I am 47 years old and have had yearly mammograms since age 40.
Last July after my annual mammogram I was called back in to have another done on my right breast to look at something suspicious. Based on the films, they determined it was calcification and set me up for a recheck in six months. I just had that done and they said nothing has changed, therefore it is calcification. They said come back in six months. In the meantime my breast has been hurting me. Is this common with calcification? Is just looking at films good enough to determine that it is really just calcification?
Dear margaret56: By calcification, I am assuming you are referring to microcalcifications that are commonly seen on mammograms. Microcalcifications, in themselves, are harmless but they can be associated with a variety of growths, both benign and malignant. Their pattern on the mammogram makes the radiologist more or less suspicious. If these calcifications remain unchanged, it is not likely to be cancer - as cancerous conditions grow - and change. However, the only way to be absolutely certain is to do a biopsy. Whether or not to do a biopsy depends on the physician's level of suspicion and the patient's level of comfort. It is uncommon for breast cancer to be painful.
You may have misunderstood a bit: it's easy to recognize something as calcification immediately. The question is what caused it. Calcifications are very commonly seen on a mammogram; various patterns suggest various things. One cause is related to fibrocystic changes, which typically causes little round dots of calcium. Fibrocystic changes can often be associated with pain -- it's not the calcifications that cause pain, but the process that causes the calcifications. Cancer is on the list of things that cause calcifications; usually it causes a different-appearing group of calcifications. When certain patterns are seen, which fall into the "suspicious" category, then what is done to investigate further depends on the level of concern. Sometimes just letting time pass and taking more pictures is adequate; if it's cancer, changes usually take place over time. So if calcifications remain unchanged, it's reassuring. Given enough time, stability tends to rule out cancer. The way to be absolutley certain is to do some sort of biopsy; whether that's done or not depends on the comfort level of the doctors looking at the pictures, and the woman whose mammograms are at issue.
I just finished a stereo. needle biopsy. Apparently, she nicked a vessel and I bled a lot. That was my biggest problem!
I had some calcifications a few years back on this same breast, which they have been watching and apparently they have changed, thus the biopsy. She said I should have the results in a couple of days. She said some appeared course, and others smooth?? Has anyone had any experience with changing calcifications being cancerous and what their appearance was??
I also have Calcifications in my right breast and had a needle biopsy and the out come was everything was fine. That was 99. I have been going for my mammograms regularly and now i have to go back due to a change in the calcifications in my right breast. I did notice when i had this past mammogram it was very painful on the right breast only. I go tomorrow and have another mammogram with an ultra sound. I am so scared. I am 48. If they were non cancerous in 99 what is going on now?
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