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Breast Calcifications
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Breast Calcifications

I am 37 years old.  My family has a history of Breast Cancer.  I had my baseline mamogram (mammogram) at 35. Calcifications were found in my right breast. I had a needle biopsy, came back fine. Had re-check 6 mos. later, more calcifications, needle biopsy, came back fine. Another 6 mos. re-check & bi-lateral, more calcifications in right breast. Surgical biopsy, came back fine. I am scheduled for my next 6 mos. re-check this week.What else can I ask my doctor to do...should I be getting other tests??? I cannot keep having surgery on my breast, but the calcifications keep coming back. I have never had a "normal" mamogram (mammogram).  Any suggestions???
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Dear Deb95NJ:  Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits found within the breast tissue. There are different types of microcalcifications, and based on their pattern on the mammogram it gives the radiologist clues as to their cause. For instance microcalcifications that are more scattered are probably due to a benign (non-cancerous) cause, a
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I am not a medical professional, but also have recurring calcifications. This last time they recurred after only 6 months. The surgeon wanted to do another stereotactic biopsy but his second recommendation was to have a 3 month follow-up mammogram. I chose the 3 month follow-up this time but must admit it hasn't been easy to wait. One lady at this site will tell you she had 7 benign biopsies, and the 8th was cancer, so this is definately something we need to follow-up on. We also know that calcifications are very hard to see and grade. (I assume yours is a Birad 4?) Radiologists more experienced with calcifications, such as those at breast centers, may be better able to determine if you really do need a biopsy. There aren't any breast centers close to me, so I'm very unpatiently waiting. You should get your question answered professionally on Monday.
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Calcifications are normally found in breast tissue ...... it's how they appear that makes the difference. In clusters they definitely need to be investigated further. I too and wondering what BIRAD score was assigned to your exams.
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I'm so glad I found this forum.

I've had mammograms every 6 months from 2003-2004.  The last one was May 2004 and the calcification didn't appear to be a threat.  Thinking everything is fine I skipped my mammos for the last 2 years.  I just turned 47 and thought it was prudent to get checked again.  So I did last Friday.  I received a call this past Monday that they wanted additional films of my left breast.  I went yesterday and was told/shown that I have 2 distinct round clusters that have grown.  The radiologist called them suspicious and advised me that I need a surgical biopsy due to the fact that one cluster is immediately behind the bottom of my nipple.  The other is about 2 inches above the nipple.

Needless to say I had a good crying spell last night and have been researching it since.  I'm quite scared.  According to what I read, I believe my film BIRAD is a catagory 4.

Deb95NJ - What a nightmare for you!
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Will this be your first biopsy? These posts are helpful for me also, to see the importance of keeping a close watch on my calcifications. I hope all goes well. When are you scheduled?
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I'm waiting for my family Doc to call me, discuss it and refer me to a breast surgeon.  I should know next week.  If I can go 2 yrs I can wait a week.  Gives me time to think about things.  
Good thing I put my assets in a trust in May.
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I too had a cluster of microcalcifications show up on a follow-up mammogram.  The radiologist suggested a stereotactic-guided biopsy.  Well after reading all about microcalcificaitons in different breast cancer forums, I was scared to death.  It seemed like everything I read indicated that the biopsy results were malignant.  One answer from a reader did stick with me all this past week while I was waiting for my biopsy results--it was that most people don't take the time to let others know when their results are benign.  So I promised that if my results were benign, I would take the time to write in and let others know that are waiting for their results to have faith in the statistics that most of the biopsies have benign results.  And to also feel good about yourself that if for some reason the results show malignancy, that you have been proactive.
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Another thing I realized this week while waiting for my biopsy results--share your worries with your friends, family, and God.
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I didn't give thought to waiting for the biopsy results.  The only people that know about biopsy is my husband (ex-hubby but still my best friend) and 2 female friends of mine.  I've chosen not to tell my 2 grown boys or my folks until I know the results.  My mother would worry sick, my father would say something like, "oh, it's a minor proceedure" and I just don't want my boys to worry.  Until then the support of my wonderful Ex has been very comforting.  We've grown close since we divorced in 1996.  He's always been there for me and I see him quite often.  He told me that WE'D get through this together.  I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.  Keeping the faith has been rather difficult.

