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Microcalcifications turning into cancer
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Microcalcifications turning into cancer

For 2 years I have had a cluster of microcalcifications that have remained unchanged in size and shape.  A few additional calcifications have been noted. The radiologists have placed me at a birad 3.  According to one specialist this area can, in the future, turn into cancer.  Another doctor says if there is no change in the cluster within the 2 year period that no it can NOT turn into cancer in the future.  I am very confused!!  I have scheduled a biopsy for my peace of mind and then was told there was no reason for it to be done.  Does anyone know for sure which medical opinion is correct?  I don't want to ignore this and 5 years down the road find out that this place has turned into cancer, but I also don't want unnecessary surgery.  Help!!  Thank you!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear ittybit:  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
24 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I had microcalcifications last yr. that warranted a second mammogram and then the recommendation to get a mammo every year, rather than every two yrs. This yr. I discovered two lumps and since then have had mastectomy and face radiation and chemo. I would NOT trust the mammo, even if the radiologists say that no change is good news. Did they offer, or can you get an ultrasound and/or an MRI? Had I had either done last yr. the cancer would have been found too. Best of luck! catia
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response.  First of all, I am sorry that you have been through so much.  I appreciate your willingness to share your experience to help others. I was not offerred an ultrasound or MRI.  The radiologist is very confident that this is nothing to worry about, but I question the accuracy of that with no biopsy.  Sometimes I feel that I am being a little overboard about this, but I keep hearing conflicting reports.  Did your radiologist assign a birad to your calcifications?  Mine has been a 3 for two years now.  Hope to chat with you again soon.  Thanks!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't think you're going overboard at all! I am a birad 4 and am having my second biopsy in 2 days. I had 2 clusters, but they were unable to see the second, after doing the first. It's only been 1 month and here I go again. Will your insurance approve this? I think you are smart to follow up until you feel comfortable. Doctors tend to wave things off...I think. This is just my opinion, but why go through the anxiety of thinking something is wrong? I understand the fear attached to this, too much. Good luck to you. Keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
No prob at all! Plenty of people have helped me too...I'm just paying it forward, and gladly doing so. Don't be shy about demanding. We too often are, but this is your life. If you don't feel comfortable about this whole deal, just demand an US and/or an MRI. You don't need a surgical procedure, yet, but if that makes you feel better, by all means! An ultrasound, and even more so an MRI, might be able to give you the peace of mind you need to avoid the surgical procedure, if your radiologist is right and there's nothing to worry about (which I hope is the case for you). Best of luck and stay well.
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Avatar_n_tn
Everyone situation is so different, i am 39 had mamo done because of mass, while doing mammo a cluster of calcifaction was found and also a ribbon of calcifacations was found, when reading the mammo it sounded as though i needed biopsy of both areas and removal of mass( birad 4). After many questions and talking with surgeon we decided biopsy of cluster and removal of mass by biopsy procedure, he felt as though the ribbon of calcifacations didnt need biopsy, after many questions he convinced me of this. Mass was neg, the biosy was positive and now i am questioning the other area, i will see surgeon next week for path results and next step. I had myself convinced that it was neg and to many of us opt for surgery before we need it, and also in my mamo results it had suggested to do mri rather than biopsies, how does a women make this decision? I feel as though it is better to be over cautious, i went both ways.Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I just had my first mammogram last week and today I got a phone call that I need to go in for a diagnostic mammogram.  They need magnified views of my left breast.  They found "clustered irregular microcalcifications.  Needless to say I cannot think of anything else.  In doing some research online it looks like this may be the worst kind of microcalcification.  I have my appt. scheduled for this Friday but I have such a sick feeling in my stomach.  I am a bundle of nerves.  Thank you for letting me share my anxieties.  Has anyone out there had benign findings after they were told their microcalcifications were clustered & irregular?  I guess I just want some reassurance that it is possible.  Thanks again for listening
