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Microcalcifications
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Microcalcifications

Hello,
I had a mammogram in November of 2005 and it came back a class 4. I guess that means it is probably very suspicious. I have three microcalcifications on my left breast. I am having a stereotatic biopsy on December 19th. I know from reading in this forum that 80 perecent come back benign. I am really nervous, I am only 45. My two older sisters also went through the same procedure and everything worked out okay for them. I guess I am just pretty scared. Thank you for your help.

Terry
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Dear Terry:  Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits found within the breast tissue and these occur normally. 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 "cluster" of microcalcifications may increase concern that there may be an underlying abnormality. This could be many things but generally requires further investigation. Most of the time, these turn out to be benign.  A BIRAD 4 means that there is a suspicious abnormality. Most category 4 abnormalities are benign but may require biopsy since this category can be malignant in 25-50% of cases.
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Snuffy
I was just diagnosed with 2 new microcalcifications that weren't on last years mammogram.  I am very nervous too. The radiologist said these were highly suspicious, which makes me highly scared! I go for a steriotactic biopsy on December 28th. Hopefully if it is something it is in a very early stage! I have no breast cancer in my family, and am very fit, so this really worries me! Let me know how everything goes.
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Thank you for your support. I like you am very nervous. I have a very positive outlook and I think that both you and I will be okay. It is really scary not knowing what lies ahead. I too have no history of breast cancer. But knowing that we have faith and we have support on this board means a lot. I will let you know how I make out. I will keep you in my prayers too. I know it is hard, but I know everything will work out okay. Thanks again!

Terry
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I found microcalcifications on the 6th via mammo and had a biopsy the next week. I only had a few scattered in one area.  Turned out to be DCIS. The outlook is very good though.. looks
like we caught it early.  I am scheduled for a lumpectomy on 1/6.  I am heading to another major cancer center for a 2nd opinion before my lumpectomy however just to confirm.  Everything I read is very positive about the outcome because this is a precancerous condition.  I was very worried too, but glad we caught it early.  Try to focus on the fact that the slim chance that it is something, it was caught early.
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I went for a mammo. today and the Doctor told me that I have to get a biopsy because he see's a small group of micro calcifictions on my mammo. I am really nervous and am trying to get myself together to understand what this really is all about the area is tiny with around 5 tiny spots. I still have to find a Doctor to do the biopsy and would really appreciate it if anyone who is going though this could tell me what to expect. I have also been reading about how some of you have had the biopsy and I am wondering how you have all made out with the results.

I would appreciate any information you can tell me, I guess you know how upset I am right now.. Thanks
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Hi I'm 53, had a hysterectomy last June.  Five years ago I had 5 small microcalcifications in my right breast. They were found to be negative.  I had a mammo a week ago and now they found an area in my left breast.  I'm not sure if it's a cluster or scattered. I'm getting ready to have more xrays and another biopsy. Because I have so many fibrois cystic, I'm afraid to have a mammo..they always find a reason to bio or take loads of xrays. I worry about being xrayed so much.  
Does a hysterectomy change the structure of your breast?  Are you more prone to microcalcifications before or after a hysterectomy?
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Dear Hydrin,

My surgeon told me that most of the time micrcalcifications are benign.  However, as you can see from my previous note I did have something called DCIS that was diagnosed after a stereostatic biopsy two weeks ago.  I was horrified at first too.  But then you realize that it is stage 0 and curable.  In your case you may still have only benign calcifications, so take it one day at a time.  If you are comfortable learning more, do a web search of DCIS and learn some things about it.  I am in the massachusetts area and would be happy to recommend my surgeon if you are in the area.

Hang in there.  Keep good thoughts and take it one day at a time.
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Dear Celebris466,

Glad to hear that your diagnosis is just DCIS. From what I have read about DCIS it is very very treatable. I had a couple of microcalcifications on my left side and fortunately my path report came back good. I will keep you in my prayers, Hang in their and let us know how you make out on 1/6. I know that you will be okay.

Best Wishes,
Snuffy :))
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Dear Hydrin,
I can certainly relate to what you are going through. I too was diagnosed recently with Microcalcifications on my left side. They were very close to the chest wall and a biopsy was suggested. I had the stereotatic biopsy on 12/19 and while it was a bit uncomfortable for me, it was relatively quick.  I got my results back last week and everything is okay. I know what you must be feeling. Anxiety, no sleep, and just worried. Although I am not a doctor some of the research I have done on these pesky things is this. If their is under ten microcalcifications chances are that it is probably nothing. 80% come back benign and if by chance they do find something they have caught it early. I know it is scary but I tried to keep my mind off it by doing other things. Try to relax, and as far as needing a surgeon, my gyn recommended a few to me in my area. That may be something you would like to look into possibly. I will keep you in my prayers. I know this board has been a godsend to me. Let me know how you make out.