Thank you for your supporting words.  I'll be sure to update you on the progress.

Robin
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AzRobin and Margaritas, Feel free to share your worries here, because many of us have been there. I'll keep you both in my prayers. Keep us posted.
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Waiting is the hardest part.  I had a stereostatic biopsy in late sept, due to cluster of microcalcifications as well.  Mine came back benign, Whoo hooo... they were inside of a benign duct inside of a fibroidadenoma.... however, i also have another fibroidadenoma and some discharge out of my nipple...which is what origionally prompted me to go in;  the surgeon took some of the discharge and is microscoping it and i will know more this week.... if all is well i go back in 3 months for another sonogram... i guess my point to this is, i think that for many people, like myself, this is not just a "one time" thing, where everything is OK and forget about this...at least for me, this is going to require ongoing attention and tests... do not get discouraged..this is a good site and for me it helped to have people who understood... let us know how things go.
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During my last mammo they found 4 microcalcifications deep within my left breast along my chest wall. they told me to wait 6 mo. and come back for another magnified mammo exam. the thing is my sis died of infiltrating ductal carcenoma she was only 56. i'm 55. i've asked for a copy of my films and have an appt with a surgeon next week. looking at them i can 3 in a row one on top of the other and the 4th one just to the left of the top one. the rpt said they had 'the appearance of being benign' and not enough for a cluster (5 being the amt they were looking for) with a bi-rad of 3. i'm leaning towards having a biopsy done to be sure since we don't know if my sis started out with micro calcifications (her breasts were too dense) and the yearly mammo didn't show anything until they felt a lump. her doctor said she could have had microcalcifications for years but the mammo didnt show it.
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Well it sounds as if you will spend the next 6 months worrying, and those of us that have had abnormal mammograms know what waiting can do--it's the worst part.  Even though I wasn't thrilled about having a biopsy, I'm so thankful I did.  The results were benign, and now I can relax again.  Even if the results show something malignant, I would have been thankful to find it early.  I'll be thinking of you.
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It sounds like getting a second opinion is a good option for you. Waiting 6 months is not unreasonable but if it's going to drive you nuts you're better off having a biopsy now.
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I'm so glad your biopsy was benign. Thanks for sharing that with us.
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Thank you all for your comments.  I was unable to get a password last night, but read many comments from those going through this, and nurses.  I appreciate the forum.  
  I was told in May I had calcifications, hadn't had a mamogram (mammogram) since '04, and that started it all.  I was contacted by the hospital, told to come back in for magnified views.  Then a surgeon called me, met with me, and a steriotactic biopsy was done the next day.  It didn't get what they wanted, and now I have to get the surgical biopsy.    
  I have a BIRAD 4, with suspicious for malignancy on the radiologist's report.  (My husband had a stroke 9 1/2 years ago is disabled from it, and he is terrified I will not be around.  He told me that much, but can't bear to think about it  further.  So I am very glad there is this forum to "talk" to others on.  I have left this with the Lord, but still don't want pain, and have fibromyalgia, so the pain is a real factor for me.  
  In any case, I see the new surgeon at a regional breast care center on Friday, and we go on from there.  I have a dear friend who works in the lab there, so will have my biopsy cared for as quickly as possible, I believe.  I could have had it done locally, but since they did two steriotactic ones the same day with the local general surgeon, and he did my husband's gall bladder (my what a scar he has!) I opted for a larger center, though I found out they use general surgeons as well.
  God bless each of you. Lynne
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I know it's scary to hear anything in your breast is suspicious for cancer. I've been that several times, too. But 50-75% of Birad 4 biopsies turn out benign. We need to be proactive and get these biopsies done, but it doesn't mean it is cancer. The other thing is that cancer does not necessarily mean death. It can mean miserable treatments, but it's amazing what women can put up with when they have to. Also, when the cancer is caught early, excisional biopsy and close monitoring are sometimes all that is needed.  I think you will find a lot of support at this site, and most of the women speak from experience. I will keep you in my prayers, knowing that only the Lord can give us the peace and comfort we need to get through these problems.
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My biopsy is Tuesday.  I will go the surgical route rather than needle biopsy.  Though I am scarred to do this, I am more scared not to.  I have a granddaughter due on December 10.  It's in God's hands now.
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I hope your biopsy goes well and is without pain on Tuesday. I'll keep you in my prayers.
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I'm very grateful for this forum. I have been reading it since last Tuesday when I found out I, too, have a cluster of calcifications. Birad 4. Having my biopsy, needle, tomorrow and am pretty anxious about this. I am 54 and this was my first mammogram. I see if all of you can go through it, so can I. I am afraid of the pain but, the results are what's getting to me. I know it's in God's hand now. You're all in my prayers. Any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Sorry you had to find this site but I am glad you did. Let us know when your biopsy is done. Hopefully yours will be benign. Waiting for the results will be the worst. Come back anytime you want to talk.
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Thank you for responding. I am shaking so and trying to be strong and walk with grace. I only wish they knocked you out for this. I'm such a wimp!
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Just got back and it wasn't too bad. Only thing is they found another cluster and they are going to wait and see what these results are. If it's "something", I will have a biopsy. I think that's what she said. I was kind of in a daze thanks to the xananx I took. Does any of this sound familiar? I'm pretty clueless. Thanks, again.
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Hey, this is my 4th time through this and I still go nuts. After giving everyone else advice, guess what I forgot to ask the surgeon's office yesterday when they called? What my birad was. (Now I have to wait until Monday since I'll be out of town.) Anyway, you're allowed to be little out of it. You can always have your questions ready when they call you with your biopsy results. Glad your biopsy went ok. Hope your results turn out well.
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Thanks. I can't tell you how much this site has been a comfort. Before a few days ago, I never even heard of a Birad count. Wonderful education! Oh well, we're all in it together and that's really something special. Hope you have a nice weekend out of town. Thanks for sharing.
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That's wonderful news, Lynne Brooke. Especially while I'm waiting for my results. I'm feeling very drained after my biopsy, yesterday. I only stayed half day at work. It's not like I'm in any great pain. I had none before. Now it's real. I've been trying to push my feelings way down and I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm watching someone else go through this. Is is normal to detach? Any suggestions? Thanks.
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I think detaching is normal... I found myself believing I had cancer and making plans accordingly.  I was shocked when they told me clean & b9, I was so expecting other results.

