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Nervous about microcalcifications and branching
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Nervous about microcalcifications and branching

I have just had a second mammogram. The radiology is a 4 and notes some pleomorphism and branching.  I am going to meet with a surgeon on Thursday to discuss a biopsy.  The doctor that read the films said that 80% are benign but 20% are malignant.  Has anyone had branching on their reading and has come up benign after a biopsy?  Also if anyone has had a similar reading I would like to know what biospy they chose, if they were diagnosed what stage they had.  I am very nervous.  Thaks.
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Dear nancoid: 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," "segmental" and "fine linear" or "branching" patterns 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 mammogram indicates 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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I am 55 and was treated for an agressive cancer 2 years ago this month.  Partial mastectomy on the right side with radiation and chemo.  Now two years later following my 6 month mamio they have found irregular calcifications in the left side.  They did a second more comprehensive mamio a week and a half ago.  My oncologist advised that I now need a biopsy and it has been scheduled for March 7th.  The waiting is hard.

Has anyone out there had a prior history of cancer before developing calcifications?  I have not been told if they are micro or macro but will be hounding my doctor the first of the week for this info.  I am very nervous, the thought of going through a second bout of cancer is scaring the hell out of me.  The thought of having to tell me family that it maybe of is back is frightening.
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Is it normal to be scheduled for a sterotactic biopsy and be told nothing more than that you have some calcifications?  They won't tell me what category they have classified my mammogram (4 or 5) or anything about the calcifications and I have yet to have a conversation with anyone other than a nurse on the phone.  I also tried to get a copy of the reports and they won't give me those without making an appointment to see my doctor.
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You are entitled to receive a copy of your mammo results but I can understand that they may want you to meet with a doctor to discuss them rather than just give them to you.  If you have a good relationship with your primary care physician, you might be able to get her/him to advocate for you.  The biopsy may be well called for but you definitely should get more information before making the decision to proceed.
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