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microcalcifications Birad 4

Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009

Ok..so I have a core needle biopsy on Tuesday. I have 2 areas of interest. They are going to biopsy the bigger and then go from there. i am an RN, and so have been doing a lot of research which is scaring me to death. I'm looking at my mammo and my report..looking up all the words. Looking up Birads and Le Gal score. Looking up percentages of malignancies compared to number of calcifications..(I have more than 10 in a cluster), calcification shape, size and density, and have practically convinced myself this IS cancer. I HATE the timing of this. I am in school and have work and have not gotten my Christmas stuff done and I can't concentrate! I'm a little scared about the core needle biopsy process as well..ugh...I HATE being like this. Just give me an answer one way or another. Please somebody slap me. Most people don't seem to get it either.
And I don't want to sound like a crazy person worrying about probably nothing. Thanks for letting me vent. Any info would be appreciated thanks!

fauxma's picture
Posts: 3581
Joined: Dec 2008

From what I remember Birad 4 is highly suspicious but I am sure as a nurse you know that. But it doesn't mean definite. I didn't have any problems with the biopsies. Had one many years ago for calcifications and they were benign and then last year had one in each breast. One was a ultrasound guided biopsy, the other was a stereotactic biospy. I didn't have any problems with either. A bit of a pinch with the numbing agent and then pressure. Some on here have had more discomfort or pain but it is doable. My right breast had cancer, the left only atypical cells. Even as a nurse and with all your knowledge, it is still scary because it is you. So much flies out the window when there is a possibility of cancer. My advice would be to try not to worry (easier said than done), to go and do your shopping or anything that will help take your mind off of this. Many here have worked during treatment and continued school. You will have to gauge what you can do once you know if it is cancer and what your treatment will be. You are not a crazy person, just a worried person. Feel free to come here and vent, complain, worry, and ask for help. Do you know how soon after Tuesday you will know the diagnosis? Waiting is absolutely one of the worst parts of all of this. Let us know what they find and meanwhile, prayers and positive energy and cyber hugs are coming your way.

crselby's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Oct 2009

As a nurse you have heard of the stages of grief. Well, you have started going through them. Initially the grief comes from having your future yanked out from underneath you like a rug. That happened when you were told your microcalcifications might be cancer. Remember, there is a good chance they might NOT be cancer, too. Fear and anger are also some of the emotions you may be feeling. Fear of the unknown was a big one for me. I tried to do as much research as possible. The stereotactic core needle biopsy was scaring me. I got no answers from the rad tech. She said, "why would you want to know everything he is going to do?" Because knowledge may not be power, but it gives the possessor the illusion of power! The radiologist would not tell me what he was doing. Instead, I heard about his golf game! I was so angry when it was over. But it didn't hurt. I needed ice packs in my bra for a day, and I was weary from the stress.

Later, I found a website for the manufacturer of the Stereotactic core needle biopsy equipment on which there was a video clip of how the equipment is used and learned what really happened during the procedure. That's when I learned he had placed a metal clip in the biopsy site that is permanent!! Anyway, ask the radiology department who manufactures their equipment, then surf their website for more information.

Good luck with your journey.

Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009

I think.."I'm going to study or clean" and I find myself being sooo drawn to the computer. So after this post I'm going to shower..meet a friend for breakfast, go to church. My family is out of town for the day. Go to the store, have the house ready and welcoming for them when they return. We plan on finally decorating the tree tonight. I just need to focus..on NOT me..:) School can wait for this day. As well as finding out the percentages of malignancies for my presentation etc..ugh..enough of that for today.
I'm brand new to this site but am thankful for it already.
**Also..if worse case scenario..if there is more than 1 area of microcalcificaitons which there are..does that mean automatic mastectomy?? Thanks

DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

I just want to say hi and to wish you good luck Myshell! So many of your questions are best answered by your oncologist and plastic surgeon. Please try to relax if you can.

Hugs, Diane ♥

crselby's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Oct 2009

I know of people diagnosed with two small areas of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) or one DCIS and one invasive area, who had lumpectomy because the sites were close together. The cosmetic result was good because their breasts were large or the lesions were in a good area of their breast, so that what the surgeon took out left a reasonable looking breast. I have also heard of small breasted women with only one area of small cancer, for whom lumpectomy was not a good option because what would have remained would have been very odd shaped and hard to live with. The mastectomy gave them a clean slate, of sorts.

Like so many things with breast cancer, there are no cut-and-dried answers. Every decision seems to hinge on many factors, which, as you can imagine, vary from woman to woman. That doesn't mean you should stop asking about other people's experiences. But you should be aware that you probably won't follow exactly the same path as someone else.

About this busness of focusing on 'just you'... If getting this kind of news does not call for focusing on yourself, then what would? This is such a normal reaction. Of course you don't want to, it's not how you usually have lived your life. But your world was rocked by the advice to get a biopsy. Rocked. Hopefully the biopsy results will be awesomely "B-9" and you can go back to 'almost normal' again. But for now, it's OK to be self-absorbed. I understand the desire for a break from thinking about all the possiblities. You don't want to make yourself sick with worry. But being proactive and reading, learning, and listening to yourself are good things!

EveningStar2's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jan 2009

You have gotten good advice from the others here. I, too, am an RN and had microcals. I had to put off my biopsy for 3 months because of changing insurance. We all handle this differently--I assumed it was all normal until I heard differently. Then I went into overdrive. Try to take it as it comes and know that your sisters in pink are always here for you.


Sunrae's picture
Posts: 808
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi Myshell, Most of us have been where you are and I know I just kept wanting to wake up from a bad dream (some days I still feel that way). We all start thinking too far ahead and its overwhelming. I spent 2 weeks trying to figure it out when I was first dxed then decided I couldn't focus on it all, so now i'm trying to focus on what the next step is; in my case surgery in Feb. I had the core needle biopsies in 3 tumors and the dr. explained it all to me. You will be numbed for the biopsy and be sure and let them know if you're still feeling the procedure. The first time I wasn't given enough lidocaine but the second time I was given plenty and didn't feel it. As a RN you will probably understand a lot more than I did. In any case you'll be fine and find out what's going on. Our prayers and thoughts are with you as you go thru this. Please keep us posted on how its going. We truly are here for you.

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