVED otherwise. The docs clearly haven't proved to you that it's nothing to worry about.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink

    I do not even recall him giving me a dx..? I do recall him saying something about the fact that the lump was pliable..meaning you could move it around rather than it being stuck in one spot. they did not say anything about whether it was fluid filled or solid. they did say that my breast did seem quite dense for my age though...?..maybe that is why they ordered the sonogram..who knows..?..how do I go about getting a 2nd opinion anyway?...I'm in an HMO...should I go back to the original gyno & ask her about it? thanks alot for your help! Julie
  • JulieC
    JulieC Member Posts: 37

    Get the biospy!.. I had almost the same situation. the doctors "thought" my lump was only a cyst. but I insisted on a biospy and sure enough it was cancer. if I had listen to them I wouldn't be here.

    Silly, could you please tell me more about your situation? I would love to hear your story. its kind of frightening to think that if you hadn't stood up for yourself & insisted upon a biopsy that you could have died.!! my mother was alittle put off w/the surgeon to say the least..she also thinks they should have done the biopsy. so when you insisted upon the biopsy what kind of attitude where you given by the doc? I guess I shouldn't worry about that...who cares if I piss them off anyway..its my life after all..I am so glad I found this site! thanks for your reply & I hope to hear more about you...thanks, Julie
  • JulieC
    JulieC Member Posts: 37
    krisrey said:

    Hi Julie,
    This is only my opinion but here it goes!!!
    GET THE BIOPSY!!! Or at least a needle aspiration!
    Like ink stated, there are still questions to be asked here..you need to get more information. If bbreast cancer was in my family like that I would sure insist on a biopsy.
    There is no cancer in my family history and I got breast cancer anyway. My lump did not show on the mammo, but upon view of the ultrasound they thought it was a fiber something, also had fine needle aspiration and it came back negative by my GYN. Went to surgeon anyway and he thought it was a fiber something...But he insisted on getting it out anyway..thank GOD HE DID..it was already in one node.
    To be honest, I can't imagine with your history that they are not looking more aggressively into this. Unless they can tell its a cysts????
    Last week I had two suspicious lumps in my other breast and they didn't even think twice, they biopsied them right away, thankfully they were not cancer this time.
    Please let us know what they say..
    Kris

    Kris, thanks for your opinion...I'm really thinking I should insist upon the biopsy...i'm glad i found this site & i'm really glad i've gotten such fast response to my concern & question! could you share with me your story? I wish that my surgeon would be more aggressive as yours obviously was...he saved your life! yes I also was surprised that my surgeon was so unconcerned given my family history...then he tells me to be sure to make an appointment w/the geneticist to check to see if I carry that cancer gene...? go figure.. anyway, thanks for your response! Julie
  • krisrey
    krisrey Member Posts: 194
    JulieC said:

    Kris, thanks for your opinion...I'm really thinking I should insist upon the biopsy...i'm glad i found this site & i'm really glad i've gotten such fast response to my concern & question! could you share with me your story? I wish that my surgeon would be more aggressive as yours obviously was...he saved your life! yes I also was surprised that my surgeon was so unconcerned given my family history...then he tells me to be sure to make an appointment w/the geneticist to check to see if I carry that cancer gene...? go figure.. anyway, thanks for your response! Julie

    Hi Julie,
    You hit the nail on the head when you say the surgeon saved my life,,becuase YES he did..this were his exact words.."unless you have a regilous belief AGAINST surgery, then I want it out NOW.."
    The ultrasound did not have any "cancer" charateristics, but he felt that it was a lump and it did not belong there!!
    I was dx in April 2003, I had lumpectomy surgery, then had to go back in for reincision for more margins, at that time had sental node biopsy which 3 of 3 nodes came back negative..but when they did the final path one node came back positive so they went in for a 3rd surgery to remove 13 more nodes, all of which were negative. I had 4 rounds of dose dense (every two weeks) of A/C and 4 rounds of Taxol dose dense , 35 rads. Treatment ended dec 30 2003. Two weeks ago,i felt a small lump in the other breast and the surgeon sent me right in for an ultrasound. The unltrasound could not rule anything out other than there were two not one,so I had to have a core needle biopsy, which came out negative. Its been quite a trip and I could go on and on, if you would like to talk feel free to email me at [email protected].

