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calcification on palpable breast mass
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calcification on palpable breast mass

I am a 35 year old woman who found a palpable mass on her right breast.  I had it examined by my family doctor.  She ordered a mammogram.  The doctor describes it as movable,small and firm.  The mammogram doctors are thinking it is a calcification.  The mammogram also showed that it has some irregularity to the mass. They suggested that it may be a fibroadenoma, but are recommending a consult/needle localization-excisional biopsy in 2 weeks.  I am not sure how long it has been there and I have no prior mammograms.  My family has no history of breast cancer. Should I have a MRI done before the biopsy?  I have read a lot about the micro and macro calcifications, but don't quite understand how a palpable mass is calcified.  Can you explain?  What is my prognosis?  And I am worried about the 2 week wait if it is cancerous? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated as I am the mother of a 4 year old and I am trying to prepare for what happens next.  Thanks so much for your time and help!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear NieceLynn:  When a mammogram is done it is usually associated with a BIRAD score which indicates the level of concern of the radiologist.  When there is a palpable mass that is confirmed with mammography, a recommendation for additional intervention will be based on the level of suspicion of the radiologist, as well as the clinical features of the mass.  If the radiologist and surgeon think that there MIGHT be cause for concern, additional investigation, such as a biopsy, may be recommended.  A biopsy (in particular an excisional biopsy) will enable a pathologist to evaluate the whole mass and determine whether it is benign or malignant.  An MRI may be used in addition to mammography in certain situations such as evaluating dense breast tissue, identifying very small masses that would not be visualized with other imaging, and determining the extent of a known cancer, for example.  In other words, it may give more information but it may not be able to eliminate the need for a biopsy.  Without seeing your mammogram and doing a physical examination, we  cannot speculate on your specific situation.  From your note, it sounds as if this is really worrying you and it might be possible for you to ask to be seen by the surgeon sooner or, alternatively, you could seek another opinion from a different surgeon (preferably someone who specializes in breast disease).
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Please disregard the MRI question.(I just found the lump last week and I am trying to understand everything.)  I just wanted to add that my health has been great-I try to exercise 3x a week on a stepper and I'm a vegetarian. Also, the lump is just below the surface-I'm barely a 34A, about halfway between my sternum and nipple. I may have never noticed it because at first feel, it blends with the hardness feeling of my ribs, since I don't have much of a breast.  What is the liklihood of cancer?  And again I appreciate your time and help.
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Avatar_n_tn
I look at mammograms (and MRI, for that matter) as a way to find things that aren't palpable. When there's a lump, it must be dealt with in some way no matter what the imaging studies show. From what you describe, there's a good chance that it could be a fibroadenoma, which is a harmless and common tumor, and which often calcifies over time. However, no xray or similar image can give an absolute answer. So biopsy of some sort becomes necessary in many cases: if it's a thing that feels innocent, and if the woman prefers not to have it removed, one option is a fine-needle aspiration, which gets enough cells to sample and look at under the microscope; if it feels benign, and the sample is ok, and if it doesn't look like cancer on xray, then the chance of missing cancer is very small. But when there's a definite solid mass, no amount of xrays will give enough information alone on which to make a diagnosis.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello...I had a biopsy done yesterday on microcalcifications and am going nuts until I hear the results. My question is, why would they make someone go through something so drastic for NOTHING. The technician said there's an 85% chance of it being normal, yet after the test, I feel so down now. I had it done on both breasts, to make things worse, and 2 days of waiting is an eternity. Everyone I've talked to thats heard of this, ended up being cancer. Am I to give up hope or shall I keep praying for a good outcome?? I'm so confused and depressed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am waiting to have a stereotactic bioposy done next week.  I have had several mammograms and this is next step.  Can someone respond with their comments.

Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
yes hi im glad i found this site  i am having pain in both of my breast i dont feel any lumps and i have leakage when i squeeze my nipples there are no one in my family that has breast cancer and i just turned 40 i have a appointment but im scared do you have any addvice for me .thank you worried anggogan
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Avatar_n_tn
i'm also waiting on results and i will get them on thursday. I'm 20 years old and felt a lump on my right breast. Should i be concerned that i just found it on one breast only because i've read some forums which says that begin tumors are found on both breast? I had a fine needle aspiration and i just hope everything tunrs out okay
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