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Microcalcification Cluster in Right Breast
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Microcalcification Cluster in Right Breast

I am 40 years old and just had my first mammogram last week.  They found a cluster of microcalcifications in my right breast behind my nipple.  I've scheduled a biopsy for nex week Tuesday.  I found out last Friday and freaked out.  I absolutely was not expecting something like this.  Even though they told me in most cases it's nothing, my mind went to the worst.  What if it's cancer?  I don't want to die.  I did a lot of research over the weekend and feel a little better, but still have some questions and am hoping to get a little support on this board.  It's hard when you feel alone in all this.  Is it true if it is cancer, it's probably DCIS?  They didn't see a mass.  What happens if you have DCIS?  Do they do surgery and radiation?  Is it better to have a masectomy?  My breasts are so small to begin with that removing them and doing reconstruction doesn't seem like a bad option.

I'm just scared and hoping something positive comes out of this.
18 Comments
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi,
First of all,please don't even think for a moment that you are going to die,because even if you have DCIS, by definition you cannot die from it, since it is restricted to the insides of the milk ducts and is highly curable when treated..
It's true that calcifications that grow in a cluster are suspicious because they sometime cluster around a mass,but since no mass was detected in your breast, it's already a good sign!.The appearance of clustered calcification on x-ray, gives clues to the radiologist,but not definite answers,so it is standard procedure in most cases to biopsy the area because it's the only way to rule out malignancy.But keep in mind that many biopsies done on suspicious calcification return a benign finding and I hope the same for you too..
Please,try not to think too far ahead about your situation,because calcification can be caused by many benign conditions too.
So try to stay calm,go ahead with your biopsy and lets hope for the best okay?
Best wishes and good luck..
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks, Zouzi.  I'm trying to be calm and actually am doing much better than last Friday/Saturday.  I've read a lot and talked to a lot of people - that helps.  My biggest concern is what if it's more than DCIS.  I guess it's good there's no mass, but I can't help thinking what if it's an invasive cancer.  You're right, though.  I just need to stay positive and take it one day at a time.
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587083_tn?1327123862
You are welcome Collette...
I can surely understand your concern,but please note that "if" by a remote chance the biopsy results turns out to be DCIS,the actual term "ductal carcinoma in situ" is confusing, because the word carcinoma is used, the natural assumption would be that DCIS is invasive cancer.This is not correct. DCIS is a premalignant or precancerous condition of the breast. It is not invasive cancer but it does have the potential to change to invasive cancer if left in the breast.
For now,you probably don't have DCIS ,also the good thing is that you don't have a mass in your breast, so keep positive thoughts and hope for the best...
Please let us know when you get your biopsy results. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and I hope that the outcome will be nothing to worry about...
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Avatar_f_tn
Just wanted to add my best wishes to zouzi's! About 80% of biopsies end up with a benign result, so the odds are in you favor. Try to stay positive and not worry too much---we all know that's easier said than done! Just take one step at a time and don't get ahead of "what is" with all the "what ifs". I've had five areas biopsied, four were benign and only the last one for microcalcifications showed LCIS. Like DCIS it is not invasive and the only thing needed is vigilant screening, so it's not totally benign but it's not invasive cancer either.For this, I'm grateful. Once you know exactly what the biopsy shows , you can go on from there and deal with it. We all understand your concerns and fears and wish you all the best! Let us know how you're doing if you wish by adding a note to the end of this thread.We do care!
nc
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Avatar_m_tn
nc and zouzi,

Thanks so much for the kind words.  It's nice to have others to talk to about this.  I've been doing okay and trying to stay positive.  Every once in awhile my mind drifts to the 'what ifs' but for the most part I'm okay.  My biopsy is scheduled for this Tuesday the 19th.  I will let you know how it turns out.  I'm sure I'll have some questions regardless of the result.
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Avatar_m_tn
So I had my biopsy today and now the waiting game.  This is so scary.  I really don't know how not to worry.  If it's a cluster of microcalcs with no mass, what's the chance that it's something more serious than DCIS?  It's hard sometimes not to go to the worst and think it a later stage invasive cancer or some rare cancer.  Gosh I really hope it's nothing.  Why does this have to be so scary?  And what's worse is they really don't give you any clues into what they're thinking (the radiologist).  Makes you wonder if they have a feeling but are not sharing b/c of liability, etc.  He said I should have results Thurs late afternoon/evening.
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587083_tn?1327123862
I am glad your biopsy is over with,and I hope it went smoothly.
I agree with you that the waiting can be a frightening time....we all experience this gut wrenching stress and there is nothing we can do about it.Not knowing,makes us think of the worst case scenario,but very often we find out that we worried for nothing.
My advice to you,would be to keep busy as much as you can,go out,meet friends,pamper yourself a little. Keep your mind occupied so that you don't sit and do nothing but worry...
Hang in there....and best of luck to you!

