My mom did a CT scan which showed a ~1cm mass in her left breast. She is 63.
She then did a mamogram, and it showed the mass as a white small circle.
Q1) What difference does it make if it is a white or a black circle?
They requested an ultrasound. From what I understood from them is that it doesn't have fluid.They checked the lymph nodes and they were all ok. They didn't say much, the radiologist said that it might be a small cancer, but it has to be biopsied to find out for sure. I didn't know about the Birad until I read this website, and they didn't mention anything about the level of suspision, they just said that there is suspision, so I don't know what the level of suspision is yet.
Q2) What's the likelihood of it being cancer if it were a solid mass?
Q3) Does the radiologist know at this point what it is but they don't want to tell me until they biopsy it to have concrete proof of their observation?
Q4) Is it still possible that it might not be cancer?
The radiologist asked when she noticed that the nipple is inwards. My mom always had her left breast's nipple inwards. She told me that she very rarely breast-fed me with her left breast as a baby because it was always inwards so I was never comfortable. She also said that her left breast hurt when she tried to feed me with it. But, that was 27 years ago. My mom's left breast has always been like that.
Q5) Does it call for less worry when knowing that it's been always like that and it's nothing new with the newly seen mass?
So the breast surgeant saw my mom, and she said that she wanted to take a thin needle biopsy. I asked why we can't biopsy the whole thing out and she said they have to first take the first thin needle biopsy to determine if it is or it is not cancer, because if it were, she would biopsy it out one way, and if it weren't she would biopsy it out in a different way.
Q6) What did she mean? I didn't understand.. What is the biopsy used when it is cancer v.s. whe it is not cancer?
Q7) Why did she pick the small needle biopsy? Why can't she just use the surgical biopsy and remove the mass and then determine what it is?
Q8) When using the small needle biopse and removing a piece of it, is there a risk of it spreading quickly if it had cancer?
My mom hasn't been feeling pain in her breast, not untill she did the mamogram and the ultrasound since her breast hurt from all the exams, that's aside from the psycological stress.
Q9) What are the symptoms that a woman feels if she does have cancer? Is it just pain? Anything else?
Q10) The process they are doing the examinations is really slow. The availability of doctors makes you wait weeks before you can schedule the next appointment. The biopsy itself takes like 5 days to give a result, that's from the date the appointment is taken.. Shouldn't they be acting in a little more urgency when they see something suspicious?
I know that I'm asking lots of questions, and the bottom line would be to wait until we get the biopsy, but please don't give me this answer :-)
Please try to be patient and to answer each of the questions I have. The questions above are thoughts that flow like a crazy hurricane in a woman's mind and the mind of her loved ones when they hear of the possibility of cancer. Answering these questions will definitely not give a final answer, that's what we're taking the biopsy for. However it just helps to calm the hurricane and relief the stress accompanied by the wait.. the long wait to know the answer.
I'm going to touch on a few of your questions ... There is NO way to tell if a nodule/lump is cancerous until a biopsy is done and the tissue tested in the Pathology Lab. They aren't keeping anything from you. The nodule can certainly be something other than cancer and the biopsy will tell this. The reason the entire lump isn't removed until after a biopsy is done is that if the lump were removed and then found to be cancer, it is quite possible that more surgery would need to be done to be sure that some cancer free tissue be removed as well as the lump. If the biopsy did show cancer then the lymph nodes would need to be tested also. This is what the Surgeon meant about doing it differently for cancer vs non-cancerous. A biopsy is always the first approach. The needle biopsy is a much simpler procedure and done with just some local anesthesia ... easier for the pt. Breast cancer isn't known to cause any pain ... no doubt your mother's disconfort is from the compression of her breast when the mammogram was done. This usually goes away in 2 or 3 days. There really isn't any risk of spreading the cancer when a needle biopsy is done. Yes, if your mother has always had an inverted nipple on that breast then it wouldn't be of much concern now. You mentioned the BIRAD score; if something was found that required a biopsy then it would no doubt be a BIRAD 4. This means that something suspicious was found and requires a biopsy to determine it's cause. I hope I have answered at least a few of your questions .... Kindest regards.
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