Hi, there was only a small testing section removed, very minute, done with a needle. The marker was put in place of where the biopsy was done to mark the place. This was done in case I did not have the films the next time and the place where the biopsy was done would be marked and not have to be biopsied again.
The insurance was a different policy when this was done. The new policy does not cover this hospital. It would have been so very easy if the new insurance would cover this hospital, it is not considered in network.
I am going to a breast surgeon tomorrow to have this looked at and removed. Both the GP and the Dermatologist talked and both believe this should be removed, and it is some sort of reaction to this clip. I am getting very anxious now.
I had said no to having this done, but I was alone at the time and got talked into it. I am so sorry that I listened. This is proof as to why one should never go have anything done by a doctor without someone sitting next to them listening and giving their opinion on the matter. Thank you.
Although I still would like to know if any reations have happened to anyone.
Karen, I don't have any information about the titanium marker situation. I've read about them, but didn't have one myself. I did have a problem with a change in insurance company mid-treatment. I filed an appeal with the insurance company explaining why I couldn't switch hospitals mid-radiation, and the new company paid even though the hospital wasn't in network. I learned from that never to accept the first "No" from an insurance company. I hope all goes well with the removal if that is what you decide you need.
Well, good luck to you going forward, Karen. I hope removing the clip takes care of everything for you- PJH
I had mine removed with the sterographic machine in xray dept. the pain is gone. It's been almost a year 1/21/13. I had pain from 4/09 until 1/12.
Thanks for letting us know about your experience, Annette. I'm glad that you had such good results from having the marker removed.
I had a stereotactic biopsy in 2/08 for calcifications. I had a severe hematoma from the procedure, which necessitated a trip to the emergency room shortly after I got home from the procedure--I lost a lot of blood from the incision site and had incredible pain. Two days later, my pain and the bleeding resumed and I had to go back to the ER. I had a blackened breast engorged with blood for two months, and the wound refused to heal. I oozed blood from the incision and the nipple for six weeks. The end result was a permanently extremely tender area that has been variously described by disparaging surgeons and radiologists as a chronic hematoma, a fat necrosis, fibrocystic disease, or even possibly a damaged nerve surrounded by scar tissue.
Since that time, I have severe pain whenever clothing, especially a bra, touches the site. It's in the front of the breast, so just lifting my arm slightly increases the pain as my clothes pull against it. I finally found a bra that I could tolerate for short periods about a year later ("Assets" Body Shaper by Target--almost like a camisole that spreads the support over your whole torso, so you have support without compression on your breasts). My pain increases with physical activity, especially if I'm using my arms. I randomly have incredibly strong pain in that area, shooting up my arm, which is possibly weather-related. I have several large cysts nearby--if they are acting up as well, I can't do anything other than lie on the couch with ice packs. I have given myself "freezer burn" from over-icing numerous times, since, when I'm really suffering, I am icing almost constantly. I've tried moist heat as well. It seems to help while the heat is applied, but afterwards the area is swollen and tender. When I ice, I am more likely to get symptomatic relief for a longer period.
I started asking for help with the biopsy the week after the procedure. No one would do anything except tell me, "Wow, that's a massive hematoma." After my second ER visit (when they gave me 20 vicodin to take home), I have not received any painkillers until recently. I have survived the last two years by taking dangerous amounts of OTC painkillers, approximately 8 Tylenol and 10 Aleve every day, plus Vitamin E and evening primrose oil (large quantities), supplemented by icing. When I leave for work, I pack several icepacks in a cooler to stuff in my bra during the day. I also have instant icepacks in my car (ACE brand is the best and available by the dozen at Amazon). Exercise is out of the question for me now; I was formerly very active. I have had to cut my hours at work in order to get through the day.
For almost two years, I have been arguing with surgeons (7 so far) that this was a botched biopsy and the affected tissue along with the clip needed to be removed, and/or I needed a chronic pain referral. I finally found a surgeon who put me on tamoxifen for breast pain, which helped my cyst pain quite a lot. Good luck to you if you want to try to get that medication—it took a lot of fast persuasive talking on my part, and I had to put up with a lot of eye-rolling.
When this surgeon wanted to do two more stereotactic biopsies on me, I went to Mass General and got a second opinion out of pocket. At Mass General, they nixed the biopsies as unnecessary and found a local breast surgeon at a major hospital closer to me (who takes my insurance). She was caring and sympathetic, agreed to continue the tamoxifen Rx which appeared to be helping with my cyst and fibrocystic pain fairly quickly, and recommended a trial of acupuncture to see if we could avoid surgery. The tamoxifen also was able to eliminate hormonal variations as the source of pain at the biopsy site, since almost all of my other breast pain diminished greatly with the addition of tamoxifen. The acupuncture was not effective for my pain. However, I have not been helped by acupuncture in the past; you might have better luck than I did.
Today I saw my newest surgeon for the second time. We have scheduled an excision of this scar tissue (with needle localization, which is frankly terrifying) for two weeks from now. I am hopeful that this will be an end to my nightmare. I am of course worried that the excision might make me worse, but I have been so angry and frustrated about this that I don't think I have a choice.
Some advice: if they say it's hormonal, ask for a trial of tamoxifen (or danazol if you think you can live with the side-effects--I couldn't take the chance of a permanent voice-change because it would have ruined my career). If it's hormonal, tamoxifen might help, and you will avoid unnecessary surgery. But...doctors in the US are incredibly reluctant to prescribe tamoxifen for this purpose, even though it's been proven over and over again to be effective for breast pain, and is the standard-of-care in other countries. There is a side-benefit to tamoxifen that it reduces your risk of cancer, which I was happy to get, since I will always be reluctant to do a biopsy from this point forward. There are serious risks to tamoxifen use, although your risk of the most serious (deep vein thrombosis) is only increased from 1% to 2%, assuming you have no other risk factors. Look it up for yourself before you ask for it and see if the risks are acceptable to you.
If you aren't getting answers or help from your surgeon, you probably need to go to a major hospital, in a big city, especially a teaching hospital. I do think it makes a difference to go to a woman doctor if you are talking about breast pain. I doubt a man would ever take a problem with a marker seriously.
At Mass General, they told me that severe hematomas like this are quite common, and that many woman opt to do an old-fashioned excisional biopsy instead of risking a repeat hematoma if they ever need another one. I can't find the study off-hand to cite the statistics on hematoma formation after stereotactic biopsy, but it's significant, and I think that there are also problems with the markers that have been pooh-poohed by the medical establishment.
The conspiracy theorist in me says that stereotactic biopsies cost less than an excisional biopsy, and is thus being pushed by our insurance companies. We are being sold on this procedure by the doctors telling us that it will leave a smaller scar...however, the exterior result of mine (probably because of all the blood oozing) is a pencil-eraser sized, raised keloid scar, not what I call an acceptable cosmetic result for a "needle" biopsy (my newest surgeon offered to fix that scar at the same time without my asking...she really is a prize).
If she hadn't agreed to excise this tissue, I was prepared to start going to plastic surgeons, or even a medical travel company where the doctors work for you, instead of an insurance company. I've done tons of research on this, and I believe there are many more problems with stereotactic biopsies and their markers than we have been told. There's certainly no long-term studies on what a titanium marker in your breast for 30 or 40 years is going to do to you. And I think it's egregiously insulting to tell us that they need that marker for subsequent scans: this is for their convenience, not necessarily for our health.
Do not accept pain. Fight back and demand help. I have almost given up on living so many times since this nightmare started, but I think I finally found a surgeon who cares about breast pain enough to help me get my life back.
I might consult a lawyer, although I'm not sure liability is clear in my case. I do think there needs to be more scrutiny of these biopsies. Almost all my friends have had one (we are in our mid-40s). None of us had cancer. I know in my case, I felt coerced into having that biopsy. There was actual pressure, specifically designed to frighten me into having this procedure. I know some women are very upset about the new guidelines for mammography, but an earnest discussion of risks, benefits, and limitations of our current cancer diagnosis practices is long overdue. There needs to be more transparency of what the statistics actually mean. We are biopsy- and scan-crazy in this country, and chronic pain is criminally undertreated.
PLEASE Research the Tamoxifen and really understand it's side effects!!! It's poison. Can cause cancer in the uterous and liver. Please please stop using it and find an alternative way.
Jill, millions of women have taken tamoxifen and done well with it; research shows that it helps prevent recurrence. A tiny percentage (under 1%) do suffer serious side effects, and it's worth doing your homework and understanding what those side effects are. But I wouldn't advise women not to take tamoxifen; for many, it's the best defense against cancer returning. PJH
And now, how are you felling?
Thank you for your answer!
Alba, depending on the woman you're trying to connect with, you may want to send her a personal message by clicking on her name (in blue) at the top of her post. Some of these posts are quite old, and not everyone may be monitoring them anymore... Good luck - PJH
I had titanium markers in both breasts after a stereotactic biopsy. Since then, I have had some bad reactions with rashes all over and nonstop itching. Has anyone else experienced this<
A few weeks after having the clip implanted I had an abnormal period which lasted for weeks. During that time I also developed a rash. My dermatologist decided it was because of some medicine. After getting off the medicine and getting a cortizone shot, the rash went away. Three weeks later, the rash is back and more aggressive. I too had fleeting pain in my breast and a crawling sensation under my skin. I will see about having the clip taken out (after, I'm sure, many other tests to confirm that it's not something else).
I have also experienced the fleeting pain and crawling sensation under my skin in the location where the titanium chip was placed. I had hesitated to have it put there but having had two biopsy's in the same location, the Dr. explained that it would help note where the biopsy's had been done. However, I would hesitate to have another one put in. I do not want it removed unless there is a need for another biopsy. My impression is that often the healing process from just the biopsy itself can cause the sensations some of our experiencing. But it's been almost two years since this chip was placed and it does seem a bit odd that the sensation is increasing rather than decreasing.
Yes, I'd think you would have gotten through the healing process by now, if it was pain from the incision, or even nerve damage. I hope that the course you describe reverses itself, and the pain and crawling sensations begin to diminish soon... PJH
When pain at a surgical site is getting worse, it's a good idea to let the doctor know. Since the pain comes and goes, it is probably not serious. It might be related to the clip, and it might be adhesions building up around scar tissue, or some other problem. I have "come and go" pain near previous surgery scars, but it hasn't gotten more frequent or more intense over the years. Mentioning this to the doctor at your next appointment would be a good idea. If the pain becomes intense and/or lasting, you should call for an appointment.
YES! 3 days after my biopsy and a marker placed in the Right breast I,they did help me with iv and meds and 5 rx to fill. IDK what tomorrow will bring , but i will call the surgen who did the biopsy and see what He thinks. I have never been allergic to anyting until now.
Michele, please don't jump to the conclusion you're allergic to the marker; at just 3 days post-biopsy, discomfort wouldn't be unusual. Do call the surgeon, but I suspect s/he will tell you to give your body a chance to heal before worrying about an allergic reaction. Good luck - I hope you feel better soon. PJH
I had a ultrasound needle biopsy in February 2009 after an abnormality on my mammogram. While on the table, after the tissue was pulled, the FEMALE surgeon springs on me that she was going to put in a titanium clip. I have massive allergies to anything from dust mites, cats, foods, chemicals, to medications. I was very fearful of having this "clip" put in. I said to the dr. that I wasn't comfortable with this, and that I really wished someone had mentioned to me ahead of time that this was going to be done. I didn't want to make a split second decision since I did have so many allergies. She did an eye roll and didn't "understand" the problem since the titanium clips were hypoallergenic. I asked to see them, and she and the nurse looked perturbed. Here I was on the table, frightened to death as it was, and they were annoyed at me for questioning something foreign being put into my body? I agreed only because it seemed like I was "holding up the line" of the rest of the patients waiting to have their biopsies that day.
I was given an ice pack to hold on my breast 30 mins on and off the first day. The next day I was in terrific pain, and I called the dr's office. The nurse called back, and I basically just wanted to hear that I would probably be sore for a few days and the pain would subside gradually. NO! I was told, believe it or not, that he couldn't be from the biopsy! That since I had that kind of pain (which was exactly where the biopsy was!), I should return to my gynecologist as there must be something else wrong! I was so livid. I called my gynecologist immediately and told her that this was the most absurd thing I had ever heard and the pain was exactly where the biopsy was and that it was probably from that, but that the surgeon wouldn't dare consider it and now was scaring me into thinking that there was yet another problem. I told the gynecologist flat out that I KNEW it was from the biopsy as it was just 24 hours old,and that this surgeon was probably thinking I was going to sue her for malpractice. That is ALL these dr's have on their minds.
It is so infuriating. The gyn had me come in and of course the pain was severe and I couldn't even be touched. She told me to give it time and wait for the results of the biopsy. It turned out to be benign which is what the radiologist suggested when he read the mammogram, but the gyn felt I should have it biopsied immediately to be on the safe side.
Months went by and my breast hurt in the area where the biopsy was done AND in the ribs behind the breast in the thoracic area. So if you put your hand on your back directly behind the breast and pressed on those ribs the pain was there. Night after night, day after day. I began looking up allergies to titanium but really couldn't find much. I found a company that tests for allergies to alloys like titanium, platinum, mercury, etc. I gave it three months and when this pain in my back and ribs got worse, I called the gyn. She had an ultrasound done at the same hospital, and I felt like I was on another planet. The male radiologist came out (and I know he knew the breast surgeon as his office was directly next to hers at the hospital), and when I told him I had had a biopsy and the pain was severe, he looked at me with a cold stare and said nothing. I said did anything show on the ultrasound. All he said was "there is no evidence of anything wrong on the ultrasound." I asked if he saw the marker (at that point I thought maybe it migrated out of the breast to another area of my body). He said he couldn't see it only a mammogram would pick it up. I went back to the gyn and she just said we'd keep an eye on it. I had pain all last summer, and by fall, I needed my mammogram, but my insurance wouldn't pay for another one until December. I had it done and the marker was there (I asked to see it) and whoever wrote that you can have another growth or cyst and that they wouldn't be able to see it, was right. When I looked, all I could see was the marker. I had the mammo done at the facility by my home that first picked up the mass. The technician said basically "you're right". It would have to grow bigger than the margin of the marker. I realized I had two clips in because when the dr showed me the titanium clip, it looked like a little staple. The thing inside me was an X. I can only assume it was one crossed over the other? At the time I wouldn't have known this because I was shown a staple-like material and told "A CLIP" (one?) was being put in.
It is now 1 year to the date of the biopsy, and the pain in my ribs is worse. There is pain along my left side of the breast area (ribcage) as well. I won't take painkillers as that is not the answer. Motrin doesn't work either. I had an xray of my ribs, and nothing showed, but the orthopedist said that only a bone scan would show "inflammation" that may be coming from the breast area. This is all so terrifying.
Has anyone else had bone/rib pain in the area near their biopsied breast?
Best of luck to all and good health!
I'm sorry you are still having so much pain. Obviously, the first pain began with the biopsy, and I don't understand why the doctor would try to deny it. Anyone who has ever had a biopsy done knows that it hurts while the incision is healing. At this point, however, it seems that the rib pain may need to be diagnosed on its own. Although it might be related to the clip, it could also be a separate problem. I don't know what your options are for doctors, but you might ask around for a recommendation for a doctor who has a reputation for being a good diagnostician and good listener. It's clear that you are not impressed with the doctors you have seen so far.
I was in excrusiating pain after a biopsy where a clip had been inserted & I too eas told by the doctor that did it that my pain "couldn't be related" to the biopsy. I was hospitalized b/c the pain was so bad. Ultimately the clip was surgically removed. The pain went away the day it was taken out. Have you ever considered getting the clip removed?
Hope you find relief and are able to et better.
Hi. You were able to get the clip removed? I have heard that it is major surgury and will leave you disfigured. How can this be? Everyone said it was microscopic? Who should I go to to have it removed? No one is taking this seriously.
OH please, lets get wise here, it's a foreign object and it's happening after her markers were put in. Drs. need more education on HEALTH and the BODY, not drugs and metals. They are killing us.