P.S.Don't forget to apply an ice pack on your breast every so often,to minimize pain and bruising.
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Avatar_m_tn
Zouzi - just wanted to let you know that the results came back 'benign' - no atypical cells.  What a relief!  I almost cried!  I want to thank you for your support.  I noticed you've been on this board for awhile and supported many individuals over the years.  What a special person you are.  I wish you the best.  Thanks again.
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587083_tn?1327123862
Colette,you can't imagine how happy I am to receive this wonderful news!
Congratulations !!!!
Thank you so much for your good wishes...I also wish you health,happiness and a long life free of worries :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry I'm late in responding ( really not so sorry---I'm on vacation in Florida-lucky me :o) ) but wanted to say I'm so glad your biopsy ended up benign! We're always happy to hear good news, so thanks for letting us know! Of course, I hope you don't have any issues in the future, but if they do come up, you'll be so much better prepared to deal with them.
Wishing you all the very best,
nc
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Avatar_m_tn
Your abolutely right, nc.  I will do my best to prevent anything from coming on in the future, but, yes, if it does I will be better prepared.  Thanks for all your support.  I wish you the best!  Lucky you - would love to be in Florida right now.  Ohio is not looking too great today!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks, Collette!
PS: We're neighbors---I'm in southeast Michigan-very close to the Ohio border. Worked in Monroe for awhile and go to Toledo off and on!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Collette and everyone else who has posted for her.

Just read your post while searching for information about my mother. She is in the same situation. They found calcifications and ordered a biopsy last friday. The Dr's office called me today saying they wanted to see her right away. I'm super concerned now. I haven't told her anything about the drs call because her bday is monday and don't want to get her worried. I made the drs appt for tuesday. I just hate that the nurse was so alarmed when she called. I have no knowledge of the patter of these calcifications which according to what I have read its a good indicator. Also radiologist at the mamogram (mammogram) didn't say that there was a mass that the calcifications sorround which is a good thing.  I guess we will find out more information when we go to the doctor but can't help want to know more now so I can be prepared and have my mother be prepared as well. Where can I find pictures of these patterns and how are these calcifications treated?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Rosie,

I understand completely what you're going through.  The 'not knowing' and 'not understanding' parts are the hardest.  The good thing is that there is no mass, so even if they do find something, it's usually DCIS which is a non-invasive breast cancer that's not life threatening.  The treatment for it varies depending on the severity.  Most likely if they're ordering a biopsy, they saw some pattern of calcifications that alarmed them.  This website does a nice job explaining the different patterns, etc: http://www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/p4793bfde0ed53.  I found that the more research I did and the more I talked to people on this board, the better I felt.

I haven't updated, but I'm not out of the woods yet.  My biopsy came back negative, but the radiologist is being extra cautious and wants me to see a breast surgeon for her opinion because he is a bit concerned he didn't hit the right area.  My breasts are very small and he had a hard time with the stereotactic biopsy.  He did get some calcifications, but he wants to be extra sure he didn't miss something.  I have an appointment with the breast surgeon on Friday.  I'm not as worried this time because he's pretty confident it's fine, but it's still un-nerving that this is not over.

I wish you the best.  Ask as many questions as you like.  That's what this board is for.  
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi there,
I can imagine how worried you are about your mom.I wish I could say something to allay your fears,but no one can predict what a biopsy will reveal.
Irregular, pleomorphic, fine linear branching, or amorphous microcalcifications are suspicious in nature,even when no lump is detected.A biopsy is the only test that can tell for sure if these calcifications indicate malignancy.Please remember that if this is the case,the cancer would be at a very early stage and highly curable.
Each individual situation is different and your mom should rely on her treating doctor who will decide what treatment is best for her.
Lumpectomy ,then followed by radiation therapy, is the most common treatment for DCIS, followed by Hormonal therapy to block or lower the amount of estrogen in the body, if the DCIS tests positive for hormone receptors.
The information I am giving you doesn't  necessarily mean that your mom has a precancerous condition or DCIS.But if this is the case,surgery to remove the affected area and obtaining clear margins is the standard procedure.

Best wishes to you and your mom...Also I would like to wish her a happy birthday!  :)
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587083_tn?1327123862
Hi colette,
There is nothing better than to get a second opinion from a breast Surgeon,if your radiologists is not 100% sure about the biopsy results.Most likely there is nothing to worry about.In my opinion, this is excellent medical care,so you can have peace of mind.
Please let us know how things are proceeding.
All the best to you!
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4880072_tn?1364749626
Just popping into the thread to add my very best of wishes to you two ladies.

collette41 - I am delighted your news was so good, it is a hard time while you wait but every time I see another person on this board with a benign result, I cheer right along with you so I hope you accept my very genuine delight at your good news.
However, I know you wont be looking forward to having a "potential" biopsy done should the breast surgeon deem  it is necessary but having that second opinion from a breast surgeon really is a good plan of action.
Radiologist's do their job well and if he/she recommends further, then get it checked out, we will be here waiting with good wishes

Rosier94 - hang in there. This is a terrible thing to go through having to wait, especially since it involves your mother.
collette41 has found an article to read up on, which helped her (nicely done Collette) however, I do caution you about reading up on too many websites....
From experience, I have found trying to self diagnose my breast lump from behind a keyboard only added to the confusion and fear. Instead of being prepared, it was far too easy to get lost in the medical jargon that accompanies breast cancer and it definitely increased my concern, not reduced it

Hang on to the good news here, no obvious sign of a mass, and caught early is the very best place to be.
Your mother is one lucky woman, whatever those results are on Tuesday, she has you at her side and being together like this you can face anything..

My sincere wishes for the very best of news, come back and let us know, we do care..
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4880072_tn?1364749626
Ahh Collette, my apologies as I see you have had your biopsy done already - my country is radically different in that only a breast surgeon is qualified to do so.

However, the sentiment remains the same. Hang in there and kindest of wishes
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