    What it boils down to is this: If I were you, I would sure insist on more information or I would get a second opinion. Hopefully this is not cancer, but if it is, you want it out and out NOW! I hope I am not frightening you but I only say this from experience, and for nothing else but your piece of mind to rule anything out.

    Please let me know how you make out, what did he tell you the lump was..because honestly at least do a needle aspiration..although funny thing...my needle aspiration came back negative too, and the surgeon still insisted on getting it out..I really owe him big time...LOL
    Talk to you soon.
    Kris
  • lisagm39
    lisagm39 Member Posts: 6
    Definitely!! I had a mammorgram on a lump that they said was cyst in 2001 and now I have full blown at least stage 2 breast cancer. I will never go without a biopsy again. The dr told me now to worry and look what happened.
  • lisagm39
    lisagm39 Member Posts: 6
    Definitely!! I had a mammorgram on a lump that they said was cyst in 2001 and now I have full blown at least stage 2 breast cancer. I will never go without a biopsy again. The dr told me now to worry and look what happened.
  • JulieC
    JulieC Member Posts: 37
    lisagm39 said:

    Definitely!! I had a mammorgram on a lump that they said was cyst in 2001 and now I have full blown at least stage 2 breast cancer. I will never go without a biopsy again. The dr told me now to worry and look what happened.

    Lisa, thanks for your input, whats your story? did the doc tell you that you didn't need a biopsy also? I'll tell you one thing...my eyes are wide open now! I went home & talked w/my husband last night about the responses I received on this web site & he definately agrees with what you all have said here! so next week on my day off I will call this surgeon & schedule an appointment to see him. thanks again! Julie
  • llange
    llange Member Posts: 54
    I agree with everyone else to get the biopsy!! I had a lump that moved also, my surgeon was 99% sure it would be a fibroadenoma, but the only way to be sure was to remove it, and sure enough it was cancer. I was 37 with no family history and no risk factors. Also, my ultrasound showed no indications of any malignancies. I'm very glad my surgeon was conservative.
    Lisa
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    JulieC said:

    I do not even recall him giving me a dx..? I do recall him saying something about the fact that the lump was pliable..meaning you could move it around rather than it being stuck in one spot. they did not say anything about whether it was fluid filled or solid. they did say that my breast did seem quite dense for my age though...?..maybe that is why they ordered the sonogram..who knows..?..how do I go about getting a 2nd opinion anyway?...I'm in an HMO...should I go back to the original gyno & ask her about it? thanks alot for your help! Julie

    Julie:

    So, this guy sat you down and said your lump is nothing to worry about but didn't back that up with anything at all? Amazing! When and if you get that biopsy, I personally wouldn't want that Dr. to be the one to do it. Even if it's just a cyst of sorts and not bc, you still need a Dr. with whom you can communicate and have confidence in. Try to find a doc who fits well with you and meets some of your criteria in that regard, from the outset.

    My tumor was also moveable. It felt like a teeny little round pebble in there and didn't appear to be attached to anything. It was definitely solid material though. The radiologist, who read my mammo films and ordered the sonogram, came up to talk to me during the sono and said that his guess was that it may be a fibroadenoma but still needed investigating by a surgeon to rule out cancer. In my case, the fine needle aspiration proved conclusively that it was bc. My surgeon's opinion is that no lumps belong in the breast. Even fluid cysts need to be aspirated and the fluid assessed, at which point they typically go flat and often that's the end of it. If it keeps filling up again, then some surgeon's want to remove them. Makes sense to me.

    I don't have an HMO, so am not very well versed in what your plan requires in order to get a 2nd opinion. I believe that most HMO's provide you with a book which has all the physician's in your area who participate in that plan? If your gyn gave you a referral for the first consult, then I'd imagine that you should ring that office to get a referral for a 2nd opinion. Perhaps someone else here can give you better advice. Ladies??? At least by calling your gyn office, they can surely tell you where you need to start.
    Sorry I cannot offer more help more with that.

    *Dense breasts can sometimes obscure lumps from view on mammo but obviously, they were able to see yours. Density of breasts just means the overall amount of thickness of tissue, fat, ect. in the breast. As we age, we generally begin to lose some of that. Unless we're 80 and the doc says we have very dense breasts, then I don't that that term in anything to worry about. We're all a little different in that regard, by nature.

