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Wednesday, September 09, 2009 Cat, Community Member, asks

Q: I am going for a biopsy for a cluster of breast calcifications.

I had a diagnostic mamogram and ultra sound due to a lump in my right breast. The lump was fine only a lipoma. What was found were calcifications in the left breast. i was shown on the screen a cluster of whiteness with a line of white coming off it. I am now booked in for a biopsy but I am naturally worried stiff. I was a little neglegtful about going for my regular mamogram. Only had two since moving here to US in 2005. (I am 47). Also I was taking HRT (for early menopause from 2004-2006, too long- over 2 years and am a smoker). My gyne said he would not repeat my prescription, so I went cold turkey. However the side effects fo the drug were stroke and breast cancer. I had a TIA Dec 25 2006, am fine though, thats when I stopped the HRT and went cold turkey. But worry these calcifactions could be breast cancer and I exasberated it by taking the HRT. What is the chance that I do have breast cancer?  I have stopped mensturating too since Dec 2006.

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/ 9/09 6:31pm

Hi Cat - There's no way to give you any specific odds as to whether you have breast cancer; you're doing the right thing by having a precautionary biopsy. Be aware that about 85% of biopsies come up negative, so the stats are with you. Please try not to stress too much; microcalcifications, when they appear in a pattern, can be a "shadow" of impending cancer... or not. If you DO by some chance have cancer, you'll deal with it. Please stay in touch here - let us now how your biopsy comes out. Good luck - PJH

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Cat, Community Member
9/ 9/09 10:47pm

Thank you for the response, it is a little reassuring.  I do often wonder after my 13 years millitary service and time in thd gulf in 2003, when I had various drugs injected into me whether this played a part.  Especially as that is when my early menopause started at 41.  I will post my biopsy results after the 18th.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/10/09 5:51am

No one knows what triggers breast cancer - so far. Of course you're curious why you got it, but at the end of the day why or how you got breast cancer doesn't change anything; so hopefully you won't wrestle with this too much... I'm sending you good karma for the biopsy - PJH

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Cat, Community Member
9/24/09 12:52pm

Had the biopsy and after chasing for results all is good.  Three things found, that I cannot even pronounce, (one was likened to scar tissue) but all benign, no pre-cancerous indications and back to my regular annual check up. Shame that the hospital left a message on work phone Monday night and said they would get back to tell me in person.  Tuesday came i left a message, Tuesday went.  By 4.30pm Wednesday I was climbing the wall and so paged my radiologist.  She got back to me in minutes with the good news.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/24/09 3:22pm

HOORAY!!!!! Good for you, Cat. I'm very glad things turned out well. And yes, they definitely need a different system for delivring biopsy results. What would EVER make them think that you're not sitting on the edge of your seat waiting, and waiting, and waiting... Anyway, thanks for letting me know. PJH

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keepychinup, Community Member
9/11/12 8:16pm

Hi Cat,

I really understand where you are coming from it is so scary so I will share with you my story.

In 2011 I had a mammogram done and I received a call that they want me to come back in that they found something specious in my left breast...I was thinking to myself aw..its nothing I do have fibrosistic breast I know that is what it is and I never went in for the second mammogram besides I had just lost my job and had no insurance anyway and that was 2011, so in 2012 I was back at work and had insurance again and went in for my yearly mammogram and my doctor this time called and told me I had to get back for my second mammogram that the found a cluster of breast calcification in my left breast and it look like it may be malignant I had a cluster of 8mm at 10:00 o'clock and a 5mm at 11:00 in my left breast after my second diagnostic mammogram I was dying I said to myself I have been handed my sentence so negative and the fear was so great. I began to read everything I could find before my biopsy the more I read the better I felt about it all I was no longer fearful of anything..I began to think about wow If I do get the news I have breast cancer I get a breast job...no to bad. :-)) It did not look good for me. The big part was I lost my job right after I got the news now what. So I called around and found a foundation called The Rose that help women who can not pay or women who are under insured they took me in and did my steropetic biopsy for $11.00 dollars there is a God. Some of the best doctors in the US give of there time and The Rose wow...that place was so beautiful and state of the art. I had my biopsy they told me it would be a week before I got any news back..but for some reason I was no longer afraid...well the call came in only two days it was a Friday I did not get the message until after closing time so I worried myself sick but I prepared myself for the news. She called me back right at 8:00am when the phone begin to ring I knew it was her...I look at the phone ring and then I answered the call...she ask me my name and I told her yes, it was I. So told me that the results had come back...and that they were Benign!!! It was benign?? really, really. She said yes! and that she will see me in 6 months. It was over. So please keep your chin up...no worries no matter what the out come you will be ok. Good luck. And for any women out there who can afford it there is help and lots of it...don't let money be the cause of you not getting your check ups.  Good Luck!!

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
9/12/12 6:18am

Thank you so much for sharing the story of how you coped with fear and financial barriers.  I am so glad that you persisted in getting the financial aid to have the biopsy done, and I am even happier that the results were benign.  I am sure other people will be encouraged by your experience.

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By Cat, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/12/12, First Published: 09/09/09