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cluster of microcalcifications benign?
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cluster of microcalcifications benign?

i would like to know if anyone has ever had a biopsy result from a birad 4 (suspicous) mammo report cluster calcifications that was benign. everyone on this website who had cluster microcalcifications on mammo all seem to have had an outcome of cancer, even though they say that 80 percent are benign. the more i read on this i get more terrified.
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Dear corkey11:  The literature reports that a BIRADs category 4 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."  Keep in mind that you are asking questions on a breast cancer forum - many of the people using this forum will have had some experience with breast cancer.  People who wind up with benign biopsies may never use a forum such as this.  You may be getting a slightly skewed viewpoint.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had cluster microcalc's that turned out to be benign. I had 2 wire location surgeries to remove the cluster(2nd surgery was needed as they missed them the 1st time) My mammo was also BIRAD 4. I was terrified that it was cancer after reading everything I could about cluster microcalc's plus my family history. Try to keep a positive attitude though,it does help. Having good friends you can talk to also helps.
Good luck and take care.
Bet
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I also had microcalcifications show up during my annual mammogram last year...clusters of abnormal shaped cells in my right breast, and random, scattered cells in my left. After two stereotactic core biopsies, and then surgery to remove the calcifications and surrounding area, it was determined that I had atypical ductal hyperplasia in the right....not cancer, but observed by many as pre-cancer. I am now on tamoxifen to combat any future occurrence (am high risk). I believe microcalcifications should always be checked out-in my instance it may have helped eliminate future problems down the road.

Good luck,
Kathy
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for your comment. i was just wondering if you did not have cancer what was the cause of the microcalcifications.
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for your comment. how long have you ben on tamoxifen and how are you doing with it. i heard there are a lot of side effects. if i do have to make the decision to take tamoxifen i would like to know if its worth it.
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I have been on tamoxifen for almost 10 months. In the beginning I suffered night sweats (which have gone away), hot flashes (which continue, but not as severe as in the first couple of months), leg cramps while sleeping (those have stopped), weight gain (working hard to keep it off), and menstrual cycles that are completely out of wack.  I am 48 and premenopause. My periods were very regular...like clockwork...until after 4 months of being on tamoxifen. Now I have either two periods a month (lasting 8-10 days, 10 days off, and 8-10 days back on), or a period that lasts approximately 20 days...ugh! Each period is extremely heavy throughout. At this point I am meeting regularly with my GYN, and will probably have a hysterectomy in the next couple of months. I will continue on the tamoxifen for the five year regimen, however. I had my follow-up 6-month mammo yesterday and received the report today all is fine. Also, the tamoxifen seems to have lowered my cholesterol (at least that is what I am attributing the lower count to), so that is good.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not really sure of the cause of my microcalc's. My pathology included apocrine metaplasia, fibrosis, multiple cyts and hyalinazation. All aparently benign conditions. I have dense breasts and in all have had 6 surgical biospsies all of which have been benign. Three of these were fibroadenomas. Due to my family history I keep a close eye on any changes in my breasts. From what I understand the way the cluster is formed can be a clue as to the probability of it being benign or cancerous. Here is a site that I found interesting on mammo's and how they're interperated.
http://sprojects.mmi.mcgill.ca/mammography/mammoanalysis.htm

Have you had the biopsy yet? It's important to Ask Questions! They will not usually volunteer information but be persistant until you are sure you understand everything they are saying.
Good Luck and keep us posted.
Bet
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Avatar_n_tn
i am scheduled to have the biopsy on oct 5. i am terrified . i know they have to do the wire local first then the biopsy. my surgeon said he would do the biopsy with a local and i am guessing some sort of iv drug to make me drowsy. (i hope). when you had your biopsys did you have wire local also. and honestly how painful was it? were you under general or local for your biopsy and how was that? i'm sorry for all the questions. i have fibrocystic breasts and am just hoping the calcifications are benign changes. i am only 47 and the thought of all of this is just to much to bear. i can't even think about radiation and tamoxifen, or even all the biopsys that you have had.
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Avatar_n_tn
my god. tamoxifen sounds like a horror. i am 47 premenopausal and like you my period is like clockwork. i hope i don;t have to make the decision of taking tamoxifen. thanks for all your support. it helps to talk to people who have been there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I did have the wire localization with my 2 of my biopsies. That portion is like a regular mammo except you need to stay very still for longer. They insert the wire(which is actually a thin needle with the wire inside it) That was not terribly painful. They did give a shot of lidocaine to the area first) I had IV meds to make me sleep, I think they call it twilight sleep. You are asleep but not as deep as general anesthetic. After the biopsy there was some bruising and some pain. I think I was prescribed Tylenol 3 for pain and didn't use it all. I was sore for a couple of weeks but then it depends on you activity level too. I overdid and paid for it with more pain. Its not as scary as it sounds. Try to stay calm. The worst part is waiting for the path results. That will probably drive you insane if you let it.
I am 42 and also have dense breasts. You are doing the right thing by having the biopsy. I hope you get good results as I did. Let me know how it goes. I know what you're going through and am here to listen or answer any questions I can for you. This board was a godsend for me.
Bet
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Avatar_n_tn
While the tamoxifen has effected me in a number of ways, please remember that others have not had the same side effects. I know of a couple people who have hardly noticed any changes at all, while two friends complain primarily of hot flashes and weight gain. The long I am on the tamoxifen and with my body adjusting to the medication, the side effects are not as severe. Everyone handles tamoxifen differently.

