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Microcalcifications biopsy
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Microcalcifications biopsy

I usually am quite good about my mammograms, I get them every year due to the fact that I took Hormone Replacement.
I had my mammo a few months late this time and of course they do them a little different getting side views of the breast that they never did before.
They called me back due to micro calcifications, some are spaced and there is a cluster.

The radiologist spoke to me told me that usally they are benign but he likes to err on the side of caution and suggested a biopsy..I made the appt for the biopsy which will be done on Monday.  Now I receive a call from the office where the biopsy is going to be done, that the radiologist there says I need two biopsies.
My anxiety level is through the roof, I am so upset, I really tried not to worry knowing that they are benign most of the time.  But now this radiologist seems to see two spots and the radiologist yesterday had a hard time finding one.  This is crazy, I hope I make it til Monday without having a complete meltdown.
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15 Comments
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684030_tn?1357024374
It's true, microcalcifications are rarely, if ever, found to be cancerous; but, of course, only a biopsy and subsequent pathology report can conclusively confirm that as a fact. And, now with two areas appearing to be suspicious, it's seems reasonable to have both areas biopsied because one can't assume that one cluster is exactly of the nature as the other. It's all terribly nerve-wracking, I know... I've been through it twice. But, do try to calm down. And, keep in mind that statistically, the odds weigh strongly on the side that these calcifications are benign in their origin. Take care... and good luck with the biopsy.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much for your comments..I am so freaked out by the thought of this procedure and now two biopsies not one..
One of the very disheartenting things that has happened is that not once have I spoken to my doctor.  I am very disappointed in him, I had to switch docs several years ago, as my long time doc retired..My former doc would have never ignored me, he was very kind and very informative..I think that perhaps if I had spoken with him and he explained the procedure and gave me some information that perhaps I would feel better about it.  Anything I want to know I am finding on the computer, somthing is wrong with that picture on so many levels.
You say you have been through it twice, I am assuming that once you have this procedure done even if it is benign that there is a shorter follow up period between mammos and chances of more calcifications showing up on another mammo are great.
I am not a crybaby, but rather someone who has enjoyed good health all my life and I am scared to death, I am freaking out because of the two biopsies and not one.  I now have what I consider pain in my breast which wasn;t there before the second mammo, they took so many pictures I thought I was going to scream. I know its probably all in my head, but I can;t shake the feeling.  
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684030_tn?1357024374
Not knowing which kind of biopsy you'll be having, I can only assume that it'll be a stereotactic/ needle procedure? I'm guessing that because otherwise, you would have been given a ton of details, instructions and forms to fill out if you were going to be having an out-patient surgical/ excisional biopsy. I've had both types of procedures... and, those were the two biopsies that I was referencing to in my previous post. What happened to me was that a second formation of clusters appeared 2 years after the first cluster was identified and biopsied.... with the 2nd cluster forming in nearly the exact same location as the 1st one. Thankfully, both biopsies returned with benign findings. So, the thing is that whenever calcifications do appear, especially in cluster formation, the doctors become very concerned because it might suggest that some abnormality within the surrounding breast tissue of the cluster is trigging their growth.... naturally, only a biopsy can determine what that "trigger" is or isn't.

But anyhow... I can honestly say that my 2nd biopsy (stereotactic/ needle) wasn't nearly as invasive as I thought it would be. The doctor(s) will apply a local/ topical anesthetic; you'll most likely be positioned face down on an examination table that has an opening in it... so, your breast will drape down from within that opening... and you'll most likely have a titanium microclip(s) inserted at the biopsy site(s) during the procedure. Those tiny clips are used as a permanent markers for future diagnostic referencing.