Snuffy
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Dear Andy's Mom,
I know having microcalcifications can be pretty scary. If I were you I would not be afraid to have another biopsy or xrays if suggested to do so. From what I understand mammos have a very low radiation output or something like that. I have a feeling that everything will be okay for you. I do not know much about having a hysterectomy, sorry I cannot help you out with that question. I will keep you in my prayers and I know that you will be fine. Please let us know how you make out. Hang in their!

Snuffy
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Thanks!

Odd note to all of this.  I carried my mammograms home to take to a second opinion next week.  Weird thing is the microcalcifications were there in 2004, however, I can't tell if there were 5 of them like now or not, it is too hard to see.
So now I want to know why the radiologist last year didn't send me the Dr. like they did this year!!

Also, not sure about you folks but I never heard of microcalcifications before this.  I have participated in Breast Cancer walks and my step mom is Stage 2 almost done treatments.. and never heard of DCIS or calcifications.  

I thank God my surgeon decided to biopsy them, his inital reaction was there are only a few, not really clustered, but let's biopsy them to be on the safe side!  You just never know.

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Hi: I  appreciate all of your support,  your posts are so helpful with all the information that everyone is giving I do feel more hopeful
. I have an appointment  on January 5 with a surgeon I am in the Nyc area and my family Doctor recommended him, wish I could go and have it biopsed right now, the waiting is a horror.

  I have never heard of microcalcifications , I always thought that a lump was what they were looking for in the mammograms..that is what has me so confused.

I will let you know how my tests come out. I am keeping all of you in my prayers .. Thanks again for the support.
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Hi Celebris,
Wow, that is strange that your radiologist did not send you for further evaluation in 2004. The good thing is that you are going now and everything will be okay. I too did not know anything about microcalcifications or DCIS. I just researched as much as I could about it and I found a lot of answers. The good news with micros is that they are very common and usually benign. I am going through menopause and mine had something to do with that. I will keep you in my prayers. Hang in their!

Snuffy
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Hydrin,
Glad to hear that you found a surgeon. Give yourself a pat on the back! Next, try to relax. I know it is hard. I had to wait about four weeks until my biopsy. The waiting drove me crazy. I guess they were just busy. Hopefully you do not have to wait that long. Try to keep busy with other things and yes I know it is hard. I too never knew anything about Microcalcifications. I just researched them and found a lot of information. The good news is that they are very common and a lot of women get them. Also 80% are usually benign. Another thing you have going for you is your location. NY has some great doctors. I know you will be in good hands. I live about an hour north of Boston and I feel fortunate to be in such a good area with close proximity to good doctors. Hang in their and I know you will be just fine!
Take care,

Snuffy
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Thank you for your comments.  It's amazing how "news of more microclacifications" can upset your routine. This is a great web-site.  It's nice to be able to talk about this and hear    other peoples situations. I see a surgion on Tuesday to discuss the films then I'll do what is needed.
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Hello,I'm seeing a surgeon on Tuesday the 2nd, 2006 because my gyn. has recommended a second look at my microcalsifications. I received my films and have the Radiologist findings from years ago to present. My latest findings are as follows,There are some scattered microcalcifications in both breasts. The patient has had previous breast biopsies. Nonspecific calcifications in the central left breast.  These were not definitely present on the previous examination, however, digital technique is improving the contrast of this examination.  Extremely dense fibroglandular pattern. BI_RADS CATEGORY #3-probably benign findings, short interval follow-up.  CAD analysis was performed and used in the interpretation of this mammogram.
I notice that my findings in 2004 said BI-RAD CATEGORY 2 benign findings. 2003 said BI-RADS CATEGORY 0-need additional imaging evaluation.  My question,what does the BI-RADS CATEGORY # mean...if it's higher does that mean things are looking more serious?
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I am scheduled for a stereotactic biopsy for Tuesday, January 10th. Can anyone whose had one let me know what was done and your impression of the procedure? Don't be shy or inhibited. I have a very high tolerance and do not scare easily. I have had many procedures in my life including fetal blood testing and amnio for toxoplasmosis when I was pregnant 16 years ago. Also being a scientist for 20+ years, some of which in cancer research, I have been taught to look at all of the evidence before jumping to conclusions. Any info would be appreciated.
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Hi There, I had microcalcifications on my right breast. I had a sterotactic biopsy  November 18th. They came back pre cancerous however I have to have  them removed and then radiation for one month My diagnosis was also DCIS. I am waiting for my date which is probably this week. The procedure is done under local and does not take very long. However it is scarey and I constantly think about it. My Doctor is great so hang in there everyone any comments would be appreciated. Happy New Year Chunkey
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Hi Everyone,