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello.  I do have a friend that was in the same situation.  She was assigned a birad 4 or 5 and immediately was biopsed.  Thankfully everything turned out fine.  It was very scary for her as well. You can request a copy of the radiologist report, it is your right and see EXACTLY how they interpreted the findings.  I will be praying for you and please let us all hear what you find out!!  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you to each of you ladies for your feedback.  I truly appreciate all the information and the sharing of personal stories.  We may go to a breast specialist to get a second opinion.  As I said before, I sometimes feel that I am a little overboard about this, but I also know that we have to be proactive!!  Best wishes to each of you and keep writing.  It is very helpful to me to get all this information!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I feel so frustrated for us women in these situations, my heart goes out to all. I too had a Birad 4 with 3 calcific clusters and 1 mass all in 1 breast, my stereotactic biopsy is next wk 12/06. I am having a terrible time finding specific information & I am an RN..go figure!! I made my own appointment with a breast surgeon & saw her yesterday. It took my husband calling to expidite the appointment. She did not see my frustration with wanting to do something BEFORE it was a 5 or my biopsy was positive. At that point your choices narrow to surgeon & oncologist.
Being an RN I cannot believe that there is not pretreatment options at the 4 stage if a women does not want to wait. I'm trying to locate a plastic surgeon to remove the majority of my breast tissue & place an implant...unconventional? I don't think so. Do I want unnessary surgery?..no!!, but if I can keep my external breast tissue and nipple before it's malignant I do not want to take a chance. I'm 54 yrs, and have been on Premarin for 22 years. My last mammo was a Birad 0. Thank you for listening.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had 2 biopsies on irregular clusters of calcifications, both birad 4. They both turned out benign. I think statistics say 80-85% of calcifications turn out benign. If I understand you correctly, you're having your magnifications done on Friday. Be sure to request a copy of the radiology report for yourself. I'd request the report from both appointments, even tho the first set of mammos were probably inconclusive. They sometimes have info on the first report that is not mentioned on the 2nd report. The 2nd report will have the birad rating on it. Sometimes you have to get it from the referring doctor. I still get scared when I get abnormal results on my mammos, too. Waiting is very hard. Hopefully yours will turn out benign.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 39, felt mass, had diagnostic mammo and us, found cluster of calcifiaction and ribbon of calcifacations, biopsied the cluster and removed mass 11/29, mass was a fibroadenoma calcifacation is in-situ duct carcinoma surgeon called me at my work 11/30 to tell me, of course he was vacation this week, i see him on 12/13 to discuss my options. I am really scared now, i had myself convinced it was neg. Good luck with results, please let me know
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Avatar_n_tn
My thoughts and heart are with you all on waiting. So I still am waiting but for the biopsy on class 4 Birad on 12/13. I'm lucky enough to not have it be a Friday the 13th!! (Humor..I can't help myself!!) Can someone help me with a question?
(Since I am given too much time prior to biopsy.)
Does anyone have painful breast(s). Feels like puberty all over again. pain & tenderness?
I have been told that I have fibrocystic breat tissue for 20 yrs and my symptoms has been ignored for years by all practioners. I have non moveable deep lump/thickness(s)in both breasts at the lowest apex (where they may hang if you are not 18 anymore.) Any direct pressure or crossing my arms is noticible and I am small breasted. This is why I have been unfazed by breast changes. On doing all this reasearch on breast health I have read that breasts at age 54 in a women who had a complete hyst 22yrs ago should not have pain in the breasts. Thanks for you all being there...:)
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Avatar_n_tn
Just wanted to give an update.  I went for the diagnostic mammo on Friday.  The doctor saw a few scattered microcalcifications and 2 clusters.  She said that one had a linear pattern & the other had a saucer-like pattern.  She says they are benign.  She wants me back in 6 months for a mammo.  She also said that if I am the type to worry and not sleep for 6 mos.  She could understand if I would want to have a biopsy.  She is leaving it up to me and my primary doctor although she believes it is benign.  I am leaning on just getting the biopsy instead of waiting for the mammo in June.  

