August 2002 I had a small Tubular Breast cancer removed; lumpectomy, radiation threatment and Tamoxifin. My margins were clear and all doctors said, 'the cancer was removed'. A recent mammogram noted a slight change in calcifications (not where the cancer was, but in the same breast) and one weeks ago Friday, I had a biopsy. I'm still waiting for the results -- one week later -- but I'm concerned as to whether or not the value of radiation treatment (can it cause calcifications) and Tamoxfin. I thought the treatment prevented cancer growth -- and aren't microcalcifications "the earliest stages" of cancer growth? I'm waiting with baited breath for my results -- and yet, I'm confident that I'm okay. (At the same time, for six months, my doctors thought the mass in my right breast <1 cmm was a benigh cysts. I'm hoping they're just over cautious...)
Dear gloami, Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits that can be seen on mammogram, they can occur due to normal wear and tear, scar tissue etc. The calcifications in themselves are not a problem or early cancer, it is the pattern that they may present on a mammogram that leads to a concern that they may be surrounding an abnormality.
The idea with the radiation to the breast and follow up tamoxifen is to decrease the risk of cancer, but it doesn't prevent cancer all of the time. Following up on this change is to be on the safe side.
I just got the good news this morning; the calcification(s) was benign and I'm celebrating. But I'm also still concerned. I was told that a-typical cells were found, but they were no precancerous. Am I ever going to be out of the water? And could have the radiation caused the calcifications in the first place? These are questions that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
In the meantime, I'm cancer-free and loving it!!! What a feeling!!!! My next mammogram is in 6 months.....
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