Had my lumpectomy on Friday. I won't know the results until later this week.  However, the procedure went well. The most uncomfortable part for me was having the guide wire put in place.  The surgery was fine, I was given a sedative and local.  I was sore over the weekend, but feeling better today.
Anxious to talk to the Dr. Thursday to get every sorted out.

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I just received my call for my surgery under local anaesthetic. It will be January 26th. Waiting is the worst. I then see my Doctor february 14th for the results. Quite a procedure... Is the waiting period normally this long. The Doctor says it is fine and my dcis is very small, Don't you have to wait until they tell you what type of cells there are? Please respond
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Hi: I just got my appointment for a biopsy for the calcifications. The appointment is January 18. My Doctor gave me a choice of how the biopsy would be done,I chose surgery.The Doctor said that would be fine and he would have more control over the biopsy that way.  I am hoping I made the right choice. Has anyone opted for surgery over the needle type biopsy?

The Doctor said that the area is small and that if there is anything there is should be 90% curable at this stage, that made me feel better.

Does anyone know when the surgery is done can a Doctor tell anything by looking at the area taken, or is the only way to know anything is by waiting for the results of the biopsy?

Thanks
Mary
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Hi: I just got my appointment for a biopsy for the calcifications. The appointment is January 18. My Doctor gave me a choice of how the biopsy would be done,I chose surgery.The Doctor said that would be fine and he would have more control over the biopsy that way.  I am hoping I made the right choice. Has anyone opted for surgery over the needle type biopsy?

The Doctor said that the area is small and that if there is anything there is should be 90% curable at this stage, that made me feel better.

Does anyone know when the surgery is done can a Doctor tell anything by looking at the area taken, or is the only way to know anything is by waiting for the results of the biopsy?

Thanks
Mary
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Hello everyone, glad this board is here.
Been a good couple of years for me.  I underwent weight loss surgery so that I could have the hip replacement surgery I needed to correct deformities from birth.  worked very well.  I have had both hips replaced and one redone.  So, I'm thin for the first time in my life and I have two good hips to get around on!!!  My husband and I got custody of our granddaughter last year.  she is 18 mos old and a wonderful kid.  Who could ask for anything more.  Life is good.  Then the mammogram............  A cluster of microcalcifications in the left breast.  A 3 to 4 cm lump that was not found during my physical in October.  A stereotactic biopsy to be done on 1/12/06.  It's a scary thing.  I can't help but wonder if things were just going too good for me.  Maybe I wasn't thankful enough.  Gosh, the things that go through your head while you're waiting.  So, how long after the biopsy do they usually tell you something?  I don't know how much more waiting I can take.
Thanks, it does help to hear so many different people are going through the same thing and with good results.
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I had a biopsy for microcalsifications 5 years ago.  My surgeon said I could choose the needle biopsy or surgery to remove the whole area. He explained that if he did a needle biopsy and found something positive he would then need to go back in and remove the whole area... so I just had the whole area removed. I was lucky and everything was negative.  Now, I'm on another 6 month check-up routine because new micocalsifications showed up on my last mammo(a month ago). My surgeon said that the new digital mammo's are showing more than ever before and that the new microcalsifications could have been there before. My films have been read by three specialist (one from Moffitt Cancer Center) and they all agree that a biopsy is not needed at this time but a 6 month digital mammo must be done. This stuff wears you out but you just have to stay on top of it!!  Good luck!  
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Hi: I know four  woman who have been through this calcification stuff 2 or 3 times already, going for the biopsy than going back for there mammo six months later  and finding more calcifications and than  getting biopsed again .

I guess it is a good thing that they can find
things so early but it sure does put us through alot , two of the woman I mentioned  have not gone back for there 6 month mammo because they can't take the stress again, which is really a bad thing to do but lets face it I can  understand why they are doing it.