Last year I had saline breast implants removed. Over the past twelve months, I've had unexplained sensations in my left breast and called my Dr who said to massage the breast tissue with lotion. A few weeks ago, while traveling, the TSA body scan machine showed I had "something imbedded" in my left breast. TSA told me I will always get the agent hand pat down because of this. I was shocked! Markers, chips, clips, etc. was never explained to me nor was I informed prior or after surgery that I would get one. My doctor has some explaining to do. As soon as possible I am getting the marker removed!!
Definitely ask your doctor about this. I don't know why markers would be used when removing implants. Their purpose is to help the doctor find a suspicious area again to help with diagnosing a possible cancer. Of course, there is plenty that I do not know about implant surgery and implant removal, so maybe there is another reason to use one. But the TSA scanner saw something only on the left side, and if there is a medical reason for clips when removing an implant, it seems like it would have been done on both sides.
My wife had a stereotactic biopsy back in September of 2008. The put one of these titanium markers in afterwards. Since then she has times where she grabs her right breast in extreme pain. The pain comes and goes and we haven't figured out any commonalities as to why it comes when it does. Although it does seem to happen more frequently when it is rainy. We're not sure what to do about this.
When she had the stereotactic biopsy they missed the target. They went back in to do it again immediately afterwards. She left the hospital and returned about an hour later bleeding profusely. It took quite a bit to get the bleeding stopped. In the couple of weeks that followed, she bruised unlike anything I have ever seen. Her entire breast and the areas around it were a bright purple, almost like the coloring of an eggplant. Her general physician and gynecologist both said it was the worst thing they had ever seen. She went to see a breast specialist who dismissed it as typical of a stereotactic biopsy. So we kind of let it go after that.
But now she continues to have this pain and it has been about 8 months! I've seen some posts where some people have talked about having the chip/marker removed. We would be interested in hearing other peoples' thoughts and experiences with this.
I'm having something very similar after haveing a marker inserted back in March. At first I had quite a bit of pain and bruising but then it eased up. Just recently, within the last month, I've had similar pain to your wife...it comes up without warning and feels as if something is burning within my breast, right about where the marker should be. It goes away quite quickly and seems worse in the morning but does happen randomly throughout the day.
I have been searching for information about breast pain after having the titanium marker clip inserted to the breast. I had mine placed in September 2008, clearly almost a year ago. While my diagnosis was PASH and I was first told that the breast tissue had to be removed, the clinic then said no to further work. For the following three months I experienced extreme breast pain, changes in breast tissue density and I could not roll over in bed at night without waking from the breast pain. The clinic said that it was highly unlikely for it to be from the marker clip and first gave me pain medication and antiflamitory medications. No real relief and I returned to be given a prescription for a medication they give women to dry milk up in their breast and to told to take high doses of Primrose Oil capsules. With still no relief I asked to have the marker clip removed and they could just go ahead and take the PASH tissue out at the same time. I recieved a telephone call three days later telling me that no doctor would remove the clip, that the PASH did not need to come out and the reason given was that it would be an elective surger and not medically necessary. The pain is burning and I can feel it through the tissue ~ physically, after the frist five months my husband and I noticed some changes my overall wellbeing. But, having constant burning and peridic stabbing and stinging pains in my breast has been a drain.
Have you considered calling it elective surgery, and just having it removed? The issue would be insurance, and how to pay for it. But would it be worth consulting a plastic surgeon (as this might be who'd be willing to do it) about the cost? I'm so sorry you're having to go through all of this... PJH
I have been having the same shooting pain in my breast that you described your wife has. I would like to have my clipped removed, but have found that it is considered major suregery where I would have a 2 inch incision and a section of my breast removed, which would cause a deformation. I am waiting, praying and hoping that the pain I have been experiencing since my biopsy will go away and I won't have the clip removed.
It seems like the medical community is NOT acknowledging that women are being bothered by these clips. I wasn't even informed in advance that they were inserting a clip until they had done it.
Have you received any new information or gotten any answers as to wgat you can do to get it removed, or any other helpful info.
Hi, i just spoke with my treatment center, where i had a stereotactic biopsy, to
explain my symptoms of burning pain whenever i take my bra off or after being
settled for a time , like waking up in the morning, sudden shifts, need i say more.
yes, this is due to the titanium chip - please have it removed. I will be seeing a surgeon in a couple of weeks for his purpose. My burning pain didnt begin for
a few months after the biopsy. The clinic didnt acknowledge this as a common symptom. but it is very annoying and unnatural. They may want to do away with this procedure. I too had a problem at the time of my biopsy. "the needle was stuck" after it was removed i bled profusely and had a very bad bruise for a long time. To me it seems like an allergic rxn to a foreign body which is why not
everyone experiences this who have a titanium clip. This is real and you need to
resolve it for yourself and for the many other women who are about to have the
proceedure. knowledge is power. Thank you so much for posting your wifes symptoms.
I'm wondering if the pain isn't in part due to hormonal changes, causing density in the surrounding tissue of the marker, and in other cases, the scarring caused by the incision of the needle. If, for example, a fibroid was pushing against it, the area where the little marker was pushing against the fibroid might cause that burning sensation. I noticed that the burning sensation where my clip is feels very familiar, much like when I've accidentally bumped my breast(s) against something at the wrong time of the month when they were most dense due to fibroids. Those darn fibroids then will feel like a burning pain.
That would explain the coming and going of that pain.
Wow. I cannot believe all of the adverse reactions to this titanium marker.
I had an abnormal mammogram in early March 2010. Shaken, it took me several weeks to go for a biopsy. When I arrived for the appointment, the nurse did everything she could to convince me to have the marker implanted and became very perturbed at my refusal. But, it didn't make sense.
If, in fact, cancer was found and surgery needed to be done, wouldn't the doctor use some type of x-ray device to get a clearer understanding/view of what was there and where it was? So, what was the point of having this foreign object implanted into my already confused and turmoiled body? The nurse threw in the towel and referred me to the doctor, who was even less convincing.
Though my doctor (recommened by my GP) answered my questions, he came at me quickly, giving me no time to think. I was in a daze. Fortunately, years in law enforcement had me wired to, 'when in doubt, back out!' I contiuned to refuse the marker.
My biopsy revealed atypical cells and surgery to remove "3-4 times more tissue" from my breast 'to check for cancer seeds' was recommended. Shortly thereafter, a vein (I can only describe it as feeling like a stretched piece of cable, running about 5 or 6 inches from the biopsy incision, downward) protruded under my breast. It isn't painful but I'm not so thrilled...
I have not had this surgery. I will not let this doctor touch me again. I have just now found the energy to seek a second opinion.
Ladies, I know my next words are in hindsight but... when you need clear answers to make a good decision and no one is giving you a moment to breathe, please, TAKE the moment!
I have no clip but will be having a biopsy conducted this month. I was told the procedure would involve them placing a titanium chip inside my breast at the end to serve as a placemark for future reference. The word Titanium sounds like a foreign object all by itself. In addition I didn't like that someone was telling me what would be done as if there was no option so I asked if there was. They said the chip was optional. I mean, what were they doing before this chip came into the picture? They used xtrays. It just didn't sound like a necessity. I said I wanted it marked on record that I did not want the chip. I was told to remind them the day I came in although I asked that for the record it be typed into the computer during the visit in which we were discussing the need to schedule a biopsy. All staff present was trying to convince me that it was no big deal, this foreign object. Anyway, I decided to surf the web on this matter as the result of my mother's suggestion that I do so. She's a nurse. And I did and found the responses on this site. Thanks for sharing. Folks in all kinds of fields can be like some agressive car salesmen working under commission. They can put the pressure on you and the next thing you know you're doing something you didn't feel right about doing. Your experiences helped strengthen and encourage my stance. I will request signing something that says I do not want titanium placed inside of me. I will require this in writing because I don't want to find out someone thought they could just slip it in later, stating I never said I didn't want it and there was no proof I rejected the clip. I will have my husband present. May God bless you and you, Him.
Hi - I'm glad your mom encouraged you to research this. We actually have a lot more ability to direct our treatment that we realize - if we choose to exercise that option. You're right, titanium wasn't used in the past. And, although it's supposedly the least likely metal to cause a reaction, a small percentage of women do have adverse reactions. So stick to your guns - follow the plan you've outlined - and best of luck to you. PJH
I work for a laboratory that performs metal hypersensitivity testing (MELISA) that identifies if you have an immune system response to metals. The Implant profile (#5605) includes metals most commonly used in medical implant devices in the USA (including those used in the markers you discuss. You can learn more by visiting www.neuroscienceinc.com/MELISA The test is submittable to insurance, and the results would help you to identify if you are having a reaction to the metal.
hi.Changes in overall wellbeing? Can you be more specific please ? Are you getting tired meaby more?
I am due to have a biopsy next week, and just found out that a piece of metal will be left in my body. I think this is bizarre. So I want to know if they accepted your stance and did not implant titanium in your breast or what happened? I fear they will not do the procedure if I do not agree to the metal marker.
Actually, it's not bizarre - it's the standard of care, it's critical for any possible future treatment, and the VAST majority of women have no issues with the clip. If you ask them not to insert it, I believe it will be quite a long conversation, with the surgeon laying out the reasons why it's a good idea; but in the end, I believe you can have a biopsy done without the clip. Good luck - PJH
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR SHARING THIS WEALTH OF INFORMATION ON MELISA ! WHERE WOULD WOMEN GO TO FIND OUT WHAT'S TRUE AND HAVE AN ACCURATE TESTING DONE OTHERWISE ? I HAD A HORRIBLE INFECTION SET IN AFTER MY BIOPSY AND I CONTINUE TO HAVE STABBING PAIN, BURNING AND ITCHING . I INTEND TO USE MELISA TO HOPEFULLY FIND OUT WHAT'S TRUE. I ONLY KNOW THAT PRIOR TO MY BIOPSY I HAD NO PAIN AND FELT HEALTHY. EVER SINCE THE BIOPSY I HAVE ENDURED NOTHING BUT TROUBLE. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AND IT'S ONLY BEEN 6-7 WEEKS. MY HEART BREAKS FOR THOSE WOMEN THAT HAVE BEEN GUINEA PIGS AND ENDURED MONTHS AND EVEN YEARS OF PAIN AND HEALTH ISSUES. WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM THAT IT ALLOWS SUCH UNNECESSARY CLASS 3 DEVISES TO BE IMPLANTED IN OUR BREASTS ? PROCEDURES LIKE THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING TO TRUSTING PATIENTS. NO PRIOR BLOOD WORK DONE ON THE WOMEN HAVING THE CLIP INSERTED TO FIND OUT IF THEY MAY HAVE A REACTION TO THE MATERIAL BEING IMPLANTED IS JUST WRONG ? WHY NOT TEST US ? I AM APPALLED !!! AGAIN, I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT OF YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE TO SHARE MELISA !!! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS.... SHARON BUTH
AMEN !!!! I LOVE YOUR POST !!!!! I DID HAVE THE MARKER PLACED IN MY BREAST AND FEEL MISGUIDED AND ANGRY !!! I HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT TROUBLE EVER SINCE. I WISH I HAD NEVER GOTTEN THE BIOPSY TO BEGIN WITH. I HAD A THERMOGRAM WHICH DETECTS CANCER IN IT'S INFANT STAGE AND IT CAME BACK PERFECT ! NOT A TRACE... HAD I LISTENED TO THAT REPORT INSTEAD OF THINKING I SHOULD DO THE BIOPSY JUST TO BE SURE, WAS A HUGE ERROR !!!! WE TRUST DOCTORS AND THAT'S OUT FIRST MISTAKE !!! I LOVE YOUR STATEMENT ....WHEN IN DOUBT BACK OUT !!! I ASSURE YOU IT WILL BE MY MOTTO AND I WILL SHARE IT FROM HERE ON IN !!!!
I’ve found your posting on healthcentral.com dated 11/10/10.
" I work for a laboratory that performs metal hypersensitivity testing (MELISA) that identifies if you have an immune system response to metals. The Implant profile (#5605) includes metals most commonly used in medical implant devices in the USA(including those used in the markers you discuss. You can learn more by visiting www.neuroscienceinc.com/MELISA The test is submittable to insurance, and the results would help you to identify if you are having a reaction to the metal. "
Do you know by any chance how I can find facilities in the US to get tested for titanium hypersensitivity? I called several labs in my area (northern NJ) but unfortunately none of them perform that test and even never heard of it. I would highly appreciate your help and any information.
I've just been diagnosed with a suspicious breast abnormality. The doctor thinks it is a cyst but would like to be certain and perform a core needle biopsy. I have decided to go thru with the biopsy but am adamant about not receiving the titanium marker.
Were you allowed to have a biopsy w/o insertion of a marker? If so, where did you have your procedure performed and who were the doctors? I'll go anywhere to find someone who will perform this procedure without marker insertion.
Hi - Since this is an older thread, and perhaps not monitored regularly by those who've responded, you might want to send a private message to the reader/readers you want to contact specifically. Just click on their name (in blue), and you'll find a place to send your message. Good luck - I hope you get good results from your biopsy. PJH
I'm sure you have specific reasons you believe the marker would not be good for you. I just thought I would mention a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. Her biopsy did reveal cancer and a marker was left. Because of the aggressive nature of the tumor and the fact that cancer was already in her lymph nodes, she received chemo first. The chemo worked wonderfully, so well that by the time she had her surgery, no sign of the tumor remained. The marker allowed her surgeon to perform a lumpectomy with clear margins rather than a mastectomy. From what we have read in this thread, some doctors will do the biopsy without the marker. Just make sure you discuss both the drawbacks and potential advantages of the marker for you with your personal medical history.
Phyllis - you are absolutley correct. Having chemo before surgery (neo-adjuvant chemotherapy) is one extensive use of Titanium marker clips in the breast, otherwise as with your friend a complete response would make removing any remaining occult cancerous tissue (invisible to xray or ultrasound) impossible to find and remove. The other main use of the clips is after having a needle biopsy to mark the site of biopsy -- again for similar reasons. The needle biopsy may remove all of the very small calcifications seen on x ray (not visible on ultrasound) and if cancerous it would be impossible to find the site without the clip and so therapeutic surgery would not be possible, leaving the invisible cells in the breast until such time as they grow and become visible which could take months. If the biopsy is benign then having the clip in the breast proves on subsequent visits for mammograms that the abnormality has already been tested and can be ignored. PLEASE think carefully if it is suggested that a clip is recommended. I have been inserting them for 13 years in the UK and have never heard of any patient having a reaction to them.
Hi, I too got talked into the biopsi and the marker. I did not want the marker either, but they basically said that they wouldn't do the biopsi without puttting it in. My tests all came out negative. However, 3 months later I am still feeling pain at the site of the biopsi. An altrasound was performed showing no irritation or infection. I am convinced that the stinging and constant irritation is being caused by the marker. Now I have to see a surgeon about having it removed. Frankly, no one is taking me serious.
I am so sorry that I ever even had the biopsi. I had no pain before. Now I am scared that the constant irritation is going to cause me problems.
I am sorry to hear that you are suffering. It was definitely the clip that was causing my pian. I suffeered for four straight weeks, even had to be hospitalized. The day the clip was removed the pain in my breast was gone. I had a general surgeon who specialized in breast surgery do it. I did have approx. a 21/2 inch incision and had to have a wire localization just prior to surgery done so that the surgeon could locate the clip.
To be honest the whole experience was quite traumatic- The Dr. who putthe clip in me acted liek there was no way it could be bothering me. Sure enough though it was. I was so ill from the clip, loosing weight unable to work vomitting from the pain etc. that I could not have continued to live a productive life with it in.
I hope you can find a doctor who can help you.
Hi, I originally asked this question almost three years ago. It amazes me that so many are having the same reactions. Its true, no one thinks its possible. But, it seems to me it is. I ended going to a surgeon to have the infected site removed. I now have a scar, raised and discolored. A plastic surgeon said he could make it look better with a laser, but also said that if I can live with it for a while, it may get better on its own. It has improved slightly, but this should not have happened in the first place. I suffered with it for a year, before I had the infected site removed. Still don't know if it worked itself out. I guess I will find out on the next mammogram. Its taking me three years to to get another, so I think this clip defeats the purpose. With all the pain and irritation I didn't go back the next year to have another mammogram. I contacted the manufacturer of the clip, and was told by them, that no one (at the time I contacted them) had reported any adverse reactions. Seems to me that there has been a few in the mean time, and how many more have not found this site, to add themselves to this every growing list. We'll all have to wait until this happens to someone famous to have this brought out into the open. We're just too average people to have anyone other than us care.