There will be some pain/ sensitivity after the procedure... mine was relatively mild and Extra Strength Tylenol worked pretty well to control that. As for the pain that you're feeling now, I suspect it's from all the compression mammograms... they took lots of pictures of me too, all of which left me incredibly sore afterwards.
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Avatar_f_tn
I beleive that it is the stereotactic/needle type only because the radiologist told me that the area was very small.  Thats why I am befuddled at the finding by another radiologist of another area.  I am assuming that this type of biopsy is done with a sort of guidance of an MRI?
As I said before since I have  not even spoken to a doctor, I am also assuming that once this procedure is done that it is followed up rountinely like perhaps every 6 or 8 months if it is not malignant.
My mammos are routinely scheduled by my gyno, but if someone is prone to this type of problem (if its ok to call it a problem) are rountine mammos ok, or should one see a doctor that specializes in breasts..
I am sorry for all of the questions but I have no one to ask.
Thank you for all of your help, I truly appreciate the info, after all if we do not take charge of our own health, then who will, I think my doc anyway is to complacent, therefore I will be looking for someone else when this is over on Monday.  
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684030_tn?1357024374
Mine was guided via Ultasound.
With benign findings, I had a "diagnostic" (not standard) mammo the following year. Standard annual mammos, thereafter... assuming that no changes are noted. Fortunately, I didn't find the need to see a breast specialist as I'm extremely happy with the same wonderful family doctor that I've been seeing since I was 16 years old. And, I couldn't have had a more capable, conversational and compassionate doctor than the surgeon who preformed my surgical biopsy.

I recommend that you have someone, like a close friend or relative accompany you to the procedure... emotional support can go a long way in stressful times like this. And, yes... if you're not happy with your current doctor's complacent approach, find another. Some are better communicators than others. I like the ones who explain... everything.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I guess that I did the wrong thing in my haste to get the biopsy..I should have seen a doctor, but I scheduled the appointment with the same place that does the mammos. So I guess its being done by a radiologist..Right now I am in NJ but technically live in Florida, I was here for 2 months for the holidays, and when I spend this much time at "home", I schedule whatever needs to be done while Im here.  I didn;t want to wait for two weeks for a docs appt and then schedule the biopsy, so I guess its my fault for not getting more personalized care.  If everything turns out ok, I guess I will just follow up with my family doctor, I have always trusted him. I truly appreciate everything you have told me.  My stomach is turning just at the thought of the biopsy, I think I have one xanax and I will take it before I go, my anxiety level is so high I'M afraid of having a total meltdown.  Thank you for all of your knowledge and support.  I hope someday that I can come here and help someone else..
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Avatar_f_tn
OK, after much soul searching annd a sleepless night here is what I have decided.  One thing that I know from reading these boards is that I do not need to hurry.  I have a real problem with going to the radiology place and letting some unknown doctor who claims to have seen something else on my film which i have not seen.. I will allow them to do the biopsy that the orginal two radiologists said needed to be done.  If this radiologist will show me what she is talking about perhaps I will change my mind. However, if not,I will consent to only one biopsy at this time, I do not feel it is in my best interest to allow her to do the second one based on a one in three opinion, I have made my mind up that I will follow up as necessary after the biopsy, but this is causing me entirely to much anxiety and I know from experience that radiologists differ greatly in their opinions and I will not let her do it at my expense.  After reading all of these posts and people who are going through much more than me, it is clear that one must be comfortable with their doctors and I for one clearly am not.  I beleive I have time to make resonable decisions and I am not comfortable with this turn of events.  I have read and reread the radiologist report (1st one) and there is no mention of anything but some scattered calcifications that she regarded as no consequence.  I know I am rambling but so many thoughts going through my mind. Thanks for listening.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank goodness I found some valium, Im sure it will help with the anxiety..I wish tommorrow was over..
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684030_tn?1357024374
I polished off 4 glasses of wine the night before I had mine... not that I'm recommending that!
Tomorrow will be done and over soon enough; and, you'll be just fine.

tc, "i"
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Avatar_f_tn
Im thinking a few martinis tonight - strickly for relaxation purposes.  LOL
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Avatar_f_tn
OK the biopsy is done..I declined the second biopsy and spoke with the radiologist who explained why she wanted the second one, there are microcalcifications which were present on a 2009 mammogram and no one ever mentioned them...she thinks they are gravitating towards the cluster.  I declined, she was receptive to it, on the provisio that I followed up on a short time schedule with a follow up mammo, I agreed. She will call me with the results positive or negative in about 3 or 4 days.