It is really a shame that there is not a faster way of finding out the results of the biopsy, ideally the biopsy should be done the next day and the preliminary results given right than. My biggest concern used to be waiting for the results of the mammo, but I found a Doctor who gives me the results in about 20 minutes.  

I happy that you don't need a biopsy this time...... Take care
Mary
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Does anyone know anything about the link between microcalcifications and heart disease? I am 30 yrs. old, and recently had a mammogram (after detecting lumps in right breast), I was told I have scattered microcalcifications and to go back in a year for another check up...just to be safe they tell me. Turns out the lumpy tissue I was feeling was just that, alot of glandular fat. But, if I hadn't gone in for that, I would never have known about the calcifications. Recently I went to see a cardiologist and had a heart monitor and an echocardiogram for a rapid heartbeat and skips. My echo came back fantastic, with a normal study, but my monitor indicates I have sinus tachyardia. I am high-anxiety with occasionaly panic attacks (might be casuing the tachy). But, read in an article that there isa link between calcifications and heart disease. I am only 30, what's the risk? CAn anyone tell me anything?
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It seems like these microcalcifications are a new thing.  I've frankly never heard of them before.  I stupidly waited seven years since my last mammo and this one last week shows multiple new microcalcs in the retroareolar area of my left breast...spot compressions in the morning.  I'm terrified.  I wonder, though, if since I've never had the CAD device mammo, that they're just now picking them up and they're really not new.  I am a VERY anxious person and don't handle this waiting very well.  Good luck to everyone.
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Hi,

Hope everyone is doing well.  I spoke with my surgeon a week after my lumpectomy.  There is some difference in the grade of the lumpectomy sample and the biopsy sample.  My stereostatic was Grade III/III, my lumpectomy is II/III, so the surgeon wants to really get some good opinions from several folks.  It could be that the biopsy area was grade III and that what was ever left for the lumpectomy is grade III.  I think it probably makes treatment decisions a little different.  I meet with my oncology team Feb 1.  Wish it would all go away :)
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I think even though the "microcalsification shock" gets to all of us and the waiting is the worst thing I've ever experienced. I think we are all actually better off finding the micro's early, having them removed, getting early treatment and staying on top of the situation. Even if we are DCIS or level 4 these stages are apparently pre-cancer and manageable. Having this group to talk with is very helpful.  Five years ago when I was told about my situation I couldn't find anyone who had ever heard of microcalsifications.  My dear friend(53) who has never had micro's, never had a bad mammo and has been on the phone with me for hours while waiting for "my microcalsifications" findings,just recently had a lump "appear", and has been diagnosised with "a rare aggressive carcinoma". This stuff is nuts!
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Your surgeon is removing your calcifications? Mine are not clustered they are scattered so I was told to just leave them alone and we'll just ensure that they don't cluster (clusters are the scary pre-cancerous ones). They also told me they have never seen a case of scattered calcifications that move together, and that mine are probably caused from a breast-reduction surgery that I had  12 years ago. Ugh. If I would have known it caused that, I wouldn't have done it.
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Hi Everyone.

Four years ago I was dignosed with DCIS. It was a terrible shock. I was 46. I guess the thing I really want to say is that everyone should read-up on the treatment and make a decision for themselves. I decided not to have radiation after my two surgeries-one to remove the DCIS and the second, to clear the margins. There are things that may not be clear when it comes to treatment. What I discovered thru the internet and my doctors was that radiation changes the breast tissue and can make it impossible or nearly so to have reconstructive surgery later if an aggressive cancer returns. Since DCIS may or may not become agressive and some women live with it their whole lives without problems, I was very comfortable doing the most important thing, surgery, but didn't want to overtreat something that has a lot of controversy attached to it. Apparently the medical community isn't quite sure of the best way to treat DCIS and so they take a shotgun approach and treat it like stage 1 breast cancer.

Please understand that this decision was the right one for me and certainly may not be the right one for you. Just please consider all of your options, weigh the facts and lastly, know that for yourself, you've chosen the right treatment path; one that you can live with. Ask your doctor to be honest with you about the side effects as sometimes they gloss over them. It's your body and breast and some of these other treatments carry lifelong effects with them.

Good luck to everyone. I know it's scary, but one day you will be sitting years away from this unsettling time.

