Biopsies are done for a suspicious looking breast mass and usually after having done several other tests like a breast ultrasound and/or mammography. The chances of having a positive breast biopsy for cancer would depend on the initial doctor’s evaluation, with the aid of ancillary procedures previously done.
Hope this helps.
I understand your concern from just going through this myself. People kept quoting different numbers to me, like 80% of lumps aren't cancerous. Well, if that is true, I feel in the 20% that was positive. Here is a quote from p. 108, in "Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book", 3rd version. "There are 4 types of dominant lumps, 3 of which - cysts,
fibroadenomas, and pseudolumps - are virtually harmless. It's the 4th type, of course - the malignant lump- that you're worrying about when you have your lump examined by a doctor. Only one in 12 dominant lumps in premenopausal women is malignant."
Another thing that I found interesting on this same page was applicable to my tumor, "The obvious question here is, how do I know the beebee sized thing isn't an early cancer? The answer is that you usually don't feel a malignant lump when its small. The cancer has to grow to a large enough size for the body to begin to create a reaction to it - a fibrous, scarlike tissue forms around the cancer, and this combined with the cancer itself, makes up the palpable lump." When I saw my tumor on the ultrasound, it looked like it had started forming this fibrous tissue as there was a "ring" around it, but neither I nor the doctor could feel it yet. Hope this helps, Kay
I am speaking in regards of my mom. She also has lump in her breast the she nor the dr can feel, but yet it showed up on the ultrasound and mammogram. They now want to do a biopsy. What stage was your cancer and is it a good sign that my mom's is not yet palpable? Thanks for your help
As much as I wish I could under your question, I can only relate what has happened to me. Since I haven't had the actual surgery yet, all they could tell me from a core biopsy was that it was ductal cancer and it was considered "low grade". The size is 1.5 cm. I had hung onto the fact that my cancer was small enough that it was not palpated on my annual exam when I was called back for a 2nd mammmogram. I told myself that small was good. Now that it was found to be positive, I see that not being able to be found on my monthly exams and doing the "right thing" each year and getting a mammogram, didn't save me from this unwanted diagnosis. I can't help but ask the question, did they miss something last year? The surgeon didn't want to talk about that in my appointment. I would urge anyone to drive extra miles to get digital mammography as I had this year. I wonder if I would have access to that last year, whether I would be facing a waiting game of whether I have Stage 1 or Stage 2 cancer? - Kay