I hope all get some sort of help. This is just too scary, and it hurts. I don't want breast cancer and I do not feel comfortable with a foreign object put in my breast no matter how small it is.
Butterfly, I'm so glad you finally got some relief, after all of that. Maybe if enough women report this, they'll HAVE to start taking adverse reactons seriously... PJH
I also have swelling and pain from the chip during a biopsy. I would like info on having it removed. I'm seeing a breast surgeon tomorrow. Could you please tell me the Dr. name and city where you had the chip removed. Also could you tell me if you have a large scar or are deformed or need plastic surgery after the chip was removed. How fast did you heal? Thank you for all your help. Please tell me as much as you can about the removal of the chip.
Precious, this is an older thread and Butterfly may not be checking it anymore. Click on her screen name, and you'll be brought to a screen where you can send her a private message, OK? Also - your own breast surgeon, the one you're seeing tomorrow, should be able to remove this for you; it's a simple operation, and doesn't require a specialist. Good luck - PJH
Thank you. It is heart breaking to hear of other similar stories. I don't want this to discourage women from getting a biopsy if needed. I just want to make sure there is an awareness so anyone who may have an adverse reaction is taken seriously and not made to suffer any longer than necessary.
Do you know of any place women should be reporting this to other than just their doctors?
Thank you - stay well!
Sorry, I don't know anyplace gathering this type of info. At this point, it's every woman on her own, I'd guess. Unless she could report it to a higher level in the hospital, e.g., the oncology program, rather than just having the surgical team know about it. PJH
Yes, report this on FDA.org If enough people report this, the FDA will put a warning on the clip
Ladies, when you need clear answers to make a good decision and no one is giving you room to breathe, TAKE the moment!
It's always a good idea to refuse surgery until you are sure you understand the risks and benefits (except for obvious emergency situations). Ask around in your town for a doctor who is both a good surgeon and a good listener. Sometimes it can be hard to find both in the same person, but you need to be sure that you are on the right course of action.
Why haven't any of you contacted an attorney about this titanium marker?
I know it has been quite some time since you have posted but wanted to know what the end result of your situation was. I had recently had a biopsy in which a titanium marker was inserted; I didn't even know they were putting one in! It wasn't listed in my brochure nor did it ever get mentioned during the numerous questions that I asked about the procedure. I have been in severe pain ever sinc ethe procedure & even had to be hospitalized. I believe my pain is from the clip, but no one in the medical field seems to believe that this is possible. Can you please tell me if you were ever able to get it removed or any other helpful info you may have.
Hi. I went to a surgeon and he removed the infected area. It turned out that when the chip was inserted the needle pushed a piece of my fat under it and my body took it as foreign and attacked it. So the site was not healing and became infected. The biopsy showed this and there was no chip inside what was removed. The surgeon has seen this happen before. As for the chip, I don't know if it is still in my breast. The Dr. said it could have worked its way out with my body pushing it. I have not gone in for a mammogram yet. It took a long time for this to heal, and it is still red and slightly elevated. I saw a plastic surgeon about it, and he said to wait at least a year for the redness to start to go away. Then if it still bothers me the way it might look, he can do a laser on it to smooth it out and remove any redness that might still be there.
I saw four Drs. about this. My GP, two dermatologists, and a surgeon. Three at the time had not heard about these chips being placed to mark biopsies in the breast Just another way to make more money on us.
I would NOT recommend getting a chip to anyone, not with what I went thru. The more I think about it, I don't like the idea of having a foreign object in my body, especially in my breast. The breast is always changing, how do I know that where the chip is placed ( so they know it was biopsied there before) is not now cancerous. I was told that being marked as being previously biopsied it would not have to be biopsied again. In my mind, I'm thinking that if it looks like something on the film, now it will be ignored as it was okay before.
It was wrong that they did not explain to you beforehand about wanting to insert one. You have the right to make your own decision. They insert something that can't be seen with the eye, but it takes a two inch incision to remove it.
Ask them the company name and what kind of chip was inserted. Call the company and complain to them. More than likely they will tell you that there is no proof of any reaction to their chip, but funny, woman are complaining, and just think, how many are not complaining on this site. How may woman are just handling this themselves or not notifying the company?
I wish you luck. Your right, no one believes us! After all, it's just a woman's breast. If it was a male's testicles with this problem, it would be believed, and handled differently.
We all seem to have no pain before the chip, and now we do. But it is not the chip, or so they say. By the time its believed something is wrong, it will be too late for us.
I hope you find what you need. The best of luck.
Hi, I had 2 biopsies starting in August of 09. The last one was mri guided on Sept 8 and they used titanium clips, that I did NOT want. Anyhow, since then I have pain in my breast, sometimes it radiates to my arm pit, there is lumps where the markers are red and raised. I saw the surgeon last thursday he said to have repeat mri and mammo in 3 months (why is he waiting i do not know) and said maybe my pain is perimenopause (i am 48 and still get regular periods) why would I have pain ironically in breast where markers are? Initially they thought I had IBC because my issue presented as a huge red, hot mass. Now, I do not know what to do but suffer with this pain daily and cannot lay on my stomach or right side. Has your issue been resolved yet? How do we write private emails? Is that possible?
Just one suggestion have an mri to find the clip mine were not found in the mammogram. I as well agreed to the clip being placed but instead of one i have three. After the clips were placed i began to have pain and eventually an infection track opened and nobody really knows why it started. I however all along have blamed the clip i.e. clips. I have spent over a year dealig with lots of pain, doctors vists,time packing the wound, and money to still have them drag ther feet about taking them out. Lets just do another surgery for what they think is a cyst that keeps opening. Not fair! I wish I would have known more instead of being asked to sign a waiver when i am naked and about to have a biopsy, as if I am not scared enough!
I am so mad right now! I was talked into placing the marker in during a needle biopsy. Now I have stabbing pain in my left breast and am told it is major surgery to remove it. Do you know if the insurance will pay to have it removed or do we have to prove this is necessary? Would you have a plastic surgeon remove it or go back to the hospital to remove it? Thanks so much!!
As far as insurance, I believe if you can get a doctor to recommend it as treatment, insurance should cover it. And I'd think a general surgeon could remove it - no need for a plastic surgeon. It whould be pretty simple surgery (even though "major"). Good luck - PJH
I just got notification of your message today. I am sorry to hear of your pain. I did have my clip removed and the pain went away that day. I just had a general surgeon remove it. Unfortunatley I picked up a hospital born bacteria during the procedure and had just recently got off IV antibiotics that I had to be treated with for a month. I went to 11 different doctors before I found a doctor who would remove the clip. By the time I git to her I was visibly ill and physically wasting away from the pain, I had lost a lot of weight & was very weak. She had had another patient in the past who had issue with the clip & that is why I think she new it was possible. One of the nurses who I met on the day of my surgery said she had had other patients as well who suffered sever pain until their clips were removed. I don't know if there is a way to send privat e-mails vis this site, I believe you would just have to send your regular e-mail address in the letter. I would continue to fight for what you believe is happening no matter how many doctors you may have to go to. Please feel free to ask me any questions or let me know if I can be of any help.
Hello, I know it's been awhile since you have all posted, however I am unfortunately experiencing this pain in my breasts. I'm only 27 and have naturally large breasts...I have had issues with pain from the tissues for years now but not the same pain I'm experiencing now. Last year, I had 3 u/s biopsies done and they put 3 markers in after wards, however I was not informed of these markers until they were about to put them in. I protested and questioned if they were necessary, however being alone in the room and vulnerable on the table, they put them in. Now almost 1 year later I am experiencing the sharp pains in my breast, however it is usually only one. The pain originally started out as random sharp pains through my breast from my armpit area, now i feel that pain along with pain & discomfort where they put the markers in. It wakes me up sometimes while I'm sleeping if I lay wrong or stretching certain ways also hurts, basically putting pressure on that area hurts. I just spoke with the Dr.'s office that did the procedure and they confirmed they put in the titanium markers. So now I'm waiting to see a Dr. next week and see what she suggests. This is very frustrating to me as I usually don't go to the Dr.'s...I have been researching natural/chinese/ayurvedic medicine for a few years now and prefer those methods, but with certain things I still go see what the doc has to say, especially with woman's health. At this point, I regret having seen the Dr. to begin with about my breast pain and having the biopsies done! I wish all you women the best with this situation. Oh before I forget I had researched some natural remedies for breast pain...Chaste Berry 200mg (containing .5% agnuside) 1-3x/day & Evening Primrose 3,000-4,000mg/day or 1/2 tsp oil is supposed to help with breast pain. I 've only been taking them for about 1 1/2 weeks now so not too sure if it's helping yet. Best of Luck and any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.
I'd like to share that about 10 yrs ago I had a biopsy and a titanium marker was inserted- the only way I knew this was because DURING the surgery when the doctor said, "now I'm inserting a titanium marker." I had no knowledge previously of this or given a choice- had I had the option I would not have gotten this done. Following my biopsy I had shooting pains b/t each breast for an entire year! When I questioned the MD's they had no ansers and brushed it off and told me minor nerve damage after surgery corrects itself after a few weeks or so. For the last 9 yrs I've been fine until the last few months when I feel a sharp pain where the marker was placed- worse when I'm stressed or have had too much caffeine or if I'm in front of a computer or microwave for a long time. I've not taken action on this yet as it is infrequent- but certainly disconcerning. It is disappointing how this entire procedure seems to be handled (esp. by male MD's) as well as thier reactions to it. I hope that your pain goes away soon if it hasn't already. I don't know how much it would cost to have it removed but I may look into it eventually. Best of luck to you!
Get a second opinion. The marker did not "work its way out" of your breast, most likely, unless it was initially placed in position close to the skin. If it cannot be seen on a mammogram, that is more than likely due to 1.) how it was placed initially, or 2.) it moved into a position where it is hidden from view in that particular mammogram. If it is 1.), then it is the hospital's fault. They were supposed to place in a position where it could be seen in future films. But these things can often be seen with a sonogram, but it will take a while.
It does not necessarily have to be major surgery. I have read of many accounts where a radiologist could remove it "percutaneously' which means, inserting an needle under the skin. Some radiologists have used the same equipment they use to conduct the vacumn assisted biopsy to remove the clip. I am sure it would depend upon where the clip is, but there is a chance to remove it without major surgery - ie, requiring general anesthesia, and a surgeon to cut it out.
Good luck to you and let us know what happens.
I had a needle biopsy almost a month ago in February 2011.
I am sore to the touch but not extremely.
The results of the test were negative so surgery didn't
need to be done. I was told the metal marker did not have any side effects
and would be left in if surgery was not required. I would like to have this removed. How have you felt since yours was removed? Do you have any
recommendations on how to find someone to remove it? I don't have health insurance but would be willing to pay cash. Do you know how much it costs?
Ive had the chip a few months ago too. I am not sure that my pain is associated with the chip or changes in breast density due to hormonal shifting. I don't like the idea of a chip inserted in my breast, and they also didn't tell me until after the deposit of it, why they had to do that...for future reference. I'm leary of the titanium company that is making this, and who's idea was it to start doing this? I really wasn't given an option, just told during the procedure while I couldn't move that they were inserting a marker. I also turned eggplant purple and looked horrifying for a couple weeks. My whole breast almost up to the collar bone was dark purple. I also had a hematoma that formed after the procedure that didn't go away for about a month. I still feel discomfort in the area at 12 o clock , behind the nipple where the procedure was done. I'm not looking forward to going back for another mammo for my 6 mo check up, and now will keep my eyes open for a possible recall on this marker since so many are complaining.
Scar tissue and the surgery itself could account for your problems. The area where I had a biopsy was tender for years because of the scar. While some people will have bruising, yours was more extreme than usual. If there is a recall on the marker, your hospital and/or doctor should let you know. When you read this very long thread, it seems like there are many problems with markers, but keep in mind that the people who have markers and no problems aren't reading this thread. If at any point, your symptoms are getting worse, not better, call your doctor right away.
I get reactions from both the areas where they inserted the stereotactic needles (both breasts) and where the clip is located. These procedures were done 8 months ago. The right side of my right breast where there was a lot of bruising and probably the most internal scarring is where I get occasional aching. The burning sensation will occur where the chip was placed in my left breast. It started getting worse after I had an MRI on my knee (the magnetic fields pulled on it and it may have cut the tissue a bit perhaps).
On a side note, the purple effect from some stereotactic procedures is most likely caused by the technician or doctor who did the procedure and not holding your breast to keep it from moving away. If the breast tissue is dense, it will make it harder to get the stereotactic "needle" into position. The technician who worked on me stabbed at the area for about an hour. I imagine there is a lot of scarring as a result, which further greatly increased my risk of future breast cancer. It was her first ever time at doing these procedures. I would never ever go again to get this procedure done by someone who didn't know what they were doing. That side in particular ended up very purply for over a month -- and not from a titanium marker as that was in the other breast -- but from a technician who was hardly trained to do this at all. We actually had to WAIT for the sales person who sold them the equipment to arrive at the hospital and survey her while she did the procedure, since she didn't know how to do it!!!
I do not recommend completely ignoring the burning sensation, but regard where it is occuring and make sure you have the area checked with sonograms as well as mammograms at least once every 6 months.
I almost forgot... I'd be more concerned about the scarring than the clip itself. The clip is a helpful device to aid doctors and technicians in finding the area that needs to be watched more carefully in the future.
To those that feel that they may have had an allergic reaction to the titanium: How soon did this occur after the insertion of the clip and the biopsies? If it was soon after (within the first month), what kind of bandages did you have on your chest and what kind of wrap or sports bra? You may consider that it is not uncommon for a woman to have a red, itchy rash from an allergy to polyeruothane used it bandages and some sports bras (more likely, though, the bandage(s).
I had a needle biopsy (fortunately negative) 2 1/2 months ago. As several others in this string mentioned, I was not informed, until just as the woman surgeon was ready to insert it, that a clip would be used. I "consented" at the time, but of course had been given no advance notification to allow me to consider or research it.
I had moderate bruising and pain after the procedure, and the biopsy seemed to heal up normally. Since then I have been having random mild pain, and sought info about it which led me to this site. So record me as another poorly informed patient who perhaps is having problems.
The larger issue is my serious consideration of abandoning mammograms altogether. The sequela of a possibly problematic biopsy marker is only part of my concern. I really do not wish to be multiply radiated (they always want repeat views) as recommended at least yearly for many years to come. I have resisted yearlies so far, still pre-menopausal, but know I will be more pressured as the cessation of menstruation approaches.
As an anti-nuclear weapons activist I am well aware that there is no safe level of radiation exposure. And I wonder what other regular screening is done with x-rays? Along with the painful serious compression of the tissue which is suspected to rupture cysts and lead to the spread of formerly quiescent cancer.
It may not even be the the titanium you are responding to, but a contaminant that happened to the titanium in the factory. The titanium produced in the USA is not as pure as we would like to think. It is like a person who has peanut allergies eating a milky way bar that was made in a snicker's factory. Learn more www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?paperID=1647...
Titanium allergy or not? "Impurity" of titanium implant materials. Thomas Harloff1, Wolfgang Hönle2, Ulrich Holzwarth3, Rainer Bader4
im only 19, i had this biopsy done about a week ago. i am feeling simliar pain in my left breast. im so shocked that they wouldnt give me any warnings concerning allergies to the clip. ugh i jst want this nightmare overwith
Hopefully you've reported this pain to the radiologist's office. You always need to report any after-effects of surgery, OK? Don't suffer in silence: action gets results. Good luck - PJH
WOW! For over a year I have complained about shooting pain in my breast but never thought to ask or even reserach if it could be a result from a marker left after last years core biopsy. Last spring I had a core biopsy done and the marker left. It was never explained to me as an option or a choice; pretty much this is what we are going to do and that's it. Well shortly after I began have shooting pains only in that breast and in the same area. I thought it might have been the tumor growing and pushing on a nerve. My gyn, GP and breast surgeon all said that it wasn't possible. They totally ignored the fact that I am was in pain. Really? I like grabing my breast bent over in pain in public.