MontanaGirl06, I'm so glad to hear it is benign!!  Great news!!  Thanks for the info about the birad rating.  I will ask about that.  I don't really know anything about that.  I'm assuming mine will be 0??

Blondieng, Good luck this week.  I will be praying for you.

BarbaraRN,  I also told the doctor that my breast hurts and is very tender.  She told me that I have dense breasts and it may be just hormonal depending on what time of the month it is.

Thanks for all the feedback.  It is very helpful.
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127512_tn?1193745816
ScaredKathy I would get a second opinion or post to the doctor here even though his comments on calcifications are usually generic since they don't have your actual test. I would be very concerned about the clusters of calcification but mainly the linear pattern. Not to scare you but this is exactly what mine looked like and I had DCIS with some invasion. Early cancer but still cancer. Things don't run in a linear pattern unless it is following a duct. Please and I stress get a second opinion or get the biopsy. Hopefully this will be nothing but I would say a biopsy is needed. Wish you well.
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127512_tn?1193745816
Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you. I can't answer your questions. Sorry. So you go to the specialist on the 13th right? Let us know. I truly hope this will be nothing.
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I know this thread was from a week ago, however I feel that you should get the biopsy.  Your personality seems a lot like mine and I say get it done!  Clear you head....better to be safe than sorry...this is YOUR life that you are talking about!!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am praying all will be well with your case too.  In my situation, they said it was a miracle mine showed on the mammogram.  It was the size of a "grain of sand".  Anyway, I was found to have macrocalcifications and mine was in a line.  Mine was in the milk duct behind the nipple.  You could not feel it.  My breast seemed fine on the outside.  Then when they did the biopsy it came back DCIS.  Noninvasive precancer, but still cancer.  The surgeon gave me the option of either lumpectomy with 7 weeks of radiation or skinsaving mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.  I chose the mastectomy with tram flap and have not regretted it.  My pathology report from my surgery was great.  There were no cells present in any of the other breast tissue.  I dread having a mammogram again on my left breast for fear that something might appear there, but I just have to trust the Lord.  He brought me through this and 8 hours of surgery...so He is still in control.  Keep us informed and I do pray all will be well with you.
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I know it has been a while.  Crazy with getting ready for the holidays.  I had an appt with my primary doctor to go over the results of the diagnostic mammo.  She says it looks good but she would advise going for the sterotactic core biospy just to be 100%.  So I will be seeing a surgeon on Dec 28 and go from there.  My report showed 2 BI-RAD classes one was IIIM-probably benign and the other showed I-negative.  I guess that is good news but I don't like the word probably so that is why I am going further.  Thanks for the advice.

Snoopy55 I am so glad that all turned out well and I will also pray for you that your next mammo is A OK!!

Susie-1- You are so right.  This is our life and we our are best advocate!!  If there is any doubt, you have to push for the next step.  Hopefully it will all come back clear.  

Enjoy the holidays!!

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Avatar_n_tn
Glad you're following up with a biopsy. This way, your mind will be totally at ease. I had 2 and both were benign.
Best of luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn

Hi Everyone.  I am 40 years old with two children, ages 5 and 7.  I had thyroid cancer almost two years ago (Thyroid removed 4/05, RAI 2/06).  Since my RAI in February I had noticed some changes in my breasts.  I had the sensation that the RAI uptake to my breasts had "ended" any lactation activity I had remaining (I had stopped nursing almost two years before, but nursed for 5 years straight before that).  In August I thought I felt some lumps I wasn't sure about, so I visited my doctor.  She did a breast exam and didn't think anything was unusual, just lumpy.  But scheduled me for a thermography in November.  The thermography showed heat spots in my left breast.  This time upon examination we found a 3cm lump that seemed to show up out of nowhere (or at least very quickly).  

Last week I did a mammogram and ultrasound.  They confirmed the mass (actually multi focal: 2.3 cm and 1.8 cm in diameter).  They are solid and show clustered calcifications.  There is not a BIRAD rating, but a statement saying
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127512_tn?1193745816
It is so hard for us to say weather it is cancer or not. I am not a doctor. If you post your question to the top of this forum a doctor will respond but without looking at your test he want be able to help you. I have seen it go both ways on this site. With and without calcifications. Try not to panic. Easier said than done. I been there. Try going to breastcancer.org (the discussion board) the girls there are very helpful. We can help support you emotionally through this. Stay busy and be well informed. Read everything you can about your particular situation and please let us know how you do?
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Avatar_n_tn
Good luck with this.  Waiting is so hard.  Boninclyde is right, learn everything you can about your situation so you are informed and can ask questions if you feel you need to.  It sounds like you are doing the right thing, and are in good hands.  What is thermography?  I have never heard of it.
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Avatar_f_tn
You're on the right track checking everything out. It's just so hard waiting and not knowing the results. I agree that you should get as much info as possible and write your questions down. Are you going to a breast specialist or general surgeon? Remember, if you are not comfortable with their answers or the way you are treated a second opinion is always an option. I hope all goes well. Keep us posted.
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