Please continue to post, express your feelings to those you feel comfortable with, we are in the club of persons who may or may not be dealing with cancer but are dealing for sure with the fears.  May you have great peace from God as you wait!
LynneBrooke
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I was diagnosed in July and had Masectomy in August. It is normal to disconnect from ones self. I still feel like this is a dream. I have told many that every time I go to the bathroom I pull up my shirt and looked in the mirrow to make sure I had the surgery. Is this normal?
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I've been stressed for 3 months waiting for this mammogram, but now that I have another biopsy coming up the stress is definately worse. I can't even tell I'm taking Prevacid for my stomach, the stomach acid is worse than ever.  Yesterday morning I couldn't do my normal workout because I felt so anxious and it just took my energy away. I'm feeling better today, but keeping my mind off my breast problems is hard. I've found letting myself have a 15 min. pity party with a good cry helps me release my built up emotions. I also think a lot about cancer. I promised myself after my last (3rd) biopsy I would not let myself get worked up if I had another one, but it's impossible. So, I think we need to keep busy, allow ourselves time to release our emotions when necessary, get the support of others (like at this site) and pray for each other. And yes, I think it's all normal.
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Thank you everyone for your prayers.  I got my results this morning promptly at 8:00.  It was benign!!!  They took a large enough spot that I don't need a six month recheck, they got everything.  Fibrocistic changes and calcs only.  Thank you God, thank you everyone for your concerns and prayers.  I will continue to monitor so that I will know how you are all doing, and will pray for you as well.
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So happy about your good news.
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I too am anxious and scared right now.
This is my first time finding this sight.
I was told I have a "suspicious lesion". I had an ultrasound last week, and am now having a biopsy next friday. I can't eat sleep I am so afraid. I have not really even been told what looked suspicious on the ultrasound. I did see what looked like a black circle. Any advice you could give would be great
thank you
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Again, I am so grateful for this site. It took a lot to get myself to work today. The dread takes my breath away. I have to admit to taking xanax to get me here. I had to change my bandage from the biopsy and my hands wouldn't stop shaking. Knowing there is another cluster they didn't biopsy is really bothering me. Just get through today. One minute at a time, inhale, exhale.
I don't know any of you, yet you're my sisters and I pray for all of us. God bless you all and thank you.
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My heart goes out to you. I understand the fear all too well. Is there anyone you can lean on? We're here, waiting for us and for you. I'm praying for you.
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I am praying for each and every one of you (and myself) too.  I believe there is a God that answers prayer.  Sometimes He says yes right away, sometimes He says later on, but each of us that believes in Him will ultimately find healing, now or in the place he has planned for us.  Having a "prayer partner" was a life-saver for me.  We prayed for her surgery and mine, and are praying for each one on this site as well as other cancer sites.  God bless us every one...
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I always like to get a copy of the radiologists report so that I know what's going on. The wording can be alarming, so prepare yourself. I was told they often add, "Cannot rule out malignancy" for anything suspicious. It's also a good idea to keep these reports for future reference, especially if they need to follow a lesion or calcifications for 6 months or so. Then you can compare the reports for yourself. I do understand why you are anxious and wish we could meet face to face to support each other. But, that's not possible so instead I will keep you in my prayers.
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When are you supposed to get your biopsy results back? Hope you get good news.
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I'm supposed to find out maybe on Monday. The problem, not like this all isn't, is the other cluster they left. I see all those pink bows and pink this, it's all pink. And it's all terrifying. Our lives have been put on hold and I feel powerless. It's there all the time. I do know one thing, I have been forever changed and nothing will ever be the same again. Perhaps, this is my path and I have to accept it. I better embrace life quick because I feel like I'm drowning. I want to go shopping today but I can't motivate myself to get out. I thought it would give me a lift but I don't know. Listen to me. I sound like such a baby. Sorry for going on. No one else understands. I pray for all of us today to have some peace and laughter. God bless us all.
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I finally had my biopsy yesterday.  It was surgical due to the location of the lower of the 2 clusters down at the base of my nipple.  And, had a colonoscopy at the same time for good measure.  I didn't have a chance to see the doctor before I left the hospital since I woke from surgery so quickly.  The nurse said all went fine.  