Well I am lucky that all the doctors agreed to have remoivng the tumor, besides there was a new growth right behind it. The removal was a sucess and all results came back normal. Best of all the shooting pain is gone!! As far as the surgery, besides for the first day, the pain was no where near what I had endured for over a year.
It's good to know I am not crazy. I am logging on to FDA to complain. Question for those fighting to have the insurance cover it; is it possible to approach it removal of the tumor?
I had a breast biopsy last fall and a titanium marker was put in at the time. The nurse said it was so small, I wouldn't even know it was there. So not true!
It hurt from the time I got it in there until I had it removed last Tuesday. I felt the burning, aching, and sometimes shooting pain that all the others on the list have mentioned.
I truly do believe my reaction is a metal allergy, as I had a titanium plate in my wrist that had to be removed due to pain and discomfort.
However, when I talked to my surgeon about it, her first reaction was that it was "impossible" to have a problem with the marker. I asked her to look at what seemed to be a hematoma at the site. It was hard as a rock, bigger than a pencil eraser and getting bigger and more painful all the time. She then said it must be possible, but had to be extremely rare. She agreed to remove the clip.
At the time of removal, the tissue in my breast and around the clip looked unusual, so a bigger biopsy was done under general anesthesia. I do not have the results back, but I honestly feel things will be okay and that my reaction was just to the titanium marker.
This problem is not as "rare" as physicians seem to think it is and I will never again let them put a marker in my breast . . . . Think twice before you agree to a "routine medical procedure."
I've heard this reaction to problems with a titanium clip reported from so many surgeons: "It's not possible." If it's so impossible, why are so many women having issues with the marker - issues that disappear when it's removed? I think this problem is much more widespread than the medical community believes.
Readers, if you have a problem with a titanium clip in your breast, you're not alone; and it's not "all in your head." Follow up, and keep advocating for yourself until you get some relief. Thanks for sharing your experience here, RLM. PJH
I had a needle core biopsy about 2 yrs ago and a marker was inserted without explanation or my permission. I was surprised at the time they would insert a permanent marker into my body without my permission but trusted them and wasn't concerned. I was breast cancer free but I began experiencing sharp brief stabbing pains at the site of the marker intermittently. It was tolerable so I ignored it. Then I began to experience pain in my shoulders and upper arms. This pain was much more bothersome than the stabbing pain in my left breast. Since the pain was much greater in my right arm and shoulder (marker is in LEFT breast) I have never even considered it was connected to the marker. The pain in my right arm and shoulder is so extreme I can't even lift a jug of milk from the refrigerator. I went to an orthopedic surgeon for the right shoulder/arm problem. Xrays and exam showed no problems with the bones, no arthritis, no rotator cuff problem - nothing wrong with the should or arm. The stabbing pains in the left breast have gotten much more sharp and painful over the last year although still intermittent. Now after reading all of these posts I am wondering if all of this could be related and it is all due to the marker placed in my left breast. Could this really be possible?
If you're experiencing an autoimmune issue as a result of the marker, then I'd say yes, it could be possible; autoimmune pain isn't always localized to the exact site of what's causing it. Especially since you've ruled out the typical arm/shoulder orthopedic-type problems, your pain might very well be related to the marker. You might want to pursue having it removed. Best of luck to you - PJH
i hate i had it done i got a bad reeation to and i want ine removed too ut i think its to late i was talked into it also i thimk people who think they was talked into this and think they had reactions behind it should be compensated by got it has also pysclogically bothered me also if they remove it let me know thank you
Tina, it sounds like you're struggling with this quite a bit. I'd suggest you speak to a social worker at the hospital where you had the procedure done; I think a professional could give you some good guidance about where to take your concerns in order to addrss and solve the problem, OK? Good luck - PJH
Yes, I had sharp pains & a contant ache in my breast from 09 until 1/12 when they removed it through steroraphic machine in xray department no surgery . excuse my spelling. I'm pain free since they removed the clip.
Glad to hear removin the clip took care of your pain - thanks for sharing here. PJH
I had a titanium marker placed in my breast just over 2 years ago where I had microcalcifications. I've had no troubles until just over a week ago I began to feel small jolts of very localized pain at the site-literally felt like aI could FEEL the clip itself! It's gradually become more frequent and now throbbing, waking me up at night. My daughter normally rests her head on my side, against the outside of my breast when I read stories to her, and now I cannot tolerate that because of the discomfort. Just having recently moved across country, I have called for an appointment with an OBGYN but won't get in for 2 weeks yet . Anyone know, other than these possible problems to the titanium clip, if this could could be symptoms of cancer growth? Seems like most women with these titanium problems get them soon after surgery. I am a redhead and typically allergic to just about everything. ..oh- and like most of you out there, the process of placing a metal clip in my breast was sprung on me just as they were ready to place it! I was SO freaked out already at that point bcause they had just done over 40 xrays during the procedure to position me for the biopsy!! -Jill
Jill, luckily breast pain is very seldom a breast cancer symptom. It's also unlikely the clip is giving you a problem this long after the fact. It's much more likely to be something hormonal, or even some late nerve damage from the previous biopsy. You could also have an infection developing, so keep your eye on it; if your breast seems to be changing its appearance (swelled, red) or feels hot, best to see a doctor sooner than 2 weeks from now, OK? Good luck - PJH
Thank you so much for your advice!! I wasn't able to get any information from the OB office -and I really appreciate your quick response. I now have peace of mind
- Happy Holidays!
So glad we could help, Jill - I hope your appointment goes well, AND that the pain just disappears on its own even before you have the appointment! PJH
Lisa, the nature of pain is one of the less-understood areas of medicine: how and why it appears, when it will disappear. I don't believe there's any "usually" - we all have our own experience with it. Any kind of pain can be random and fleeting, or quite long lasting; we just don't know. I'd think you'd want to discuss this issue with your doctor, to see what, if anything, can be done. Some women have actually had the clip removed, and reported relief; this might be a path you consider, even though it'll probably take a lot of self-advocacy, since most surgeons don't want to perform another surgery when they feel it's unwarranted. But remember, you know your body best; and if you think removing the clip is the best course for your physical and emotional health, then push for it. Good luck - PJH
You're very welcome, Lisa. Thanks for connecting here, and come on back if there's any way we can furnish you with the information you need to deal with this problem going forward. PJH
First of all, I can just say WOW! They certainly do not go over enough information on these types of biopsy's with the patients. I recently had a biopsy done three weeks ago. I had one of these clips inserted. They did tell me while they were taping me up they would be doing it and again informed me when they were doing it. They DID NOT notify me of any possible side effects from it as it seems there is a possibility after reading this. I found this site today because all of the sudden I got a sharp stabbing burning pain in the breast it was done it, it felt as though they were doing the biopsy all over again! From one side to the other right where they poked me. How embarassing to have this happen at work in front of other people!(Thankfully the people I work with are good sports and have something funny to say when I pressed on my breast to help the pain) I was not told that this kind of pain was possible. I was told of possible bruising(which I really had none), possible bleeding(which again I had none) and possible infection. I was not told to expect pain like this, or details of what to expect past the first 24 hours. I was worried it might be a infection starting and decided to look up some information only to stumble across this site and see I am not alone. I also can pinpoint the clip, and feel it. When I move wrong or push on my breast it pokes me! My husband doesn't believe me, but I am not crazy, as all of you ladies have proven. I do think that as someone suggested that we should push for them to give more information on these procedures. I am cancer free(though I still don't know what it is), thankful as I am I realize I am now stuck with this clip that could bother me forever. With as scary as all of this is they need to give us more information, because I should know that I could have pain for months or longer after the procedure.
Unfortunately, I think many doctors and surgeons tend to minimize pain around various procedures (breast implants are another example) - probably from a good insticnt, of not wanting us to panic. However, if you then DO experience such pain - you're not at all prepared, as you discovered. I hope your pain abates soon; it sounds like nerve pain, which can die down as the nerves gradually heal. If it oesn't, though, don't be afarid to go back to the radiologist (or whoever did the surgery) and ask about possible solutions, OK? Best of luck to you - PJH
My biopsy is currently in a state of flux due to these markers.
I had scheduled a stereotactic biopsy after they found a cluster of microcalcifications. They did tell me about the markers, and even showed me a sample of them. Each one had at least 2 pointy wires sticking out.
I'm not worried at all about allergy to titanium, I'm concerned about those pointy wires landing on a nerve ending. I have very small breasts and sleep on my stomach. I've had pieces of hay seeds in my socks smaller than those markers which I had to stop and dig out because they were so irritating. Do nerve endings eventually die and quit stinging when something irritates them constantly?
They also said they will do one or two X-rays afterward to see if the marker is in the right place. What do they do if it isn't in the right place? Try to move it? Put in another? Cut their losses? I'm sure if I asked them they would tell me it almost never happens. If not, why check? Anyone else ever have this happen?
Anyway I called and asked if we could do this without the markers and was told "NO!" so I canceled the appointment. This week I had to sign for two certified CYA letters---one from the referring doctor and one from the hospital---asking me to call them to schedule another appointment.
I guess I just want all the information I can get before talking to them again, so I can be prepared. Thanks.
Nancy, they're right - the vast majority of women have these markers placed with no problem. If the patient is diagnosed with cancer, they're removed, along with the tumor; if not, they stay there, almost always with no problem.
I think it's important you have the biopsy; clustered microcalcifications are something you want to examine thoroughly, in order to rule out cancer. Sounds like you need to find someone who can answer your questions without ratcheting the discussion into something adversarial; the certified letters sound like malpractice protection. I'd suggest you speak with a social worker at the hospital, who can help you hold a conversation where you get your questions answered to your satisfaction before proceeding. But don't just refuse the biopsy, OK? It's important. Good luck - PJH
Thanks PJ. I know what you're saying, but I'm afraid "vast majority" isn't very comforting. The vast majority have larger breasts than me. LOL
The radiologist said there's a 90% chance this is nothing, and then these markers (they *may* use more than one) may be there for the rest of my life. I know very well how your mind can play tricks on you. Even if I never feel that marker, I will probably *imagine* I can feel it. Then I'll have to pay to have it removed, and that surgery would be invasive. I've read the literature and the reasons for putting them in there aren't at all convincing to me, and they've only been around for what, 10 years?
Similar microcalcifactions have occured before (more than 10 yrs ago), and I opted to wait 6 mos and have another mammogram. Whatever it was resolved itself. When I asked about waiting this time the radiologist said, "...there have been cases where the calcifications disappeared and a fast-growing atypical cancer appeared in that spot." (OK Doc, give me the probablities on that.)
This is the first mammogram I've had in over 5 years. I think the results were good considering. What is the chance after 5 years, I just *happened* to schedule a mammogram during that small window when those microcalcifications appeared, but will disappear less than 6 months from now, and turn into an atypical cancer?
I may call again and see what the radiologist says about omitting the marker. I only talked to his assistant. Otherwise I will probably just wait 3-6 months and do another check. I have a rountine appointment with a (new) PC physician in 6 weeks. I'll see what he has to say.
And BTW, this whole thing ended up with 25 X-ray images taken within one week. I'm not too happy about that either, but that's another topic.
Nancy, if you feel comfortable waiting 6 months to see if the microcalcifications disappear, that's fine - it's your body, and your decision. If you decide you don't want to wait, I'd speak to the radiologist about doing the biopsy without the clips. S/he will no doubt protest fiercely, but stick to your guns; if there's no cancer, it's a double win. If there's cancer there, then they'll have to figure out how to find it without the clips - it's been done in the past, and surely they can figure out how to do it again. Good luck with all of this - PJH
Nancy, I'm not a surgeon, so I may not understand this completely. However, I think one easy way to do the surgery without the clips if the biopsy is cancer is to go ahead and do a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy. As I understand it there are two main reasons for the clip: to identify the previously biopsied area on future mammograms and to locate the exact area of cancer to get clean margins during surgery. With a mastectomy, the entire breast is removed, so while the clip might aid the pathologist for post surgery analysist, the reality is that the pathologists are going to be examining the entire breast for other possible tumors. If you would prefer a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy anyway, then maybe the clip's usefulness is minimal. I know everyone's approach to risk is different. In fact, my attitude has changed dramatically ever since I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after a series of "this will probably be nothing dangerous" diagnositic procedures. Ever since then, I alway err on the side of caution. I'm sure you will sort out all the information and maybe the "watchful waiting" approach will work out just fine for you.
Just an update.... I decided to opt out of the biopsy, partly because the radiologist said there was *no way* he would do it without the markers, but mostly because it just wasn't probable that so many rare events could happen all at the same time. Instead I just went back for another mammogram after 6 months. The same radiologist said he couldn't find anything this time. I realize the radiologist was just covering his behind. I would hate to have his job. There needs to be a better way to do this. BTW, I studied all the arguments for the markers, and I don't buy them, except as a possible convenience for the radiologist in the future.I'm not recommending this decision for anyone else. I gambled and won, but from researching it quite a bit I think the odds were overwhelming that it was nothing.
Thanks for all your support.
Nancy, thanks so much for taking the time to come back here and update us all. I'm so glad your mammogram was clear. And your point is well taken - this is your body, and you made your decision; we each have to make our own decisions, then take responsibility for the consequences, whatever they are. Again, glad your story has a happy ending! Take care - PJH
I had a biopsy and a marker placed on July 3rd 2012. Everything was fine until July 13th when I started having discomfort in my right breast. As a tried to sleep, Friday night it became painful and I had to put a bra on & adjust the straps as high as they could go, just to have support because it was too painful without it, and I couldn't sleep at all.On July 14th, when i took a shower, I noticed the area was red and hot to the touch and still painfull, but now I have a fever of 100.4. I took tylenol. I called radiology and they told me to come in. I went back to see the doctor. He politely asked, me if the redness was from the tape. I said no. I had the biopsy on the 3rd, it was fine until July 13th, thats when it starting hurting and progressivly got worse.
Now I have a lump AND SEVERE PAIN, in the spot where the biopsy was & where the marker was placed. THE LUMP WASN'T THERE BEFORE THE BIOPSY. He said it could be from the blood from the biopsy, and gave me an antiobiotic, and said to call or come back, if I'm still having symptoms.I forgot to tell him I had just had a Physical from my family doctor on July 10th 2012, and I was only bruised from the biopsy, at this time and there was no pain, rednesss or hot feeling at that time. There was no surgical tape on me, it doesn't stay on that long, and I was told, if it didnt come off after 5 days to remove the tape, it fell off on July 7th. I did tell the receptionist, I forgot to tell the doctor about my physical, while I was waiting for my report to be printed. So I hope the information was given to the doctor.
I also had an MRI biopsy and had 3 areas where these chips were left in my left breast. My Dr. said there was no danger in leaving them. I am worried that I made the wrong decision and should have told him that I did not want these chips left inside my breast. I feel that it might turn into cancer.
Alma, please don't worry that the titanium clips can cause cancer - there is NO evidence that points to that. And probably 99.999% of women have no issue with the clips being left in - what you're reading here is a very small percentage of a very large body of women who've had this procedure. So try not to stress about this, OK? Odds are excellent you'll have no problem. Take care- PJH
I had a biopsy done last week which was fortunately benign. But I have this "hot" feeling in my breast now. I talked to the doctor about it today. She had been great - really great - during the procedure but she said she had never heard of anything like this, and that it couldn't be because of the titanium clip. I tend to be very sensitive to what is going on inside my body and I am not making this up. It's freaking me out a little. Nothing looks infected on the area where they made the incisions though. Any ideas of what I can do? Has anybody else had this? Thank you!
RJ, read through this thread and you'll find you're not alone in experiencing a potential reaction to titanium. Luckily, such reactions are extremely rare; so chances are you're simply feeling your nerves recovering from the biopsy. I'd let it go for a few weeks, see if things improve; if not, then it's time to approach your surgeon or GP, and discuss a possible titanium reaction further. Good luck - hope the hot feeling disappears on its own soon. PJH
Thank you! I really appreciate what you said.
