Q: I have a biopsy scheduled for next Thursday - I am thinking of telling them I don't want the titanium marker - any thoughts?
You want to be sure that the surgeon biopsies the right spot, so unless your tumor is near the surface and large enough to find easily, the marker seems like it will help your doctor get the most accurate results. If you are concerned, ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of each option. I'd be inclined to follow my surgeon's recommendation because only the doctor who has personally examined you knows how difficult the biopsy would be without the marker.
The titanium clip used to mark the area of a breast biopsy is very safe AND helpful to your doctors. Titanium is used in many devices in peoples bodies, and does not have any reaction to magnets or metal detectors. After you have a breast biopsy, it is important to know exactly what tissue was biopsied so that your future mammograms can be interpreted correctly. Also, in the unlikely situation that you do need that area removed surgically, the surgeon will be able to find it. It usually does not require any additional risk to the procedure.
Please do not have the titanium marker clip inserted. I agreed to one only after being pressured to no end. Now I regret it as the worst decision I ever made in my life. This technology has not been in use for very long, and I feel as though I've been used as a guinea pig. My research shows that approximately 80 percent of biopsies show benign results. Save yourself the grief and heartache. If there's a problem with the pathology, the surgeon will be able to locate the biopsy site as in the past.
At the very least, do more research on this before consenting. Do not succumb to fear tactics. Most women overestimate their risk of getting breast cancer. And most women who actually get breast cancer will die with it and not from it.
Be strong and fearless.
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