So, I decided to peek inside my bandage today and found a 1+ inch incision at the top of my left nipple.  Since there were 2 clusters of more than 5, I wonder if they just removed them?  

LynneBrooke, you got me thinking they may have done that. I am so relieved for your results!

I should have biopsy results by Friday.  I wonder if they found anything in the colonoscopy.  I'll call the doc on Friday.

Anxiety about the biopsy was scary.  Waiting for the results is torture.  We're all beside ourselves.  But when I close my eyes and imagine us all holding hands and keeping the faith, for some reason it comforts me.

Thank you all for being my rock.

Robin


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I'm sure Monday can't come quickly enough for you.  Be sure to have your questions ready to ask when you get your results.
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Do you have to wait until next Friday for your results? Hope all turns out well.Hope you heal well from your biopsy, too.
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I just found this site. I'm felling really ignorant. What is a BIRAD? I didn't know I could ask for my radiology report and/or films. I have calcifications in my left breast and am scheduled to consult with a surgeon Thursday and to schedule a surgical biopsy. My primary care physician and the radiologist said I have calcifications that are spread over a 2 cm area and that is why I can't do the needle biopsy. Am not sure yet if I really have taken this all in. I have been relieved to read that most calcifications are not cancer. Still there is always that chance. Hope each of you do well and I'll you to my prayer list. I've never done a forum thing before either.