When I spoke to the doctor today, she had implied if it continued, she would see me and then potentially prescribe antibiotics, but nothing looks infected on the skin. It just feels really hot inside there, and a little toward my back and other side at times. The heat comes and goes. I am reassured by the possibility that it is from being "poked and prodded" in there and just needs to heal. G-d willing that is the truth!:)
I think what also bothers me is the doctor sounding like this was not possible. She said she had never heard anything like this. She kept asking if there was another way to describe it but there isn't! Made me feel like I was being seen as the paranoid patient who convinces herself that she is feeling something based on imagining it! I mean, how could it be that NOBODY else has had this when they do breast biopsies every day? I hate feeling like I am being seen as over-reacting or that it's in my head when the symptom is real!
Hang in there. The best doctors don't dismiss your symptoms; they address them. Sure, it's easier as a busy doctor to say "it's not possible," but that's surely not useful to the patient who knows it IS possible! As I mentioned, it's extremely rare to have a reaction to titanium; this particular thread makes it look more common than it really is. And I'm betting what you feel is your nerves recovering, and hopefully they'll calm down on their own soon. But if not - pursue the titanium angle, OK? And show your doctor this post on the possibility of a titanium reaction; maybe that'll help. Good luck - PJH
Thank you and you are right about what you say about doctors and patients. I do want to mention that the burning feeling is better today, for the first time - I'm not jumping to conclusions yet because it has come and gone throughout the days since, but it does seem like it is consistently less today. So I am hoping that your "bruised nerves" theory is right, especially because I have very tender soft tissue (always telling everyone from physical therapists to pedicurists that things hurt) so that makes a lot of sense to me. The weird thing is, I feel it more on the other side today, so I don't know what that is about.I appreciate your support - not feeling alone in this has helped. :)
I'm surprised that your doctor hasn't had a patient use a word like "burning" to describe the sensation of a healing incision. Burning is a word often associated with nerve pain, and surgery can cut nerves and create weird sensations. Usually biopsy pain doesn't last very long, but people do vary in how quickly they heal, and apparently you recognize that you are sensitive to pain. If you see any signs of infection or if the pain gets worse, call your doctor back. But if it is gradually getting better, you don't need to worry.
A clip was put into my breast too. The doctor didn't explain anything to me about putting a clip into my breast before having the biospy. I was lying on the table having the biopsy done, and in severe pain and scared out of my mind. Afterward I was told that a clip had been put into my breast to keep a check on the calicum deposits that were in my left breast. This was four years ago, and I haven't had peace of mind since this chip has been put into my breast. I feel like I have been taken advantage of by this doctor or an used as a guinne pig. I have made an appointment with him to talk to him about taking it out. Everyday I'm afraid that this chip in my breast may cause problems that I wouldn't have had to deal with if he hadn't put it in. To all women out there DONOT let your doctor treat you as I have been treated. No one has the power over your body except you. Donot have a chip put into your breast and make sure that the doctor you are dealing with will sit down with you and explain all medical procedure to you thoroughly. your body is your Temple and keep it guarded.
Sherry, the doctor should have disclosed the use of the marker before the surgery and given you the option of having the biopsy without it. I am sorry that your doctor did not follow informed consent procedures. The purpose of the clip is so that the doctor can see exactly where the tissue was removed during the biopsy when looking at images taken later like mammograms. This information can be really useful for the doctor and can even prevent unnecessary biopsies down the road.
As you say, the doctor should take the time to sit down with you to explain everything ahead of time. It may be possible to have the clip out now; however, an additional surgical procedure might end up causing more pain than you have now as it adds a new incision and new scar tissue. I would suggest talking to two different doctors to get more than one opinion about your options.
I just wanted to share my information with you all, that it might pertain to. I had a Stereotactic core Biopsy done about 7 weeks ago. I did some reading up on the procedure, prior to having it done. The metal marker caught my attention immediately. I asked about it when I scheduled my procedure, which I was explained why they insert it. The day of my biopsy, I again questioned the nurse getting me ready and she explained once again the reason behind it. She said she had 3 biopsies in the past, including these markers and tried to reassure me, that they were harmless and beneficial. I was still uneasy about having them placed in my breast. So when the Radiologist came in, I talked to him as well about them. He explained why they put them in, which was if the biopsy came back positive, they knew where to go, to remove more tissue. I asked him, well what if it comes backs normal, then I had this metal marker put in for nothing? I also said to him, so if it comes back positive and I don't have the marker, with all the mammograms I had done, including the procedure today(which will obviously show some kind of trauma to that area), they should know exactly where X marks the spot. He told me that I would have about 2 weeks if that one came back positive, where they would know what area they worked on in that time period. So I told him that if it did come back positive, that I would make sure I had another biopsy within that 2 week window. Thank goodness my biopsy came back normal. I am so glad I opted to not have that marker placed. For those of you complaining of pain from the marker you had inserted, I just wanted to let you know, that after 7 weeks, that area is still very tender and worse around my time of month. It might be the procedure itself causing the pain and not the marker. My point here is I am still having an aching breast and I did not have any metal marker inserted.
Capricorn, good for you in being persistent in discussing your concerns with your doctor and insisting on what you wanted done. Congratulations on the normal biopsy. As your radiologist pointed out, one of the main reasons they like to use them is to be able to get back to the exact spot later if cancer is found. They also like to know on future mammograms whether they are looking at old scar tissue or a new problem, and the marker helps with that too. If necessary, you will cross that bridge when you get there, and in the meantime you have the peace of mind knowing that your pain is just normal post-surgical pain and not a reaction to a metal marker. Most women don't have reactions to markers, but those who are worried about the possibility should do like you did and talk to the doctor to make sure they understand the risks and benefits of a marker in their own particular case.
Thank you all for the comments you have written regarding your experiences with breast biopsy and titanium markers. This is the first that I have read about this procedure for 'tagging' points of biopsy. The first I heard of the procedure was when I was disrobed, consent forms signed and dated, on the table with incision sites pen-marker, and about to undergo bilateral biopsies. The ultrasound tech stated "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that we are going to place titanium markers where we biopsy ...". Certainly not best medical practice, as well as ethically and legally questionable. I politely declined and left the facility.
This is very new to me and, following some research, I may in fact determine that this is medically safe and wise. However, I am absolutely certain it should have been discussed comprehensively prior to the point at which it was "mentioned". These were intelligent and educated people who clearly articulated everything that I might expect in advance and made certain that I'd signed all forms - except the titanium markers. My visceral and cognitive reaction, even after a few days to reflect, is that this information was intentionally and off-handedly mentioned in at the last moment. Shame on them!!!
Thank you again for sharing information and experiences. Unfortunately, good practice must sometimes be patient-driven!!
Good for you for having the courage to get up and decline the procedure when new information was sprung on you at the last minute. I hope that after you talk to your doctors about the reason for the markers and learn how rare reactions are, that you will go ahead with the biopsies either with or without markers. When you read in this thread about the women who had problems, keep in mind that the thousands, maybe millions, of women who had markers with no problems are not likely to be following this thread, so you get a skewed perception of how common they are. The reason you needed the biopsy in the first place still remains. However, you are absolutely right that they should have told you in the first information session.
Sounds like you're well on your way to being an ePatient - an empowered patient, one who thinks for herself, credits doctors with the knowledge and experience they obviously have, but also brings her own knowledge and research to the table. Good for you! As Ronald Reagan said, "Trust, but verify." Good advice regarding our health care. Good luck - I hope you go ahead with the biopsies and get good results. PJH
October is Breast Awareness Month. Women need to really get together and share experiences such a this. I had two titanium markers placed a week ago, and after the fact I found out about their placement. Women should be asked about r=these things prior to them doing it. Not after the fact. Thank God i do not have any side effects at this time, but I woke up last night just feeling violated that NRAD on Long Island- took the liberty to implant this without me knowing. The test results were negative, but titanium is foreign to my body and now it is inside of me. I woke up thinking can they take this out? Is this legal? It serves no purpose and I don't want any issues with this in the future??? We all need to make titanium PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE for our sisters who may be going for these procedures also. Recently, titanium hip/knee replacements are in the news, for RECALLS and LAWSUITS. Whats really good?
Lori, the reason the surgeons like the marker is so that they can see exactly where they removed tissue if you have any future issues. Yes, you can ask to have it taken out, but if you are not having any problems with it at this time, having another surgery would expose you to the chance of complications, more scar tissue, and so forth. If you go back and read the fine print of the consent forms you signed, you will probably find the marker mentioned. It would be extremely unusual for doctors not to cover their liability by not informing you.
As far as what is really good? There is no medical device or procedure that carries no risk. Every medicine you take or surgical procedure you undergo could kill you if you are one of the unlucky few who is allergic or has an unusual side effect. Of course, often doing nothing could kill you too. Ideally, doctors inform patients of both the risks and benefits of treatments, so that the patient can make a truly informed choice. I'm sorry that that didn't happen for you.
Okay, so I just got the mail and I get this letter from the radiologist saying...and I quote:
"A mammogram was performed after your breast biopsy. A marker clip was successfully placed in the breast at the biopsy site. Results of the biopsy will be sent to your referring physician."
Now, this is either a VERY bad thing or a VERY bad thing. Either the letter was a "canned" letter that they send to patients (which proves this is a standard part of EVERY procedure), in which case that's bad, because clearly they aren't paying attention to the individual case. OR they put in a marker after I CLEARLY stated I did not want one, with NUMEROUS witnesses. WORSE.
Of course, now I not only wait to get my results. I wait until Tuesday, fuming, to find out if they did it anyway. Before I lose it, I am going to have a beer. My husband insists there is no way they put the marker in, that it is a canned letter. I sure hope so.
I'm betting it was a canned letter. Hope the beer helped! Try to put it out of your mind till Tuesday, OK? There's nothing we can control in this life except our own attitude to whatever happens; so try to de-stress. Tell yourself that in the big scheme of things, it's not critically important. And a month from now, it'll all be in the past. Take care- PJH
Dear EOH, I frequently get form letters from my mammography center. Sometimes they tell me that it's time for my mammogram a week after I just had one, or tell me that my results will be available soon when I've already gotten the results. My mammogram center seems to have routine notifications in place that are probably computer generated, and if no thinks to notify the computer that something happened out of the norm, it just sends them out.
Thank you all. I appreciate your comments on this, and I think you're right. I received a letter the day after I had my follow-up mammogram last week stating that I needed to schedule my follow-up mammogram. That didn't register as canned, because it didn't have the same implications. So, I'll go with this new letter as "it's canned" and wait to see it I'm right. I have enough going on right now and need something to make me feel better! Thanks to each of you for the support. The beer helped, but I've caught what my little ones have, so I couldn't enjoy any more than that.
This site has been very helpful. A good balance of information and emotion, which enabled me to chew on it all and make my own decision. Even though the radiologist (ConcernedRadiologist) is concerned it is not helping their (the medical folks) cause, I believe it is quite the opposite. I believe everyone's hearts are in the right place. Ultimately, I think all of us want the same things: better information, proactive communication, informed decisions, less blaming and less lawsuits. I am not a litigious person and think there is too much of that going on in our country. The fact is, I would rather be poor and healthy, than rich and sick. If the health care profession would just remember this is how most people feel, they would worry more about keeping us healthy and involved, than getting sued.
I can't wait to tell you my tests are negative and that there is not a marker!!!!!!! My daughter starts Kindergarten on Tuesday. I am hoping for a very happy day.
So glad this dialogue could help you make an informed decision that you are happy about! Let us know what happens and how you are doing!
Hello again, Great news...negative results on the biopsy!!!! Plus, turns out the letter was canned (no marker after all)!!!! I am so relieved on both fronts. I have two little ones and the thought of not being here for them for the long-haul is the worst part of stuff like this. You know, you want them to remember you forever...so when they are little your minds just takes you places you don't need to go. Anyway, I really appreciate your input and I hope anyone that finds this chat down the road finds it as useful as I have.
Now I just have to hope the hematoma goes away. I don't think it's serious. Lots of stories about that I'm finding, too, but I am hoping it will just go away. I'll take advice on that, too!
PHEW! Big sigh of relief.... Thanks for letting us know; we share your happiness! As for the hematoma, it should gradually disappear. If it seems to be getting worse, though - more swelling, heat, pain - best to see the doctor, OK? Take care - PJH
wonderful news! When you said in your earlier post that you had children of kindergarten age, I realized you were probably under age 50, and possibly under 40, so the odds of you having a positive biopsy statistically was less. The odds were in your favor thankfully ...and as was previously discussed, more biopsies turn out to be benign than malignant (especially in this atmosphere of super defensive medicine where biopsies are done every day that fall into the "just in case" category), therefore, the decision not to have the marker based on those odds definitely had validity and made sense, thus sparing yourself possible problems down the road from having it in your body for even more years than an older patient would. Bravo! I hope you will do okay and get the hematoma under control. I don't know too much about that, I'm like you, just reading and researching about the many aspects of biopsy procedure and after effects. But if I find out something helpful or useful, I'll be sure to post here or in another thread. Again, great news! I know you and your family are extremely relieved and overjoyed!
I'm so glad to hear this good news. A hematoma after surgery is not unusual. Don't worry about it, but do let your doctor know if your pain or other symptoms get worse. Thanks for letting us know the results of your biopsy.
Was your lump palpable and been told it has a irregular edges?
And what categories they placed your mamograms in?
I am category 4 and they want to do the same rutin procedure on me. Biopsy with the clip. !!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so happy I found this page to help me make a right decision.
I am sure I did made a right one,and greatful for whomever started this discussion.
Thank you all
I could have responded to almost every one of these posts to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to post this subject matter. I have been so confused about having the biopsy to begin with (should I wait another six months or go with their recommendation) and this marker issue has added to my angst. Since then I've been trying to figure out what the compelling reason is to have it inserted. (Only that "there are many reasons" not specifics).
The radiologist/facilitator didn't tell me about the titanium marker. I found out it existed on the Internet. Then I found this chat about it, which I am SO thankful for. I am very curious if they would have told me before, during or after. Maybe I'll wait an see tomorrow.
I am electing to have stereostatic so that I don't have to have a surgical biopsy. I understand they are going to pinpoint the area using x-rays. So what is the purpose of the marker? If they can find the area now, they can find it again...and I hope if, God forbid I get bad news, that they won't just find the marker and assume "hey, there is the marker, that's the spot!" No, they will take more x-rays to make sure they have the area, which negates the reason for the marker altogether.
If it's good news, it is quite possible that then I may have to have surgery anyway to remove the marker...that makes no sense. Then, I have chosen a non-invasive way to have a biopsy only to end up (possibly) cutting into my breast later unnecessarily. I don't like those odds. Plus, then there will be scar tissue in the area where they will need to keep an eye on in the future. I just can't find a compelling reason for this marker and THANK YOU for warning me and giving me to resolve to stand my ground tomorrow when they try to force it on me (my gut tells me that will happen, but I hope to be wrong).
I'm so glad that the posts here could help you make an INFORMED decision. From my standpoint, that's what it's really all about, letting you the patient understand fully what will be done with YOUR body during this procedure. As for the reason(s) behind the marker, I'm attempting to understand the logic of it. Here's (sort of) the apparent reasons why they use the marker. If after your biopsy they have to go back and do more surgery or further treatment, the marker supposedly will let them pinpoint the precise spot where the biopsy was taken. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me, because I would think (as you stated), that they'd be able to see on a mammogram where the site of a fresh biopsy had been. Do they really need a marker, a clip, to know where the tumor or calcifications had been just a few days before? So, that's logic problem number one in my mind. Another reason given is that when you have your follow-up yearly or recommended mammogram, the clip will alert the radiologist that the biopsy site is just that - a biopsy site and not a tumor or growth (it's just scar tissue from the biopsy). Again, I have a problem with that logic. Are we saying that a radiologist cannot tell the difference between biopsy scar tissue and a tumor? Apparently so, if they need a marker to help them tell the difference. This appears to be more for the radiologists assistance than it is for our health and well being. I'm simply trying to sort out the logic or illogic behind the marker. For me personally, it's a cost/benefit analysis. Since a fair percentage of biopsies turn out to be benign (science is find of using statistics to sway the issue), then why put a marker in every person on the "what if" chance that it might be malignant at biospsy necessitating further treatment, thus putting markers in otherwise healthy breast tissue. I suffer from an autoimmune disorder and would not like to test the concept of whether this marker might or night not cause a reaction in my body. So, that's why I would opt out of having the marker (as I should have the right to do). If another patient thinks it is in their best interests to have the marker, then they should do it. But bottom line for me, as I stated earlier, is informed consent and full understanding to help we as patients make up our mind, not given some vague "just because" answers. We are owed more than that, we deserve more than that, and we MUST demand more than that of our medical professionals.