    Keep us posted.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • live42day
    live42day Member Posts: 64
    I agree with the many others. Get a biopsy!! And a needle biopsy can give a false negative. Mine did. The surgeon wanted to follow up with a surgical biopsy. And I am glad he did. I had a very fast growing and agressive type of breast cancer. I owe my life to my surgeon too. I will never have another needle biopsy because I would never trust it if it came back negative. The biopsy will ease your mind one way or the other.
    Janet
  • JulieC
    JulieC Member Posts: 37
    live42day said:

    I agree with the many others. Get a biopsy!! And a needle biopsy can give a false negative. Mine did. The surgeon wanted to follow up with a surgical biopsy. And I am glad he did. I had a very fast growing and agressive type of breast cancer. I owe my life to my surgeon too. I will never have another needle biopsy because I would never trust it if it came back negative. The biopsy will ease your mind one way or the other.
    Janet

    Janet, all I have to do is ask my surgeon to do a surgical biopsy & he'll do it?? that easy??
  • live42day
    live42day Member Posts: 64
    JulieC said:

    Janet, all I have to do is ask my surgeon to do a surgical biopsy & he'll do it?? that easy??

    Julie,
    It might depend on your surgeon, but I think the patient should be able to request a procedure. I was lucky, my surgeon wanted to do the surgical biopsy after the needle biopsy was negative. The ultra sound in his office while he put the needle in for the biopsy worried him. He didn't like the shape of the lump. My thoughts are with you.
    Janet
  • nan06
    nan06 Member Posts: 5
    My story is very similar. Suspicious lump, but nothing showed on mammogram, ultrasound was ok, surgeon said wait, since I had no family history and he said I was too young. I was 43. I waited a month, but worried. I finally insisted on a biopsy and it was positive. I had two different types of breast cancer in the same breast. I had a bilateral mastectomy because they couldn't get it all with just a lumpectomy.. I am living proof that women have to take charge of their own health care and trust your gut feelings. I am a 14 year survivor of a breast cancer that would have killed me if I had not been persistant. Please get a biopsy. If it's benign, you will feel great! If not, I will be here for you!! Nan
  • dustystorm31
    dustystorm31 Member Posts: 5
    krisrey said:

    Hi Julie,
    This is only my opinion but here it goes!!!
    GET THE BIOPSY!!! Or at least a needle aspiration!
    Like ink stated, there are still questions to be asked here..you need to get more information. If bbreast cancer was in my family like that I would sure insist on a biopsy.
    There is no cancer in my family history and I got breast cancer anyway. My lump did not show on the mammo, but upon view of the ultrasound they thought it was a fiber something, also had fine needle aspiration and it came back negative by my GYN. Went to surgeon anyway and he thought it was a fiber something...But he insisted on getting it out anyway..thank GOD HE DID..it was already in one node.
    To be honest, I can't imagine with your history that they are not looking more aggressively into this. Unless they can tell its a cysts????
    Last week I had two suspicious lumps in my other breast and they didn't even think twice, they biopsied them right away, thankfully they were not cancer this time.
    Please let us know what they say..
    Kris

    Hi, if I did not do my biposy, I would have never found out about my cancer and everything that was involved. So actually I am bless that I did it, or I may not be telling you about this!!!!
  • krisrey
    krisrey Member Posts: 194
    This has been a very interesting post and I am amazed how many of us have the same story about being told to wait or it not showing up on the mammo. Someone here said you need to go with your gut and be your own advocate, that is sooo very true!!
    Now I also fought for an MRI, which is finally set up for May. I have "extremely" dense tissue breast and an MRI is the only way to "see" anything. The MRI was finally insisted upon by the Radilogist after doing my second biopsy last week. The biopsy was even difficult because of the extremely dense tissue. My surgeon tried to get me set up last year but I did not persue it at that time because I was to overwhelmed.

    I hope these stories have helped you to make some decisions Julie, and I hope you will let us know how you are doing..
    Good luck and we are here for you.
    Kris
  • swmets
    swmets Member Posts: 5
    Definately!! My lump was discovered by my gyno - sent me for a mammo & then to a surgeon who said nothing to worry about & sent me home. 6 months later - stage 2 cancer! My breast had started to invert. Year after surgery to remove my breast - the judge declared that the surgeon should have done a needle biopsy the 1st day he saw me. PLEASE DON'T WAIT - INSIST OR GO TO ANOTHER DOCTOR. I was naive @ 39 in 1991. My cancer is back now in my bones.
    Good luck, swmets