Jackie
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BIRAD is the rating radiologists use for mammograms. They range from 0-5. BIRAD 5 is highly suggestive of malignancy, BIRAD 4 is suspicious, and so forth. My radiology center won't actually give me a copy of the report. I have to get a copy from my doctor or surgeon. There is a great chance your calcs will turn out benign, but they won't know until they do pathology on the tissue. I hope your biopsy goes well and will keep you in my prayers.
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Thank you for all the information. I am 42 years old and told I have calcifications in my left breast. They are a BIRAD 4. I am so scared. I will have a biopsy on Friday. I too am upset. I thank God for this site. My husband keeps reminding me that most findings are benign. My doctor told me 2/3 of women have calcifications, but since I never had them before (I get yearly mammograms) they have to do a biopsy. My husband keeps getting upset, because I read something on the internet and I'll say see... cancer. He gets really upset and says no it says usually benign. He thinks I am overreacting and gets really upset with me. Am I wrong to be so frighten. It is all I think about since hearing I need a biopsy. I just cry most of the time. I have 4 wonderful kids the youngest being 4.
My mother had breast cancer-postmenopausal.
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I've had 3 biopsies. My husband is always sure they'll be benign. I am always scared they'll be cancer even tho we both heard what the doctor said. Fortunately, all 3 of my biopsies were benign. As women, we tend to worry a lot about breast biopsies. At the same time, you need to know that a high percentage of birad 4 biopsies for calcs are benign. There's a great chance you'll be just fine. I've found I do better if I try to purposely dwell on some positive things in my life when I'm waiting for a biopsy so I don't add to my stress. You have a right to express your feelings. It may stress your husband out to see you so upset, and he might be responding to that. I once read that you should allow yourself a 10 min. pity party (set a timer.) When the timer goes off, get involved in a positive activity to get your mind off your problem. Sounds like you have some great kids to be thankful for. I'll keep you in my prayers.
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Thanks for the positive feedback. I know I should draw from my faith in God. Thank you for understanding about my husband. He never handles my stress well. He takes the tough love approach. Thank you for reminding me of that. I am so glad I have this website. I read the posts and realize that countless others are going and have gone through what I am going through. It is nice to know that one is not alone.
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I'm so glad I found this site. It's an answer to my prayers. I had my mammo last month, July, and  findings is BI-RAD 4-b. My doctor referred me to a breast surgeon who said that she disagrees with mammo interpretation and that she doesn't even see the need for biopsy.  For my peace of mind, I went to see another surgeon and this time he told me that there's lesion behind my nipple in addition to the calcifications.  He recommended another surgeon, his mentor, who he thinks will be able to do a better diagnosis and perform the biopsy using hook?  I'm seeing him tom., but in the meantime, I'm so agitated and nervous.  Can somebody tell me what this "hook" is all about please? What's the difference between this and the usual biopsy procedure?  Will it be painful? I need help. Thanks.
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I'm not positive, but I think I heard needle directed biopsy referred to as a hook one time. In this procedure they squeeze your breast between the mammogram plates and take numerous mammos to insert a wire to locate the calcifications. Then a surgeon removes the area. When I had this done they numbed me up good and it wasn't bad. I just had to ice the area for 24 hours afterwards. Again, I'm not sure this is what they refer to. Sorry to hear you have to go through a biopsy, too. I hope the proceedure goes well and will keep you in my prayers also.
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A related discussion, Breast Biopsy was started.
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A related discussion, Calcifications was started.
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A related discussion, micro calcifications birad 4 was started.
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A related discussion, 6 months check for calcifitions was started.
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A related discussion, calcifiation was started.
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