I also have had three wire localizations, which were painful but not unbearable. Just continue to ask for pain meds as needed...don't be afraid to ask! Two of my biopsies were under generals...deep sleep for me! I chose not to be awake, even under twilight sleep. I was too anxious and preferred to just be unaware of the surgery itself.

Good luck in October.  We will be thinking of you, and hoping that everything is "fine and benign". Feel free to stay in touch...this is a wonderful group of people.

Kathy
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Avatar_n_tn
thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. please say a prayer for me . i will keep in touch and let you know how i make out.   thanks again.
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Avatar_n_tn
in regards to tamox.  I had what I've been told was a fairly rare reaction but one that has been documented just to let you know that it is a side effect if you experience it.  My mental and emotional health was adversely affected.  As the weeks went by I became less and less able to focus and more and more depressed.  When it finally occured to me that maybe the tamox. was the problem I spoke to my doctor and stopped the medications within two weeks i was back to normal.  it seems that in some women the tamox. not only blocks the absoption of hormones but also the absorption of serotonin and I was in a chemical depression.  i could opt to continue the tamox. along with an anti depressant or I could stop the tamox.  Because my chances of recurrence was low I opted to stop the tamox.  I hope it was the right choice.  Good luck
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I had a small cluster...or grouping of microcalcifications that were new on mammogram I had done a year ago.   Birad 4.
Stereotactic biopsy.  Negative for cancer.

Mammogram O.K. this year.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just wanted to add my two cents in. I also had micro-calcification, the surgeon did a wire loca. biopsy, I don't want to scare you, because it wasn't bad, except when they had to first put the wisre in. (for me that was done in radiology)
And for them to get the perfect position of where the cluster was, I must have had 5-8 mammagrams done, and you have to sit/stand there and wait for them to develope the xray, and then have the radiologist look at...... It was a very long procedure. If I knew what they were going to do, and how long it was going to take, I think I would have been ready emotionally. But I was a nervous reck. The biopsy it self, went fine, sore but thats why they persc. pain med. The pathology report came back as benign, but I also had ADH (atypical ductal Hyperplasia) Which I'm now on Tamoxifen, even though the side effects are annoying... I can live with it. My first biopsy was at age 35, I'm now 38 and I'm still having mammagrams every 6 mos. I have had 4 wire local. biopsies in last 3 years. Other then the ADH all biopsies have been begnin.
Good Luck on Oct.5, let us know how it turns out. I hope this has helped in some way. God Speed.
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Avatar_n_tn
well i finally had my wire local biopsy. unfortunately the did not numb me at all for the wire local . the just compressed me in the mammo and inserted the needle. it was painful. but then i hate needles anyway. and my luck she did not get it on the first try. after that the surgery for the biopsy i was given an iv and a local. i actually slept through the whole thing. i woke up at the end when they sere stitching me up. all in all the weeks of waiting and anticipating it was not as bad as i imagined it. not that i want to go back again lol. so now i wait for the path report. i pray everything is benign. i'll keep in touch.
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad you made it through the surgery ok. I've heard that sometimes the needle for numbing hurts worse than the actual wire placement.
Anyway.....any idea when you'll get your results? The waiting is the worst part(at least it was for me)
I am sending good thoughts and wishes your way. Keep us posted.
Take it easy and take care.
Bet
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actually that was what the doctor told me about the numbing needle. she said it hurts more than the actual needle for the wire local . she said she used to give it but not anymore. i have an appointment with my doctor next thursday but i am thinking he will probably call me with the results before then. i am keeping my fingers crossed. thanks for your good wishes. i will keep you posted.
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hi

just got my results from my biopsy. i am so happy. no sign of cancer. i had a samll fibroadenoma, duct ectasia, intraductal papilloma and mild ductal hyperplasia. all benign conditions.
just wanted to let you know. thank you for your prayers.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank goodness!! I'm very happy to hear that your results are benign. Its a great feeling isn't it? Hopefully now you can relax and get on with your life. Congrats to you!
Take care

Bet
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Avatar_n_tn
This is my first visit and reading your discussions about microcalcification has given me great comfort.  I am scheduled to have an open surgical biopsy on November 8 for the cluster they found in my left breast and all of the questions, fears, etc., that I have were pretty much addressed by Corkey!  Corkey, I'm thankful your results were benign and I appreciate learning through all of you.  The waiting is hard.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am 52 years old and just had my first mammogram. The radiologist found a few micros on my right breast. I will undergo the needle biopsies which are done facing down through a hole in the table. Is that correct. My mammogram was on October 28th and I am having the needle at the end of November.I find this is long waiting period. Is that normal waiting time. The doctor also said that the worst scenario is it could be pre cancerous. I am a little freaked. Pleaae reassure me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am 52 years old and just had my first mammogram. The radiologist found a few micros on my right breast. I will undergo the needle biopsies which are done facing down through a hole in the table. Is that correct. My mammogram was on October 28th and I am having the needle at the end of November.I find this is long waiting period. Is that normal waiting time. The doctor also said that the worst scenario is it could be pre cancerous. I am a little freaked. Pleaae reassure me.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am scheduled for my biopsy in 2 weeks, Dec. 15.  So I am interested in other's experiences.  I have indeterminate calcifications, and when I saw the digital x-ray at the time of the scan they looked pretty clustered and odd shaped to me, so I was not surprised to be called for a biopsy.  We have digital but the radiologists do not do the categories here, odd.  So will have to wait.
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Hey what happened with your biopsy?  I hope all is well.  I am scheduled for one two, so this has helped me out.  Lori
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I am glad to have found this site.  Have yearly mammograms and have just had two small clusters of microcalcifications found at "11 and 12:30 o'clock"  Had MRI, nothing difinitive.  I now need to schedule a biopsy with surgeon.  Have choice between general surgeon and one who specializes in breast care.  The latter will require some travel but from reading your comments about the biopsy procedures it seem to me that an expert is the way to go.  I too am very nervous at this point...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello all,
Just found this website. My mammogram in May showed a cluster of microcalcifications, requiring a biopsy. It was a wire guided biopsy...the insertion of the wire was fairly easy.
Then came the biopsy...I was awake...the surgeon made sure I had enough local anesthesia to be comfortable.
The hardest part was waiting for the pathology report. It was DCIS..stunned me. No family history, nothing! Then I had a lumpectomy, because the margins, while clear, were not large enough to satisfy the surgeon. This was done under local, also..my preference.I had 6 weeks of radiation, and at present am in a Tamoxifen/Arimidex study...no side effects to speak of.
Had a 6 month mammogram the other day...it shows microcalcifications again...I see the surgeon again on the 20th. Don't know what he will suggest, will wait and see.
I'm a nurse, and have preached this to women for years, to follow up if your studies are abnormal...now I have to practise what I have preached.Can't help feeling anxious.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I had microcalcifications in my left breast. After stereostatic biopsy, it turned out to be DCIS with solid type and criboform.  So I am having a lumpectomy on 1/6.. scared that they might find invasive and more afraid of Tamoxifen.  Particularly depression.  I was on BCP years ago and my PMS was horrible and I was constantly weepy.  But being premenopaus I don't think there is anything else at this point.  Am almost thinking about masectomy just to avoid the Tamoxifen.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had two biopsies after mammogram findings of suspicious microcalcifications - first for a bi-rads 5, then for bi-rads 4. Both were negative, no cancer. So there are some of us out here.
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I had a stereotactic biopsy in Sept.  DCIS was diagnosis.  2 mos later lumpectomy showed no cancer.  Doc thinks clip may have migrated wants to do another lumpectomy.  I want to wait and see what a mammogram will show in 3 mos.  What are the dangers of this wait and see attitude?
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Soo Bee

My clip migrated too.  For me I had calcifications left so the mammo tech was able to place a guide wire in a better location than the clip are.. since the calcifications were still there.
I would go with a 2nd lumpectomy, but that is just me.  You have to do what makes you most comfortable.  I know someone who is opting for no treatment for DCIS after lumpectomy.. just mammos every 3-6 months.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my yearly mamogram (mammogram) today and they found what they called a large calcium deposit. I've read about calcium clusters but not about larger single calcium deposits. I only have one and it scares me. Will I likely be called in for a biopsy or will my doctors choose to watch it for any further changes? What is considered a larger calcium deposit? Mine is about the size of two pinheads put together. What does this mean and what am I in for?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am trying to think very postive but am very anxious.  My mammo cam back as a BIRAD 4 with 5 mm cluster of calcifications on the upper outer quadrent of my right breast.  I received a mammotome biposy and the pathology report came back with microcalcifications and atypical intraductal hyperplasia with fibrocystic changes.  They recomendation is that I see a surgeon and have an excisional biopsy.

I am 40 years old and I do not have a medical history because I am adopted.  Would there be any other questions I should ask the surgeon because I have NO HISTORY??
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