I had a stereotactic biopsy, which hurt like crazy, it actually brought me to tears..she was injecting the numbing agent as she went and it apparantly was not working as quickly as she would have liked.  I can honestly say that the only thing I did not feel was the placement of the chip, by then the numbing agent apparantly had done its job.  My stress level is much reduced, however I am a little concerned as the site is still bleeding..I have changed the dressing 3 times and am keeping an ice pack on it..Im kind of afraid it will bleed while I am sleeping, so that is source of concern for me.  I found the mammo machine that used a might uncomfortable, in fact there is a long red line on my skin I am assuming it is from the compression.  If the site continues to bleed I will call her tommorrow.  
Bottom line I am glad it is over, my stress level is much better, she assured me that if it is positive that it is early on and not alot of reason for concern at this point.
I was happy with the facility, and thought they were caring and compassionate inspite of some very bad reviews that I read about the facility.
so its wait and see.  I thank you for your advice and support..
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Avatar_f_tn
Just following up with my prior post...The radiologist called and said the biopsy was negative, she wants me to follow up in 6 months with another mammogram.  I spite of the pain that I felt when the biopsy was done, I can honestly say that I have no bruising, just a small red dot where the needle went in and very little discomfort.  The radiologist was excellent and if I had to have this done again, I would want her to do it.

All my fears have been relieved, Im a little sorry that my bull headednss prevented me from getting the second biopsy, however I really don;t think I could have layed there and felt everything that she was doing..I am satisfied that a 6 month follow up is what I need to do and probably would have had to do it anyway...If I have to have another biopsy in the future, I will say that the numbing agent takes a little longer for me in order for it to work.

I am grateful for this thread and the advice and support that I have received.

Roe
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684030_tn?1357024374
...glad to hear that it turned out well; and, yes, a 6 month follow-up sounds reasonable.  tc
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1561229_tn?1296184636
Hello I just read all the comments on iam1butterfly on microcalcification an biopsy. I have alot of microcalcifications, an had mamogram (mammogram) every 6 months for 2 an a half years, then 3 needle biopsy in 2007 an then a incisional one 2008, I have had ok mamogram (mammogram) until last week, discovered lumps in both left an right breast an alot of Microcalcifications. They did a Ultrasound today on both breast around 130 pm  an said the radiologist would give results to my doctor . She wouldnt tell me anything, said he was busy an couldnt talk to me right now. Is there any information you can give me . They took lots of photos of both breast an put squares around areas that he needed to look at.  Thanks for any info.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Well its hard to say if the findings of the radiologist was nothing to worry about..just from the experience that I had, the radiologist made the time to talk to me and in fact my doctors office told me that the radiologist would tell me right then and there if anything further was needed.  I don;t think that Microcalcifications of and in themselves are anything to worry about, but the lumps would be a concern...were the biopsies of both breasts or just one - I am wondering if there is any scar tissue involved..
I think that the first thing Monday morning, I would be on the phone to my doctor regarding the results of these tests (but thats just me) Im a bit of an alarmist..
My big complaint through the whole process and it didn;t take long from start to finish was my lack of communciation with my doctor - in fact I have yet to speak to him - which means that I will be finding myself another doctor..get on the phone and talk to your doc...try not to worry although it is easier said than done - everyone here says don;t worry, but I found this was the most trying time for me...when the radiologist spoke to me after the mammo, he said that he wanted a biopsy - he bypassed the ultrasound completely, so perhaps its nothing to worry about...I wish you good luck and please come back and let us know what happened.
Hopefully Iam1butterfly will come back and give some insiteful advice...Try to stay positive...Roe
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