I did some further looking into the history of these markers and found a website from 2003 where they were using stainless steel (not titanium) clips Interesting. As per usual, the stainless steel markers were deemed not as good as the titantium markers, and also the delivery method of the marker had changed using an improved way to make sure the marker didn't "shift" or "disappear" in the biopsy field. The point being: you notice how every few years a "new and improved" version of such and such comes on the market? Today we are told one thing. Tomorrow another. And yet again, tomorrow another version. This is what breaks down the trust between doctor and patient. This is why women may turn away at times from doing tests. Who is to say that next year, titanium markers will be deemed "not good" based on emerging evidence? Just how compelling really is the use of these markers weighed against possible negatives in the population? These questions remain unanswered. I hope your biopsy goes well tomorrow and I will be thinking positive thoughts for you. Yes, the doctors know a lot, but they don't know everything, and if you feel the marker is not right for you, then you should definitely discuss it and find out more. This all boils down to information, knowledge and understanding. I'm glad this discussion is happening because it does open up minds and a flow of information.
sorry to keep adding things that occur to me but I think it's important. Here's another idea: are markers put in at the site of biopsies that are performed elsewhere on the body or is it just for breasts? When a leg or arm or prostate or abdomen is biopsied for cancer (which could recur at the site, just like it could recur in a breast), does the surgeon put in a titanium marker? If so, that's news to me. I'd be interested to know. If NOT, then what makes breasts so in need of markers but not other parts of the body when being biopsied?
You raise quite a few good questions about why markers are used. I'm not a doctor so I don't know all the answers. I can answer your question about how well a mammogram can distinguish scar tissue from a new lump. The answer is: not very well. Of course, scars and lumps vary from person to person, but I know at least one woman personally whose breast cancer diagnosis was delayed because cancer on her mammogram was mistaken for scar tissue from an earlier biopsy. Perhaps a marker would have helped her. In general, I think hospitals do a good job of disclosure; but not everyone reads all the fine print in the material before surgery. Some people do read it, but hesitate to ask for clarification of what they don't understand. Some doctors make this problem worse by acting like their patients are bothersome when they ask questions. There is no reason for doctors to use a procedure unless they believe that it is helpful in most cases. This thread illustrates that no procedure is equally effective for everyone. Below is the way the Hartford Hospital explains why markers are used in breast biopsies. Probably most other big hospitals have similar information for their patients:
Marker clips used for breast biopsies are made of titanium or surgical stainless steel and are about 2 millimeters in size. When the radiologist or surgeon feels a marker should be used, they are inserted at the end of breast core or needle biopsy procedures to mark the site of the biopsy for later reference. This is an important step to take since most abnormalities biopsied are small or subtle and can become extremely difficult or impossible to identify after a core biopsy procedure.
When a biopsy result is abnormal and an excision or lumpectomy is necessary, the marker clip allows accurate localization of the abnormal site for removal so that as little tissue as necessary is removed while optimizing the chance of clear margins.
Most patients have normal (benign) results from these types of biopsy, however the presence of the marker is very reassuring when seen on follow-up mammograms; it shows exactly where the area was biopsied. This avoids confusion in interpretation of follow-up mammograms and can prevent the need for future biopsies in that same area.
The marker is safe; sensitivity to the material is very rare. In general women cannot feel the clip. They do not set off airport detectors and do not cause interference problems in MRI.
I'm sorry. As my reply was posted, it is hard to tell what are my words and what I quoted. Everything in my comments above following the colon after the phrase "similar information for their patients" came from information supplied by the Hartford Hospital's Partnership for Breast Care. When I was typing the fonts for my words and the quoted material were different, but after I posted, it all looked the same.
Thank you for your reply. The more I read that I'm not alone in the way I feel about this marker and its purpose (a view which I believe is the common sense approach), the more confidence I have going with my gut about this. Ultimately, I am the one who has to live with or without the market and how it impacts me and future surgery.
The thing is, building on what you mentioned in the first response, they say, "don't worry, approximately 80+% come back benign." So, if such an overwhelming number of women don't have to have follow-up surgery, then why on earth would we (or they) elect to inject a foreign object in our bodies "just in case" surgery is needed? Whether the results are negative or positive, x-rays will be used in the future to either continue preventative measures or to remove the cancer...right?
I am so stressed out tonight. I was actually contemplating not doing the biopsy, because I feel so anxious (which would be dumb, I know, so I am doing it). I guess the point is, I wish they'd told me right away about this marker so that I'd been able to start researching and thinking about it, thus giving me the opportunity to make a non-hurried decision. My little ones are sick, so my husband will stay with them tomorrow. I have elected to bring a friend, who is also a nurse with me, so that I don't get "persuaded" (bullied) into changing my mind. A decision I believe I might make under duress and ultimately regret.
Markers are not always used. It depends on the type of biopsy and the location of the material being biopsied. It may be that your doctors didn't discuss the marker with you because they do not plan to use one. Ask plenty of questions if they do plan to use one and don't make up your mind until you understand the risks and benefits for YOU of permitting or not permitting the marker. Keep in mind that people who have written into this thread on-line are the people who have had a problem. The hundreds of thousands of women who have had biopsies and markers who did not have a problem do not bother to write in saying their clip wasn't a problem. They probably don't even open this thread. Taking your friend with a medical background is an excellent idea. In the meantime, don't let this particular issue cause you anxiety. The important thing is finding out if you have cancer.
I did call the office today to ask if they use a marker, telling them that I found the information online and was curious if it was part of their process. The "facilitator" who is my contact said, "Yes, that it is a standard part of the procedure." At the time, I didn't know enough to ask anything else. I was quiet and I think she sensed it and added that "if I have concern to talk to the radiologist when I come in tomorrow." The thing is, as "needtoknow" also stated, it's an important decision and I don't think springing it on us at the last minute, be it just before the start of the procedure or during the procedure, is enough. I guess that is the real issue at hand. I am sure there are others who really don't feel this is an issue, but for those of us who do--and more importantly for those women who are having problems with it now--we should be given time to consider it.
As part of the many things I've done today to get educated about this, I also called my OB and at one point I was going to "give in" to having the marker. He made it seem like I was almost foolish for worrying about it. It's a common theme I've experienced with doctors throughout my life. They make you feel foolish/silly or even stupid for asking questions and then you feel embarrassed and don't even asked everything else you plan to ask. I am just really glad I have made the decision. That's what it's all about, right? Feeling good about the decision and owning it. I'm just praying I won't need to marker at all!
Now that we've discussed the rationale or reason why the marker is used, indeed, you can now make a TRULY informed decision All of this info should have been given to you beforehand, and quite obviously, it was not. Interesting that your "faciliator" had to admit that using the marker is STANDARD PROCEDURE. She didn't say, "well, sometimes we use it and sometimes we don't". Standard procedure. If it's such a part of the procedure it needs to be disclosed up front with all the other prep advice. I know that we all wish you the very best outcome and it sounds like you now can go forward with it in a way that makes you feel comfortable. If it turns out that you don't use the marker and it ends up that it would have been helpful, you'll still be at peace with your own decision on it because you knew the pros and cons of the situation. For me, and I know for all of us, that is really the bottom line: did we go into a procedure being able to use our gray matter (our brains!) to sort it out and weigh it out. I think the regrets, the anger, the confusion arises when we feel we ARE NOT TOLD or are given half information or incomplete info about what goes on and in our bodies. That creates a feeling of betrayal which then poisons the doctor/patient relationship. I still don't "get" why medical people don't "get" this. That the anger, the upset, the problems don't come about necessarily because there are complications (most of us realize that things may go wrong and all our bodies are different). It's the arrogant halfway approach that says, "don't ask, don't be foolish, shut up, go away", that makes us need to share among ourselves on internet message boards. We shouldn't even need to do this, all this stuff should be told us by the doc the nurse, etc. But it is not. And then they wonder why we distrust? Here's a technique I use to stop them from treating me like an idiot. I say, look, this is Breast Cancer College. I am now a student. This is my homework assignment and I want to get an "A" on the "test". I think medical people can understand this because they are academics, they can identify with the research/intellectual component. You are not a patient. You are a student, learning. Maybe that will stop their remarks to you that you are being "foolish", "silly", etc. Put it to them on grounds they can understand, ie academic. We are clearly not stupid people here. We are able to read. We are able to write. We are able to speak. They need to view those of us who can handle it this way as fellow students in the classroom when they were in med school earning their advanced degrees. We want to hear what they have to say but we also can learn, research and find out what's up. I think, then, they will begin to respect us and back off from the "you're foolish" idea. The "one size fits all" approach to breast biopsy/marker usage is, in my mind, illogical. It throws the idea of statistical odds out the window (ie. most biopsies are benign, so why put a marker in for everyone?) That , to me, makes no sense. The medical profession can't have it both ways - use stats when it suits their purpose but when it clearly isn't necessary for all patients (because the higher percentage of biopsies are benign), they don't want to accept the illogic of putting a marker in every patient, no matter what. They really can't dispute that. About scar tissue not being able to be differentiated from a tumor, I suppose sometimes that may happen. A woman who has had a biopsy in the past is obviously going to divulge that info to the radiologist on the next mammo. I would be interested to know how often scar tissue is really misidentified as being a tumor. Apparently it does happen sometimes, which I find strange because it would seem that a competent radiologist who knows their business could distinguish the two. If not, how are we to trust other things radiologists say? It points out again how this entire issue of reading a mammogram is not a science but an "art"....doesn't really give me a lot of confidence at times in what they see on the films. I would have to know a lot more about that particular issue as it relates to using a marker or not. Please let us know how things turned out, if you decided to use the marker, and how it all went. It's all about being okay with decisions and feeling that sense of control and empowerment that we all need when we are in such a vulnerable time of our lives. Good luck and prayers are going your way!
forgot to mention, it is awesome that you have a nurse going with you. I always advocate having a family member, friend, etc. to be present or available during medical procedure, so that's great. Since you have decided to go ahead and do the biopsy, that's certainly your choice. I just want to point out that each person is different and if it's clear from the circumstances that there is time to research how a biopsy is done, different elements of it (like the marker), then take the time if that suits your situation. As we've all seen, women often rush into these procedures with half information when it really wasn't necessary to rush. Again, of course, take your individual situation fully into account as to the time frame, but my impression is that quite often, there IS time to take a breath, step back, get online, ask some questions, network, find out all you can find out, and then make your choices so you can feel okay about doing everything you could do for yourself and your own peace of mind.
You've written a great deal that I wish I could respond to on this forum for the benefit of every woman that reads this. I'll refer you to my previous post to reiterate one of the most importance reasons for having a clip placed. I'll also offer to answer any question you have (or anyone else on this forum) concerning breast biopsies or breast imaging. The last thing is, if you feel like your doctor is not treating you as an equal or not answering your questions, I would seek out a new doctor. I speak to every patient personally when the biopsy is being scheduled and immediately prior to the biopsy being performed. The last thing I always ask my patient's is "do you have any more questions?" and "does this all make sense?".
You sound like a doctor with an excellent "bedside manner." Thanks so much for adding your feedback here. Personally I believe women should have the titanium clip inserted, since the chance of a reaction is infinitesimal, and the possible role it'll play in cancer surgery is immense. Informed choice – and I think that's where things start to fall apart sometimes, lack of information – is the goal. Some doctors don't believe there IS such a thing as a titanium allergy; they need education. Many patients don't understand the tiny risk of such a reaction; they need education, too. Surely there's some middle ground where we can all comfortably meet; and I'm sure you're forging that middle ground every day, in your contact with patients. Thanks again - PJH
I know all the patients here appreciate it whenever someone from the medical profession adds their comments and expertise to the flow of information. Your approach is certainly the correct one - to speak to each patient personally and fully inform them about the procedure. Unfortunately, many many women are not receiving that standard of care. I certainly hope that if I ever encounter this situation, I will have a radiologist who sits down with me, takes the time to go over all the information, etc. But I know I may not. So I need to be prepared to be my own "information specialist" and research this on my own before I encounter situations where there may be confusion, pressure, being told my input isn't worthwhile or potentially important to my own health. I've read all the pros and cons about the marker and I personally would not want to have it in. Having said that, if it turned out to be a wrong decision based on future unknowns that "might or might not" happen, then that's on my shoulders. I wouldn't point the finger at the radiologist, the doctor, the surgeon, no one but ME. So many times, there is NO right or wrong decision, there's just a balancing act and it happens every day in the medical world. Doctors balance things out, patients balance things out, etc. I have an autoimmune disorder and I'm also a very allergic person...my body tends to react in strange ways that other people's dont . I have to take that into consideration. Another person may not feel that way about it. I would hope if I say "no" to the marker, that my radiologist does not stand there and argue with me about it and poo poo me and blow me off. That's what most of us here unfortunately have had to deal with in various medical settings. And I cannot discount the stories I've read here about reactions to the clip. It needs to be explained to me why their symptoms resolved when the clip was removed. I don't know if it's a true allergy to titanium or not...maybe the biopsy site is irritated and sore and the clip irritates a nerve. That's my layman's theory, for whatever that's worth. Which I'm sure isn't worth much and it may not be! I'm certainly more than ready to say, hey, I"m not a doctor, I'm a layman, all I can do is look it what some of these women's are saying and their real life experiences with the clip/marker. When a patient rejects medical advice, then it's on the patient's shoulders. And maybe the patient is right. Maybe the patient is wrong. Maybe the doctor is right. But maybe the doctor is wrong. Ultimately, a choice is made and it has to be respected, whichever way it goes. I personally would not feel comfortable, knowing how my body reacts, to having the clip in. Years ago when an IVP (with iodine contrast), I had a massive allergic reaction. People running around, trying to reverse a reaction that I had never been warned about. This is the type of thing that makes me UBER WARY of medical procedures. I suppose an iodine contrast dye reaction is not all that "common" either, but I no longer want to take certain risks that I don't deem ulta necessary. And that's just me. Maybe it doesn't fit another person. I dont want the marker. If someone else does based on full disclosure of what it's a helpful tool (potentially) then so be it. I just want to see everyone going into medical procedures with their eyes open. I think it's great that you strive to do that and I hope for your patients who say "no" to the marker, the procedure can go forward in a positive and respectful manner and if the patient ends up having made the wrong choice, that's their problem and their decision. It's not easy, and I emphasize open communication between all the personnel involved in these procedures. If you look through the thread, how many patients obviously are NOT getting that standard. I would stil would like to know if other radiology procedures, on other parts of the body, utilize markers or clips, ie. legs, arms, chest, neck, etc. Or is this something mainly used in the breast? thanks again!
In radiology, marking clips are primarily used only in breast imaging/mammography because of the numerous, very important purposes they serve (they are not a "potentially helpful tool"...they are extremely important). I've already discussed one of the most important reasons in my previous post but there are many more including decreasing the chance a patient will have to receive unnecessary radiation due to having to have additional mammographic images obtained to investigate an area in the breast that may have already been previously biopsied (which a clip would be marking if it had been placed). It would also prevent someone from having to have a biopsy repeated for an area that had already been biopsied.
As far as having an allergy to iodinated contrast, it is more common than you would think. I'm not sure of the exact numbers in the literature but I would estimate that I see a reaction (to some degree) in approximately one in a few hundred patients (most resolve with Benadryl or can be prevented with patients being premedicated with steroids and Benadryl). At our institution, we review a consent form with patients discussing the risks of iodinated contrast prior to them receiving it.
Obviously patients have the right to refuse any medical procedure (including having a clip placed) but it is the physician's responsibility to inform the patient of the benefits and risks of the procedure. I have no problem with a patient refusing a procedure after this discussion even if it is not in their best medical interest (I see a new lung cancer everyday in a smoker). I legally can do nothing about it. However, all physicians should be practicing evidence based medicine and patients should be told that the titanium marking clips used after a breast biopsy are inert and there is NO evidence that they will cause any inflammatory/autoimmune/allergic reaction. It's interesting that almost all surgical clips used today (for many more procedures/surgeries than breast biopsies) are made of titanium and there are no evidence based studies to indicate that they induce any reactions??? I know everyone can't be helped but I'm glad to know that every patient (except one) that I have performed a breast biopsy on has wisely agreed to have a clip placed. I'll also say that none have returned because of pain (or other reaction) because of the clip.
I, like most physicians, will have to see a nonbiased, reputable study before I will be discussing a potential titanium reaction with any patients. Physicians should be practicing evidence based medicine...anything else is irresponsible and goes against the Hippocratic Oath we all must follow.
I see your point. I participated in a seminar given by the National Institutes of Health/Dartmouth Medical School this summer, Medicine in the Media, which taught us the intricacies of evidence-based medicine, and how to figure out which studies offer legitimate data from which conclusions can reasonably be drawn. My information on titanium reactions comes from an abstract on PubMed on the NIH's Web site, but admittedly the study was probably very small, and complete details weren't available. Still, I did want to bear witness to the women who've suffered after biopsies and believed that they were having a reaction to the titanium that MAYBE that was true, and MAYBE having it removed would take away their symptoms - as it seems to have done for some that have written in this thread. Those of us writing from HealthCentral are all about giving women the hope that they'll feel better and recover; that's what I'm trying to do here, not encourage irresponsible behavior around health care... I value highly your participation here. It's really, REALLY great to have a radiologist's voice in this discussion. PJH
Thank you for this more complete explanation of the benefits of marker clips. Hearing the infrequency of problems in one physician's practice should help calm the fears of women reading about problems others have had in this thread. One of the great benefits of sites like this is that people who have a rare problem can connect to others with similar problems and realize they are not alone. It was three years before I met an inflammatory breast cancer patient in person, but corresponding with others in a support group helped me immensely at a time when I needed support. The down side, of course, is that the women who write in this thread are mainly people who had a problem with a marker, so it seems that the incidence is higher than it actually is.
Thanks for all the further input. It is interesting that markers are indeed used primarily only for breast radiography. If it's such a helpful tool I would think it would be used elsewhere in the body for biopsies (cancer can recur in other body parts too - prostate, thyroid, etc. ) but apparently it isn't. That's an issue I may look into further because I find it curious.
I am very glad that at your institution patients are so well informed by you and the personnel you work with about the markers. That clearly is not the case everywhere. Therefore, the problems is communication. Our medical delivery system is badly broken in many areas of the country for a number of reasons....some doctors don't even speak adequate English to convey what is going on, but that's a topic for another discussion. The women who posted here about these markers clearly did not receive adequate consult from their doctors, whether it was from their personal physician or the radiologist and that needs to be corrected. I am also glad that you would not have a problem with a patient deciding for herself not to have the marker placed (after the pros and cons have been fully explained.) Obviously, that is also not the norm. If I ever encounter this situation myself, I will post here and let you know exactly what happened if/when I say "no" to a marker.
About iodine reactions, yes, it probably is quite a bit more common than people know. That's precisely why I should have been counseled and warned beforehand about iodine allergy - and was NOT. I daresay it's unfortunately more common than you realize that patients are not informed about the dangers of iodine contrast dye. My allergy was severe and I was shocked to find myself in that situation. Absolutely, it's a matter of careful discussion and full disclosure of the risks of procedures.
You mention "evidence" based decisions. Regarding the marker, I don't see how anyone can know what the true incidence of problems with these markers is unless there's been a study done. And to my knowledge, there hasn't been.
So I don't know how anyone can say what the true numbers are. It would be interesting to know just how many patients are totally unaware that a marker was even placed! If they had pain or other irritation post biopsy (immediately after or months/years after) and didnt even know the marker was there, how would the patient connect that in their mind, or even know to report it? When I read messages stating that this was a rush job, where consent papers are signed without thorough counseling, or it's mentioned just as the patient is lying face down on a table, it's highly probable there may be a substantial percentage who are unaware of the marker being placed. Again, that gets back to the problem of proper discussion of the procedure.
When I see complaints emerging on message boards, that gives me a suspicion that there's more out there. That's why I would strongly recommend that every woman here who feels she can definitely link the marker to a reaction should absolutely report it to the FDA. This is often how bad drugs and other bad devices end up getting pulled from the market. Then we can begin to know for certain if the problem is "infinitesimal" or whether there is, indeed, something about the markers that could contribute to pain or other problems down the road.
I think the consent form should read as follows: "There may be a slight risk of allergic reaction to the titanium marker placed in your breast." or words to that effect. At least then, a woman could connect the dots in her mind and say, hey, maybe this isn't just normal biopsy pain/irritation but has something to do with the clip. That way, the doctors can "troubleshoot" the problem if/when it arises. Win/win for everyone.
Hello again, just wanted to give an update on the procedure I had on Thursday. Kids have been really sick, so I haven't had time to update. I was stressed out during the procedure, as I am sure all women are when going through this, but the technician and doctor were very nice and explained what they were doing all along the way. They really calmed my nerves and were great. Now I wait.
Regarding the marker decision, I did take my nurse friend and she sat with me during the Q&A before the procedure. Here's how it went...
I was handed a written explanation of the procedure/warnings to sign by the technician, which also stated now's the time to ask questions. The technician (don't know if that's her official title) then asked me if I had questions. (No one actually told me aloud that a marker was going to be used, but it was mentioned in a sentence that briefly described the procedure, which I was glad to see...albeit a little late for most going into this situation I think.) Anyway, since I knew about it ahead of time I was prepared with my firm stance that I did not want it. I told my friend, "No matter what, don't let them push me into it." So, I told the technician that "I do not want the marker" and "is there something I should sign stating I do not want the marker?" She said I could talk to the doctor more about the marker.
When the doctor came in, along with another woman who was shadowing to become a technician, she went into an overview of the procedure and when she got to the marker part added, " I understand you don't want the marker." She explained briefly that if I decide not to get it, it "could make it very, very difficult for the doctor to find the area again, should the results from the biopsy come back positive." I confirmed with my friend that I didn't want it and she agreed that I should stick to my guns. That's what I did and I couldn't be happier. No regrets. I told the doctor and she said, "Okay, well remove the marker from the room so it's not there during the procedure."
I was really relieved there was no "argument" or that I didn't feel forced to get it, because I was already stressed out. The procedure itself went well and there was no point during it that she mentioned the marker. I am really, really glad it's not there. I have some soreness under my arm and my left arm is a little weak. The site itself is a little tender, but that is to be expected. I am sure my mind would have had me all paranoid that the soreness/weakness in under my arm/armpit/in arm could be as a result of that marker, so I'm glad it's off the table. I feel 100% sure that I made the right decision.
God forbid I get bad news, I am confident that the experts in their field will be able to find the right spot and accurately remove what is necessary (without the marker). If results are negative, then I will move on without the reminder of this in my breast, other than the mammos that will be on file and my own memory.
Thank you again for this discussion so I could make an informed decision based on my own beliefs and research. Regardless of what the statistics are, it's my body and my decision to make.
Thanks so much for updating everyone and going into such detail about it. You're a strong person who stuck to her guns which is awesome to see. Even those of us who "make up our minds " sometimes do the opposite once we're in the room, but you did what felt best to you. Congrats. Really happy that you didn't have to endure an argument with the techs or pressure which would only have added to your high stress levels. From reading your account, it's clear to me that the average patient who hadn't known ahead of time about the marker would be totally befuddled by it in the paperwork, wouldn't even know what it meant and would have signed off on the dotted. Even though you were encouraged to "ask questions", let's face it: only a pre-informed patient will be able to ask the RIGHT questions so I find it a little bit silly at times when we, the lay public, are invited to ask medical techs questions that we don't even know to ask in the first place. I also think this question asking shouldn't be conducted just BEFORE the procedure but done properly in some other manner, perhaps mail the patient an information sheet? They do this before colon prep procedures and other procedurs. So, this "question asking" period needs to be improved a LOT, because what you received was not sufficient for the average person (regarding the marker). These real life accounts are so valuable for all of us and for medical personnel reading this board!
Re: the letter you received, I also feel it's a canned letter which certainly points out that these procedures are "one size fits all" and not tailored to the patient. Unfortunately, that's often the way it is. it shows the mindset of the profession...that it's a foregone conclusion that all patients will get this marker no matter what. I think at the very least, radiologists should ask a patient if they have ANY KNOWN allergy to titanium. At least that way they're covered when the patient signs off on it. Since they said they were removing the marker from the room that's a pretty good sign that they didn't put it in you! I think at that point, they were going to be darn certain for legal reasons they didn't insert it!! So, I wouldn't stress too much about it. When you have your next mammo, I'm sure you'll doublecheck to make sure it isn't there. It should be documented in your medical files/history also. Whatever happens, you've done what you felt was best for you. prayers and wishes for a good outcome....difficult time of waiting (bummer I know!), but you're obviously a strong and resourceful person and that's a huge plus factor for you all the way around. Sounds like you are doing okay (even though some soreness from the biopsy itself which is to be expected). Take care, it's been an interesting dialogue here!
I am truly amazed at the amount of misinformation being posted on this board concerning titanium biopsy marking clips placed after interventional breast procedures. The benefits of placing a titanium biopsy marking clip (which is the size of Abraham Lincoln's nose on a penny) after a procedure far out ways the risk of any potential adverse effects (which have not been proven in any respected, non-biased, medical journal). Not to mention, we all ingest about 0.8 milligrams of titanium every day. Any breast symptoms, such as pain, after having a breast biopsy are typically the result of the biopsy itself (tissue is being removed and nerves are being disrupted)...this is normal. This is not the clip causing the problem. That being said, if you do not want a clip placed after your biopsy, don't have one placed. Your doctor is required to get your consent prior to placing the clip just like he/she must get your consent for the biopsy itself. There are numerous important benefits for having a clip placed, particularly if your biopsy comes back positive for malignancy, just like your doctor should be explaining to you. Doctors would have no reason to place the clip if it was not in the best interest of the patient. Those of you contemplating having the clip removed are looking at having another surgical procedure which is sure to cause you more problems than you believe you're having now. It is the standard of care in the breast community to place a marking clip after a breast biopsy and not doing so is not doing what's best for the patient. Postings on this board by misguided, uninformed individuals are ultimately going to prevent some women from having a necessary medical procedure performed that could cost them their lives.
Thanks for taking the time to post here. Personally, I agree with most everything you say - the number of women having adverse reactions to titanium is infinitesimal, compared to the number who have no problem. And the benefits of using titanium markers during breast biopsy far outweigh any potential risk. Yet that risk exists; some people are allergic to titanium, as detailed in various small studies, some of which are reported in PubMed, the NIH's online journal. And some women report that their problems disappeared once the clip was removed – maybe it's coincidental, but it's their personal truth.
I had a clip, and had no problem. I believe women should have the clip inserted prior to biopsy, for all the reasons you list. I also believe women can choose what happens with their bodies - whatever the data shows their choice will lead to. In the end, we all live (hopefully) with our decisions. Thanks again for your input. PJH
Thank you so much for adding a medical voice about why the clip is important. As we try to explain to people who become alarmed about getting a clip after reading this thread of patient experiences, the majority of patients who never have trouble with the clip are not likely to write about their uneventful biopsy and how the clip helped in later procedures.
I do think the comments on this thread show that surgeons are not always doing a thorough job of explaining procedures to their patients. Good upfront communication could help reduce the number of misunderstandings. It also seems that in the few cases where an allergy or other problem with the clip does occur, doctors sometimes discount the patient's experience. Maybe it isn't the clip that is causing the problem in some cases, but women are writing in here because they don't feel that their doctors are listening. Most of the doctors I have encountered do explain and listen, so I am not blaming the entire profession. However, I have had to learn how to press doctors to give me better explanations when I don't understand the first time, and I have learned how to be assertive in getting the time I need to ask questions. A person who enters the doctor's office scared or uneducated about health issues needs a doctor who takes the time to explain everything because she may not know how to speak up for herself.
Apparently the litany of complaints and problems here about the titanium clip, including personal, documented experiences of actual patients whose pain/irritation problems resolved after the clip was removed, do not sway you as a radiologist. I have no dog in this fight, have not been diagnosed with breast cancer and have never had a titanium clip, but IF I ever have a biopsy, I am going to request that NO clip be inserted. Your remark that these women are putting out "misinformation" about this issue is proof of the huge problem that we, as patients, face today. Whether you agree or disgree with them, they are not putting out misinformation. They are merely stating the truth of what happened to them and titanium clips after breast biopsy. I have sat here and read this entire thread with great interest and I applaud the women who have shared their experiences about this matter. It is also clear that a percentage of women are still not being told about this clip prior to its being inserted. I for one am amazed that this clip has (apparently) been in use for 9 years and yet I'm sure this is the first time many women reading about biopsy procedures have ever heard of such a thing and I daresay there are thousands of women walking around with this "item" in their breast and no knowing about it being there. NOT GOOD. (lack of knowing consent). The jury may still be out about these clips but we need to start taking patient's remarks more seriously. This is precisely why there is lack of trust between doctor and patient and indeed why some women decline some procedures that well might save their life. I'm also appalled that any woman would be refused a biopsy just because she declines this clip. It's far better to have the biopsy (if needed) than not have it, and if all that stands in the way of getting it done is whether or not to insert a clip, it's clearly ridiculous to refuse the procedure based on this clip nonsense. That's the issue here. And yes, some people are apparently allergic titanium. The point is, each patient should be INFORMED and make an informed choice. If she wants the clip, then she should get it. If not, not. She should not be harangued, harrassed, told she's propagating "misinformation" or anything else. There certainly is evidence here that a percentage of the population cannot tolerate the clip and needs to have it removed, sometimes at expense or further problem. That should not be. Let's drop the adversarial attitude, shall we? Let's work together for good health, proper consent, and respect for patient needs. Thank you
I would like to further to my above comments, that in an effort to improve the general awareness that clips are routinely inserted during breast biopsy, I am doing my small part - I stumbled on a website of a highly regarded hospital which purported to outline what a patient could expect during a breast biopsy ( as a prep for patients at their website) Lo and behold, not one word on there about a clip (or potential use of a clip). Therefore, I sent feedback to the webmaster asking that this be put on their site IMMEDIATELY. Why isn't it on there? Don't they want patients to know about this clip? Or is it a matter of "what the patient doesn't know can't hurt them"? I don't like this type of attitude one bit and I urge all patients who want to see true informed consent because "the standard of breast care" go to any and all websites that outline breast biopsy prep procedures and demand that they state, somewhere, that a titanium clip marker may be (and probably will be), inserted into their breast during the procedure. In that way, we can all do something positive and constructive to make patients more aware Knowledge is power. Thanks.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here; I appreciate your honest appraisal of the situation. I don't believe any of us wants an adversarial relationship - the medical profession, or patients. But as patients become more and more informed, with an ever-increasing body of information right at their fingertips, it must be difficult for doctors and other medical professionals to give up their complete control of the relationship, and build something more collegial. None of us (unless we're a doctor) is as informed as the oncologists treating us; still, the doctors need to know that we ARE intelligent, and of course care deeply about our health; and so are able to use the many resources out there to gather information and draw conclusions - some of which may be right, some wrong, but all of which should be heard and discussed. Thanks again - PJH
Let me begin by saying that I have done thousands of biopsies and have never placed a biopsy marking clip in a patient's breast prior to discussing the procedure, explaining the procedure and purpose of the clip, answering all questions the patient has and receiving the patient's verbal and written consent. Not doing so is malpractice and is not acceptable. I also have never refused to perform a breast biopsy because a patient opted to not have a clip placed (which has only occurred twice). That would be ridiculous and go against everything I am trying to accomplish for the patient. It's apparent that patient's are not receiving all the pertinent information concerning their biopsy and the purpose of the biopsy with clip placement prior to having the procedure. I work at a nonprofit hospital where everything we do is for the benefit of the patient with the patient's wellbeing our only concern. I have attended numerous Breast Imaging/Cancer National Conferences and know the most respected physicians in my field. The fact is there is absolutely no evidence based proof that titanium marking clips are the cause of these reported intolerable symptoms in patients (I'll remind you that titanium prosthesis' and hardware is in millions of people with hip/knee replacements, back surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, cardiac pacemakers, dental implants, etc.). There are numerous reasons to have a clip placed following a biopsy but I'll explain one very important one briefly. Let's say you have a breast biopsy done and the pathology comes back as cancer. Now, depending on the size of the cancer, staging, additional disease, and a number of other factors, you will likely be having a simple mastectomy or lumpectomy with adjuvant therapy following the surgery (chemotherapy/radiation). Occasionally, neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy prior to the surgery) will be given to shrink the size of the primary cancer (often times to a size so small it is no longer visible on imaging (mammogram, ultrasound, or MRI) and defiantly not to the surgeon's eye). This is a good thing. However, surgery is still needed and if a clip is not present marking where the cancer is, the surgeon will have no way to know where to do the lumpectomy (he would have to guess where the cancer was and would undoubtedly remove more breast tissue than necessary and possibly have to perform a mastectomy). This is one of the many reasons why a clip is placed after a biopsy...all of which benefit the patient with no proven risk.
DO YOU HAVE BREAST? And how long should one wait to heal from the biopsy? I have had them before you all came up with these clips!!! It makes it easy for you!!! Well joy for you WHAT ABOUT ME??????????????????????? I would be happy to have these 3 clips taken out as the pain is OVER THE TOP!!!!!! These clip give you an easy out because you are being lazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't have breast & don't have these bullshit makers inside of your breast you should shut the hell up!
Wow, you sound really upset; pain can definitely do that. Have you looked into getting the clips out? It's possible, you know... In the meantime, I hope you're able to get some pain relief, somehow, as it's undoubtedly affecting your stress levels - which isn't good for your physical health, to say nothing of making you feel even more miserable emotionally... PJH
I am super pissed off! When will what I say be heard? I have been playing this breast game for 15 years! I will be 45 on Monday!!! Happy Birthday to me as I get to go in next week. Big problem is that I lost everything i.e. house, small biz. even my dog passes away! So I am on a program because I can NO longer pay for any of this. They tell me where to go & when as I have never got to select any part of this. I do not know what they will tell me on the 16th. I let them know that I can't take med's at all. I have super bad reactions & the older I get the more med's make me sick. I now know that I can't take most metals & that started when I was 13 when I had my ears pierced. I am in pain ALL the time & I am one tough cookie!!! I can't wear a bra without paying for it for days & I am talking soft cotton with NO underwire. I cannot take 10-15 advil a day so what should I do. I told the Dr. office that I was going to take a knife & rip them all out myself!!! So I shall keep my fingers crossed on this one!
I'm sorry so many bad things are happening to you all at once. There is so much in your life you cannot control right now and that is a scary feeling. Fortunately, even if you are in a special program for people who can't pay, you do still have control over what they do to you medically. Doctors in the United States and most other countries cannot do any procedure without your signature giving your informed consent. I hope you get good news at your appointment and that it turns out that you do not need a biopsy. However, if you do, you can refuse to have the clip put in. The doctors at the clinic where you are going are probably overworked and trying to see as many patients as possible. Clearly, they aren't taking the time to explain things to you because you feel they tell you where to go and when without any choice on your part.
One thing you can do to make sure you are heard is to write out a list of medications you have had reactions to and your whole medical history on a sheet of paper that you take with you to the doctor's office. Try to be really calm as you explain previous problems and listen carefully to the risks and benefits of any procedure the doctors want to do. If the doctor says something like, "I'll have the nurse set you up for Procedure A," say as calmly as possible, "Before you do that, I would like to understand more about why you think I need this procedure and what the risks and benefits are."
Remember you can always refuse to have a procedure done keeping in mind that just as there are risks in having a biopsy, there are risks in not having one. But with your history of allergic reactions to metals, it seems reasonable to ask not to have a clip inserted if you do need a biopsy.
I hope things begin to turn around for you and that you get good news at your appointment on the 16th.
It's been a month since my sterotactic biopsy and a few weeks ago I notices i burning feeling on my breast. I am sick with a cold now and when I cough sneeze or blow my nose, I feel the burning, pin-point exactly where the marker is. I am going in this week for my results which Im assuming are normal since I haven't heard from the dr.'s office. I sched. the appt. myself. I'm hoping they remove this because it's painful and annoying to be pressing my breast everytime I cough.
I think they'll be reluctant to remove it, given it would be another surgery. And insurance might not be willing to cover it. But it's certainly worth discussing with the radiologist what would be involved; if you feel the clip is giving you problems, you should definitely pursue removing it. If you run into problems navigating the system, do get in touch with the social workers at the hospital; they might be able to help you get the results you want. Take care- and, as you say, I'm sure you'll get good results from the biopsy, given they never contacted you with the results (which doesn't say very much for their communications, I must say). PJH
Hi Phyllis, I recieved your e-mail concerning reaction to the titanium marker clip. I am still very sensitive in that area, and its been 13 days since my biopsy. However, I am seeking a second opinion on my results, and I was asked, what did my first results show. Should they be concerned about what the findings were on the other report? I now, don't feel like they should have ask me that question, because I don't want his results to have any barrings on the other Dr.s report. Am I wrong in feeling this? Why do they need to know if it is a second opinion? Shawna
Getting a second opinion is a fine idea anytime there is a question about a diagnosis or the best course of treatment. Good for you for wanting to see another doctor.
I'm not sure what it is you want your second doctor to tell you if he or she can not see the pathology report. The second doctor doesn't need to know the treatment recommendations the first doctor made, but he or she can't make an intelligent recommendation for what you should do next without knowing the facts about what the biopsy showed. If you are questioning whether the slides were correctly read by the pathologist, then you would ask your doctor to get a second pathologist to read the slides. Either way the new doctor needs to the information from that biopsy unless you want to have a second biopsy done, which seems unnecessary to me. The usual procedure is to send all the records, but you could request to have only the pathology report sent or take your copy with you to the appointment with the second doctor. I have found that doctors giving a second opinion are not shy about reaching a different conclusions than the first doctor, especially when you go from a local doctor to a doctor in a research facility or a comprehensive cancer center.
After thirteen days it is not surprising that you would still have some tenderness at the site of your biopsy incision. It could be more than a month before that goes away completely. However, you should be seeing progress with the scar. If it starts hurting more or turns red and inflamed, you need to go back to the surgeon because you might have an infection or less likely, an allergic reaction to the clip if it is still in place. I hope your scar heals quickly and that you soon arrive at a treatment plan that is right for you.
I am so mad! I had a titanium marker clip put in my left breast about a year and half ago as well! I really thought nothing of it at the time (as they told me about it as they were doing it) But I have recently in the past few month been increasingly having isssues with it! It is extremely tender and hurts when that breast gets touched hit moved etc. I am basically aware of that breast all the time. I thought it was just me. That I was too sensitive, hyper aware, whatever. But why would it all of the sudden start bothering me after it being there for 12 months. Then I see here....I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE! It is such a shame that the medical community is in complete denial about this. I feel bad for the other women who have had much worse reactions only to be treated like they were nuts by their doctors. What did validate my feeelings on this issue too was the other a day a client of mine who is a breast augmentation surgeon, was furious when I told him they left a tatanium clip in. He said that was horrible and that finding a good doctor to do foreign object removal might be difficult. I asked him why he didn't educate, write about these kinds of issues in the breast health community....and he said "because his collegues would be furious" So it is basically known, but taboo to be able to really talk about! I hope to see a breast specialist soon to have mine removed! And I plan on reporting my problems with the FDA so at least they have the information.
Hi, I just had the biopsy done, and inplanted with the titanium object, however I was told about that procedure moments before surgery. I had this uneasy feeling, and started to ask lots of questions, the Dr. assured me it was safe, she said its the same thing used in hip inplants, which that meant totally nothing to me, still feeling uneasy I received titanium clip beside my better judgement. It was expained to me as a small incision, I left out with 3. I have been emotional every since I left the office uncontrollable crying. Now After the fact, I'm reading all your comments, I'm beside myself. I'm feeling betrayed..Ladies listen to that instinct which tells you that something is not right...I wish I had...God Bless us all....Shawna
Shawna, keep in mind that as you have read the comments in this thread, you are reading about people who did have a reaction to the titanium. People who didn't have a problem are not likely to add to the thread to say, "It didn't happen to me." Most people don't have a problem. The doctors wouldn't keep using it if reactions were common. So keep an open mind about the marker. If it does give you problems, it can be removed.
It is very common to be emotional after a biopsy. You have all that stress about what the pathology report will show. You also are probably feeling that you are not sure whether you can trust your doctors because what happened is not what you were told ahead of time. Sometimes what the doctors find at the time of surgery changes their plan. Later when you are feeling calm, it would be a good idea to ask why what happened was different from what you were told ahead of time. Let your doctors know that you are the type of person who likes to understand the details ahead of time as much as possible. I hope you get good news from your biopsy report.
Thank you Phyllis, for being the light in this darkness..I kinda put the horse before the carriage. I guess my emotional state, and reading all the reports....I just freaked out! That was a very logical suggestion, and i will do exactly that. Thx Shawna
Glad to be of help. I've freaked out plenty of times myself. Sometimes just writing or talking about it helps put a situation in perspective. Let us know what happens with your biopsy.
Hi, I'm back and sad to say that my biopsy results did infact reveal cancer. The cancer is called (DCIS) Ductal carcinoma in situ/noninvasive. Wondering if there's a site/support group with women that has gone through or is going throught this, if you know of a site please post it on this site. Thanks for all your comments and advise. Shawna
Shawna, this is a great site for support. Just create a sharepost, writing whatever you want - your experience so far, your feelings, questions - and women are sure to write back. Please read our post on DCIS; thankfully, it's the mildest form of breast cancer (actually considered by many researchers and doctors to be a "pre-cancer," not truly cancer, since it's not invasive); and it's the only type of breast cancer considered completely curable. In fact, the cure rate is about 99%. So best of luck as you go through treatment and get back on the road to health; and I encourage you to visit here, and share your experience with others. Take care - PJH
I know it is a shock to find out that a biopsy is cancer, even if it is a DCIS, which is sometimes described as a precancer. I used to think that DCIS was no big deal until my husband was diagnosed with a tiny melanoma in situ, which would be medically similar to your diagnosis. We both did a lot of worrying until after his surgery and the final pathology report showing clear margins.
You are going to have lots of worry and anxiety over this, so don't let anyone diminish your fears because your cancer is small and non-invasive. This site at HealthCentral is a great place for support. Because this thread is under concerns about titanium markers, you will probably hear from more people if you post a new sharepost about what you are going through with a subject line using words that mention DCIS and recent diagnosis. There are many people in your situation. You are not alone.
I feel the same like you... In 2008 I've had a biopsy/surgery to my left breast. I knew it the result will be benign. Dr. made a comment about my "feeling". The following year, "they" convinced me to have an implant to my L breast. I did it again. 6 months past, and they asked me to have another biopsy to the same breast. I REFUSED IT. For one year, doctors and nurses called me, asking me about my religion, etc. ( I am a Christian, but English is second language. Live in the USA for 21 yrs.).They asked me about reason of refusing to have another biopsy done.
Anyway, just few days ago, had a mammogram after 2 years. The new radiologist said "I AM CLEAR". HA! Thanks God I listened to my instincts @ the 3rd time. I wish I could not done any biopsy or titanium chip. "They" talked to me made me and convinced me, to do with my body, what I didn't feel like to do it. Not only that , but often "they" follow each other opinion, if it's in the same state and small state like mine.
Good luck, Ladies! Stay strong and be healthy! We are smarter than "they" think. Follow your instinct.! V.I.
Suzi, I am so glad that your biopsy found that you did not have cancer. You are right that often we need to follow our instincts. Unfortunately, many people are surprised and shocked when they find out a biopsy they expected to be benign shows cancer. I know both my doctor and I were shocked. My doctor ordered the biopsy "just to be sure" even though he expected benign results. It turned out that I had Stage IIIB inflammatory breast cancer with two tumors hiding on the chest wall where they couldn't be seen by mammograms. So while I am glad it worked out for you, I could not in good conscience recommend that most women ignore their doctors recommendations for biopsies. Stay well!
Hi P. , I am very, v, sorry about what you are telling me. May God bless YOU with the best health and strength!
Thank you, Suzi. My diagnosis was 13 years ago, and I'm doing fine now.
Shawna, please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com - put "cancer help" in the subject line so I don't think it's spam. I'm a 9 yr cancer survivor - refused Tamixifen but had the radiation and surgery. I will help those going thru it walk thru the myraid of things you at you. This is the exact cancer I had.
Same thing happened to me. I had no idea the procedure would be so invasive, painful, bled A LOT, bruised for a month, and now itching pain lasting two years for a negative biopsy which I believe is from the titanium clip. I would never get this biopsy done again at age 39 if I had known better. They told me it the procedure was no big deal so I did it right there and really regret it to the point where I'm not getting any more mammograms for several years because I will not go through this BS again. I'll add that I have no breast cancer in my family on either side. I'll also add that that procedure cost me 1500 not covered by my insurance and 2 years of itching and pain. I wish they had changed the mammogram recommendation to 50 years old before I went through this. I want that marker out but I won't go for a surgery that will cost me another 1500 to do it.
I'm sorry you're having to go through this, Marg. You must have had a lump or some other indication at some point for them to order a biopsy; and a biopsy is the only way to rule out breast cancer - which is an important thing to do! 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have NO family history; so you can't rely on that fact to offer you any protection. Still, I'm sorry making sure you don't have cancer has come at so high a cost... PJH
I just had a bx on my rt breast 6:00 position and they placed a titanium marker, it was explained to me that there is some type of cellulose tube type sponge that the marker is in, this sponge absorbs by the body in apx 6 weeks, and then the sponge and clip can no longer be seen on ultrasound, but the clip can be seen on mammograms for future mammos and/or surger to remove the mass. 2 days later I started have allergic reactions, first severe palipations, shortness of breath, then redness around the front of my armpit area then from mid breast up I turn very bright red, across the first few inches of my back and shoulders, palms start itching, soles start itching heart rate increases to the 130-150 range(typical allergic reaction) this has been happening evry day to every other day, I think it has to do with my activeness, because it only makes since that my metabolism and bloodflow would make it absorb faster than when Im not doing so much. I really think its the sponge. I have had no changes in products I use foods I eat or medications.
I am also having alot of pain and sorenessin that area as well, I figured that should be gone by now as it has been almost a month ago.
I feel for you that have been living with this kind of pain, they diagnosed me with stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma and with my family history of breast cancer on mom and dads side and pre cancer (uterine) myself, mother, and grandmother, I have opted to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction, so it will ultimately be removed pretty soon, I will avoid the lingering pain associated with the clip or sponge.
Good luck to you all and I hope you keep fighting to be heard and taken seriously. Somebody out there needs to listen, pay attention, and fight to have these issues rectified.
I'm sorry you're going through this. Thankfully, as you said, the clip will soon disappear, and hopefully with it these distressing symptoms. Best of luck as you go through surgery, and what happens beyond; check out our treatment page, for links to all kinds of useful information and "insider tips." Be well- PJH
I had a biopsy a year ago...they would no do the biopsy if I refused the titanium clip. I was very much against the titanium clip! However, I was told this literally minutes before the procedure that I could not refuse the titanium clip. Feeling the pressure and not knowing any better I went against my better judgement and had the biopsy. Everything turned out fine as far as the results but now a year later I know the exact location of this titanium clip and I can feel it. It feels as if there is a bruise there and the area is sensitive especially at different times throughout the month. I hate this clip and it really bothers me. If you have the choice...DON'T get the clip in you. They have a million xrays on you I'm sure. Are they that horrible that they can not find where the biopsy was? