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Avatar universal

Breast Biopsy

I am 56 y/o ...1 year 4 months ago I underwent a Lt. Mastectomy with reconstruction for DCIS.  I was put on Evista for 5 years(instead of Tomaxifin)   I have a strong family history of Breast Ca that were Dx. under 45y/o.  My family history is strong for Colon, bladder,rectal,prostate, stomach,liver, pancreas ,scrotal cancer and lung cancer.  I had a adenoma removed from my colon 3 years ago and Brain surgery for a brain cyst 3 years ago.
I didn't have radiation or chemo because I was told that with DCIS and a complete mastectomy and the use of Evista for 5 years I would be clear and moniter initially 3 month and then 1 year with mammo to the right breast.  Well, I just had the year mammo last month and microcalcifications were found on the right breast.  A cluster of appearing to be 4. I had the steriotactic biopsy. They took 6 samples instead of 12 telling me that because they were close together they didn't need the 12.  The results proved negative and I should return in 6 months for a repeat mammo. Which is exciting.  But, now my daughters are talking to me about having a lumpectomy.  they are afraid that these microcalcifications will turn to cancer.  (Their dad just died also which has a lot to do with their thought process)  I don't want the Dr. to think I am a neurotic and have to have more surgery.  But I also remember that the lumpectomy wasn't really much a problem.  Can someone give me their opinion on this. I just don't want to be a neurotic looking for the knife.  It may help to know that the left side mammo I was told to come back in 6 months but my gut told me to pursue the biopsy and I was diagnosed with cancer.  Please some thoughts  Should I be concerned? Waiting 6 months is that safe?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Sorry it has not been a good year for you and your girls.  Loosing your husband must have been terrrible and now this on top of everything else.  To be honest, I think you would be hard pressed to find a person who does not have some sort of cancer in their families, I know my Dad's side has a lot of it.

You said you were diagnoised with DCIS in the left breast.  Well that is not cancer, it is Stage 0 which is pre cancerous.  There is no guarantee that it would have definitely turned cancerous but the possibility was high.  You were caught early hence no radiation or chemo.  My friend was diagnoised with microcalifications just recently and her results came back fine.  Microcalifications is not the same as DCIS.  You need your doctor to define the differences for you, I am not too such on this.  Also ask your doctor what are the chances of the microcalifications in your right breast becoming maligant.  Until you have this factual information you cannot make your decision or do yourself justice.  Any operation is serious as an anesthetic is involved.  I can totally under your panic and worry and that of your daughters too.  However, take a step back and get as much information on your current situation as possible.  The best of luck to you making your decision.  
326352 tn?1310994295
Irishgal2 is totally right.  I think that you are ok and have nothing more to worry about.  If it makes you feel better, go back to your doc and talk with him to help you understand the difference in DCIS and the microcalcifications.  Take your daughters and let them ask questions, too.  Everyone needs to be clear on where exactly you stand and what treatment is best for your overall health.  I feel for you and your family.  Sometimes it seems like things happen in piles and piles.  

PS, in the scheme of things, 6 months will not make a big difference one way or the other.  I waited 4 months between initial mammo on my "lactating adenoma" and the biopsy which turned out to be cancer.  But my lump was already palpable by me and had been since March.  I had the mastectomy mid-Sept.  Either way, I would be exactly where I am now, except if I had pushed the diagnosis earlier I would not have had my little Lauren.  And she is the best gift from all this muck.

Prayers to you and your family,
Lisa
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your replying. I wasn't aware the DCIS wasn't cancer. My pathology report said Stage 1carcinoma with estrogen edges, maybe not all together but those words... But it did have DCIS as well.   I was told that if I had the lumpectomy only that I would need radiation following. I went to two surgeons and was told with the mastectomy I didn't need the radiation.  I also had the BRCA test. Do you think that is why mastectomy was suggested?  
I do feel better, especially hearing  Lisa's story.  I hate getting neurotic. You both have helped calm me down.  I appreciate your responses so much, I feel better

Lisa thank you so much also.   I do feel better. Not so anxious. i will have my daughters sit with the Dr. to help them relax a bit as well.
Ann
326352 tn?1310994295
You are so welcome.  I hope ya'll have a good appt with the Doc and everyone comes away knowing whatever road is chosen is the best road for you.

Oh, were you positive for the BRAC1 test?  I thought about having that done, but figured with our track record ...mom, mom's sister, and me...it was probably positive anyway.  And my dad died from prostate cancer.  Gotta love genetics!

I'll keep you and yours in my prayers.
Lisa
Avatar universal
Thank you I appreciate all prayers.  I had 2 BRCA tests... 1 &2 and one was positive.  the other was negative.  I know they did genetics for Breast and for Colon / GI  because of the family history. Over 14 cancers within one generation.  
Thank you all for making me feel calmer.  I will speak to the girls today. This has been so helpful
God Bless   AnnMarie
Avatar universal
You are very welcome.

Can I suggest that you review the result of pathology report for the initial left breast situation, it sounds confusing.  You need to know the following:

1. Was there any invasive cancer at that time?  If yes, what type i.e. IDC and what grade of cancer I, II or III.
2. DCIS mean Ductual Cancer In Situ i.e. precancerous.

I honestly don't know why you were recommended a masectomy for the left breast, but obviously there was a good reason.  Maybe it was the pathology results, the location of the DCIS in your breast, how extensive the DCIS was or maybe just your family history.  

However the situation is different this time around, so you should look at this independently and take advise based on the findings.  My one advise to you which helped me a lot during my diagnosis and treatment was to keep asking questions time and time again from all concerned until you are sure in your mind what your situation is and then make a decision based on the information.  Don't let anyone fob you off, keep asking questions until YOU are happy.  I'm sure the doctors dreaded the sight of me by the end of it all, but at least I know that I got the best treatment available and I am very happy with all the decisions I made with the doctors.  2 doctors failed to diagnoise me initially over a 6 month period and it was only me being "paranoid" and pushing for an ultrasound that saved my life.

Ok so we are not great on the cancer genes, but on the plus we are all (Lisa, AnnMarie and Annette)strong women with personality, sense of humour, faith and a determination to survive, so we do have some very good genes!!!  Happy Christmas to you both and the best of health in 2008
Avatar universal
Thank you so much.  Yes I am will get the Path report. I remember them saying Stage 1 and Estrogen margins.  I had a Steriotactic and then the lumpectomy and that led to the mastectomy.  I think my daughter has the medical records so I am going to get them and re read.  I have to get these records as well.  My daughter likes to keep a file of my medical in one place for me.
I appreciate your words and direction so much.  I have been much calmer about this whole thing since you and Lisa responded.  thank you so very much and wishing you a wonderful Christmas
annmarie
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