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Thank you all for posting such informative information regarding your situations.  I am 33 and have history of bc in family - mother diagnosed at 39.  I had a mammogram at 30 which was normal.  Had a baby just over 2 years ago and breastfed her for 18 months.  Had my second mammogram 3 weeks ago and went back last Thursday for digital diagnostic mammogram.  Radiologists saw cluster of microcalcs on rt breast which she felt warented a stereotactic biopsy this Monday.  I know I need to wait for biopsy results before making myself too crazy, but could these microcalcs, whether benign or precancerous, be removed regardless?  Has anyone had these removed with laser?  Thanks again for all posts - very helpful for me as I have had only about a week to digest my own situation.
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If they are beign, then they should not be a problem. They probably should be removed if precancerous or DCIS. Consider the rest of your treatment carefully. The jury is still out (at least in some medical circles) about what should be done next. Good luck to you as there are choices and not everyone will agree with everyone else. Choose for yourself and your comfort level...
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Just wanted to get back to everyone.

I got the results of my biopsy.. negative for an cancer...

I was very concerned,  I think even my Doctor expected there to be something there, because when he looked at the biopsy report he appeared  surprised. Guess this just shows that even the best Doctors can't tell anything before the results from the biopsy are in.

BTW before the biopsy he told me something that made me feel alot better and maybe some of you ladies will feel better also about the calcifications , I had a small grouping of calcifiactions , and  he said that if he did find something there at this stage it is usually 100% curable...

Thank you all for your advice, help and support it made the wait alot more bearable... Take care
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Biopsy came back benign.  I go back in 6 months for mammogram.  Thanks for comments and advice.  Good luck to you all.  
Angie
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Hi Everyone,
Iam 35 years old and my husband and i are trying for our first child. I decided to have a mammogram just cause i thought i'd get it out of the way. Well, i did & they caleld me back to tell me they had to do an xray on my left breast again cause they found calcifications. I went in even though i had the cad done and they said i have to come back in 6 months. they said its not cancerous but i was reading on line and they said that califications come in 2. Macro& micro? Should i ask my doctor which kind of calcification i have? They said its hard to read cause i'm young. The other thing too is that if i get pregnant now i can't go back in 6mths. i have to wait 9 mths. Should i be worried, which iam. My mom said not to be that its normal.I am nervous but this is new to me what should i think?? if anyone can give me advice that would be great? What about a Biopsy in 6mths,when i'm pregnant? Is that a needle thing there?
thanks
preston1
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I have been trying to absorb so much information in the past few days and then I found this forum.  
My situation is unique as I am not the patient, my husband is.  He has been living with a noticable lump for the past 8 to 10 months.  He neglected to tell me about it.  I saw him rubbing his breast and he came clean.  I felt and saw the lump; the afflicted breast differs in shape and size to the other one.  And it is very tender.
I made an appointment right away with our family Doctor.  He scheduled a mammogram last week.  This morning we heard that there was calcification, possibly from an old injury.  We have an appointment scheduled Feb. 21st, with a surgeon, for a biopsy.  
My huband is 42 years old.  Is anyone aware of men who have been diagnosed with this, or been through this?  I would appreciate any input.  This is going to be a very long next couple of weeks for us.
Thank you all in advance and best of luck to you with your own procedures.
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Hi to all...Just had a surgical biopsy done on a "couple" of microcalcifications.  My left breast has numerous clusters, but they were all too close to the skin to do the needle biopsy on, so my surgeon recommended the surgical route.  I have a small incision about an inch across and never needed a pain pill for it. Have to wait until Wednesday for the results, but the surgeon said the ones he removed looked "unsuspicious" because the tissue around the area was very healthy.  Still...I am anxious to know.  The doctor did say the if they came back as malignant, I would have to have a total mastectomy since there are so many clusters.  But, if they come back as being benign, then the others will have to be monitored carefully.  The radiologist wanted the surgeon to remove more than he did, but I agree with the surgeon's theory.  With me luck!
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I was diagnosed two years ago with breast cancer on the left side.  Had a partial mastectomy, radiation and chemo.  Recently had a mamio and they found calcifications on the right side now. I am going for a biopsy next week and am scared beyond belief.
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A related discussion, breast calcifications was started.
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A related discussion, microcalcifications was started.
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I had a routine mammogram April 11 And was called back for an ultrasound and another nano on my left breast.  The radiology report indicates I have a 4cm mass and rated it highly suspicious. I have an apt to see an oncologist on may 9th.  Is this a large mass and does highly suspicious usually mean cancer??
Kathy
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A related discussion, Breast Microcalcification surgery was started.
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