The radiologist who read my mammogram yesterday said that I have microcalcifications in my right breast which are clustered. He suggested a stereotactic needle biopsy. What are the odds that this will be cancer? What are some other causes of this clustering of calcium?
Thank you so much. As you call well imagine, I am a nervous wreck because there is much cancer in my family, although no breast cancer.
In 2005, my routine (annual) mammogram showed that I had "microscopic calcifications of a suspiciuos origin" in my right breast. At that time, I couldn't have the stereotactic (needle) biopsy performed due to the awkward location of the calcifications. So, I had the surgical biopsy, instead. Thankfully, the results returned negative (benign). In late 2007, my yearly mammogram showed that, still, more calcifications had developed and... in almost the exact same location as the 2005 calcifications. This time, I did undergo the stereotactic (needle) biopsy procedure. Again, the results showed that the calcifications were begnin. According to my surgeon, calcifications are rarely, if ever, cancerous. It's the surrounding tissue, where the calcifications tend to form, that is of concern. He also added that it was quite likely that the additional (2007) calcifications developed as a result of the 1st (2005) surgical biopsy. That is to say, the actual "cutting" into the breast tissue stimulated the calcification growth. It was never explained to me why these calcifications appear in some women. Only that it is not rare; but, an abnormality all the same. Don't worry about the needle biopsy, it's a relatively painless process. A local anesthetic is used. You'll feel some pressure from the needle probe. A microchip will be inserted in the area where the biopsy is performed. That tiny chip/clip remains inside you, for the rest of your life, and will always appear in future mammograms. It sereves as a marker or a reference for future evaluations. There's a very slight chance for infection which, would be the case for any similar procedure. At worse, you'll be left with a barely noticeable puncture scar. At the very best, you'll be left with "peace of mind." Best wishes... and, good luck!
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