Breast Calcification

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Breast Calcification

by Suzeeq on Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:00 AM

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I have chronic firocystic breast condition and have had it since I was a teenager. Two weeks ago I had a mammogram and they said they found calcification in the right breast. The radiologists wanted to do a biopsy right away. I came home and began my 'research' and found out:

 The doctor has NOT seen  my previous mammogram from last year because she NEVER requested a copy of the film, even though I signed the consent form. She was not receptive to my telling her that I do a monthly self exam and I know where all the lumps and bumps are. She also told me that calcifications are rarely cancer but insisted I do a biopsy right away.I feel 'rushed' into having this biopsy and after talking with two registered nurses and a doctor, I am being told the doctor should have offered an Ultrasound first and then an MRI before doing a biopsy. I am confused and do not want to make the wrong decision.

 

 

 

RE: Breast Calcification

by Sewwonderfulwoman on Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 6/29/2007 Suzeeq wrote:

I have chronic firocystic breast condition and have had it since I was a teenager. Two weeks ago I had a mammogram and they said they found calcification in the right breast. The radiologists wanted to do a biopsy right away. I came home and began my 'research' and found out:

 The doctor has NOT seen  my previous mammogram from last year because she NEVER requested a copy of the film, even though I signed the consent form. She was not receptive to my telling her that I do a monthly self exam and I know where all the lumps and bumps are. She also told me that calcifications are rarely cancer but insisted I do a biopsy right away.I feel 'rushed' into having this biopsy and after talking with two registered nurses and a doctor, I am being told the doctor should have offered an Ultrasound first and then an MRI before doing a biopsy. I am confused and do not want to make the wrong decision.

 

 

 


Please do not be rushed into a biopsy until you feel comfortable that it's what you need.  You were very wise to go home and do some research.  If that doctor didn't even compare last year's mammogram with this year's she's being irresponsible.  At the very least you should have an ultra-sound and then have someone else look at your films for a 2nd opinion.  At that point it might be time to ask for an MRI. 

I just finished a mammogram and breast MRI this month as screening for my 1 yr. check-up following a mastectomy.  I was scheduled for a mammo and ultrasound because I have a dense breast but I asked for the MRI due to the recent press about it.  Now having seen my radiation oncologist and surgeon (and getting the all clear reports), the oncologist recommends a mammo & ultrasound next year since there are too many false positives with the MRI and he feels that the med. industry is still learning how to read and interpret them (I told him I had just read the most recent recommendations for who should receive MRIs and that it was recommended I discuss MRI w/my dr. since my situation wasn't recommended for annual MRIs). 

I asked the surgeon about the calcifications which I have and she also said calcifications aren't cancer and don't develop into it.  So next year I will get the mammo & ultrasound.

Let me add that when I started mammo's 10 yrs. ago on my very first one they saw "something" and I went in for a needle biopsy after they did a 2nd mammo and still saw something.  I didn't question anything!  The surgeon commented that it was probably just calcifications and they probably didn't need to do the biopsy.  Well, he was right---it was calcifications, so I went through a lot of worry for nothing.

Keep questioning until you feel you are getting some responsible answers. You are your own best advocate! 

RE: Breast Calcification

by Leemg on Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi!

You didn't say your age.  As far as bumps and lumps etc., calcifications can not be felt.  I was examined by a surgeon just a month or so before a yearly mammo revealed that an area of a few microcalcifications had increased in number and began to show a pattern.  Even then while being sent off to biopsy the pathologist felt I only had a 15% chance of having a malignancy but I did.  You are right in that the radiologist should have compared this study to your previous mammo.  This would indicate if there has actually been a change or if the calcifications are stable.  You can have what they term as "coarse" calcifications which are not highly supsicious for carcinoma or microcalcifications which have to be monitored at least for stability.  My first suggestion would be to have your previous study and the more recent looked at by a radiologist.  You can also asked to be present to review them with the doctor.  If there has been any change or a new appearance of what is termed "microcalcifications" and "pattern forming" you should definitely have a biopsy.  There are different type of biopsies but because as I said microcalcifications can only be visualized on film and not felt they would have to remove the entire area of concern to rule out carcinoma.  Breast cancer is most curative at it's earliest stage, remember that.  It is a relatively fast growing cancer and there are some more aggressive forms so I for one would rather be safe and live with a small scar then find out too late.  Good luck!

RE: Breast Calcification

by sloopy on Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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21/2 years ago I had a stage2 grade 2 DCIS.  I had chemo, surgery and radiation, it was  all brutal, but I recovered well and thought I was perfect until today.  I've been having Mammo's every 6 months.  Today they found a calcification.  I'm scheduled for an mri on Wed and then no biopsy, just removal of the calcification supposedly because of my history.  Any opinions on this treatment.  the Dr. said sometimes it does turn into cancer.   I  very upset.  How common is calcification after cancer treatments, should I expect more?

RE: Breast Calcification

by Leemg on Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi!  Anytime there is a diagnosis of BC there is a chance of recurrence no matter what the treatment.  If it is a local recurrence it can still be successfully treated and that is why your doctor's are so prudent in following you up.  I don't know about a calcification turing into cancer but they can certainly form around abnormal tissue.  There are two types of calcifications, macro which are larger and usually mean benign and micro which are the most concerning.  That is how my small 3 to 4 mm tumor was first discovered, micro calcifications that were present were now increasing in number and forming a pattern.  I would trust your doctor's here.  Removing any calcium deposits and some surrounding tissue to insure that there is no developing tumor would be to your benefit and could save you from losing a breast.  If cancer returns in a breast that has already been treated with radiation, mastectomy is the next course of treatment.  I wish you the best.
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