I just had a mammogram and the radiologist saw a cluster of microcalcifications of varying size under a magnified view. Turns out I had the same cluster on a 2006 mammogram and the 2006 report said everything was fine and didn't mention them. The radiologist said I could wait 6 months and get a follow up mammogram or do a "stereotactic biopsy" right away. He recommended the latter though he was not overly concerned that it was malignant. No family history of breast cancer, though many other types of cancer.
He did not mention doing a "needle biopsy" though others on the website mention it. Twenty years ago I had microcalcifications in the other breast and had a needle biopsy and then a surgical biopsy. Turned out it was benign ductasia and likely due to breast feeding my oldest child at the time.
Would welcome thoughts as to whether a needle biopsy might be a less invasive approach and comments generally about the microcalcifications and what a stereotactic biopsy entails, potential side effects, etc.
Dear WG21: Microcalcifications are small calcium deposits found within the breast tissue and these are normal. Microcalcifications in and of themselves are not a condition that would become cancerous. However they can be a sign of a problem that may need further investigation based on their appearance on a mammogram. For instance microcalcifications that are more scattered are probably due to a benign (non-cancerous) cause and microcalcificatins that form a cluster may increase concern that there may be an underlying tumor. Microcalcifications that are indeterminate may need further investigation such as a diagnostic mammogram to further characterize the calcifications. Calcifications do not move around but more may form over time. The pattern of their formation lends clues as to whether or not more investigation is needed.
The question of needle biopsy versus excisional biopsy depends upon whether the doctor feels that a needle will obtain an adequate representation of the area or whether a needle biopsy if negative would suggest a need to remove the entire area "to be sure."
I had a mammogram done which was interpreted by Radiology Dr. as "malignancy suspected" (clusters of microcalcifications). The following stereotactic biopsy to be done by a surgeon was called off because a clear pic wasn't presented at the time of biopsy. The following MRI was interpreted as "normal" and I was instructed to have another mammo in 6mos. This was all done in Port Charlotte,Fl. I am wondering if I should get a second opinion and if so who/where?
My mammogram report came back with ininumerable segemntally distriburted pleomorphic calcifications (microcalcifications). I did have a needle biopsy, not the fine needle but the larger one (forgot what it was called). I found out on the 12/26/08 that it is cancer. While the calcifications are distributed there was also a cluster and I understand that is a bad sign. I have to have a mastectomy ASAP because there is no one lump to remove. I pray for you both that you get a good report.
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