Went to see surgeon re breast lump...results from mammo and ultrasound detect no malignancy. Biopsy is an option, but surgeon did not think he could get sufficient tissue sample with needle biopsy. Why?? Only thinks he could get a good sample with completely removing the mass resulting in a deformed breast as I am very small. (Doesn't bother me too much, although is it a lot to go through if it is benign.) Discussed the possible surgical complications i.e. infection, bleeding, bruising. Otherwise, wait three months and re-evaluate. How accurate are the tests without the biopsy? I don't know what to do!!
Dear mel4: Mammography and ultrasound can only indicate levels of suspician. They cannot "prove" anything. If this lump can be felt, it can technically be biopsied with a needle. However, the risk of a needle biopsy is that you only get the tissue that the needle hits. If the tissue next to the needle is the problem, then the needle biopsy, unknowingly, is worthless. An excisional biopsy removes the entire area in question, thus pathology will examine everything. One way or the other - you know. The question is....how suspicious feeling is the lump? How worried are you? Can you mentally deal with a three month wait and see?
I just had a stereotactic needle biopsy. They actually attempted two biopsies but were unable to get one because it was too close to the chest wall. They couldn't get the suspicious area into the correct position. Your small breasts may be part of the problem. I too am seeing a surgeon about an excisional biopsy. If your lump is solid, there is no way to be sure that it isn't cancer without a biopsy. Because I've already had breast cancer, I want to be very proactive.
I have just found out today that another friend of mine that was "watching" her suspicious lump for a year finally had a biopsy. Her breast surgeon (very respected Doctor)was amazed when the biopsy came back as cancerous. She wouldn't have insisted on the biopsy if it weren't for my situation...."watching a lump for 3 years and finding out that it was cancerous...now I am undergoing chemo". She will not have to have chemo. Her cancer was actually caught early. She had a lumpectomy and will have radiation. But that's all.
My breasts are small also, 34B, but even the 2 lumpectomies did not destroy my breast.There is a scar and it is slightly smaller. I assure you, this is the smallest problem that I have with the breast cancer. Also, my breast surgeon assured me that I could have a partial implant in that breast only if needed.
Thanks for your comments. I know this sounds strange but I had a dream last night that I had breast cancer. When I woke up the answer was very clear to me...I was going to ask for the needle biopsy and if that wasn't sufficient, then I would make more radical decisions. I don't want to be kicking myself 6 months to a year down the road that I should have reacted. Thanks again for your comments.
There's something called the "triple test:" if there's a lump, and it 1) feels benign and 2) the mammogram is ok and 3) a needle aspiration biopsy is ok, then the chance of cancer is close to zero. If you have a lump that can be felt, there's no reason why a needle biopsy can't be done; a stereotactic biopsy is only necessary for a shadow on a mammogram that can't be felt.
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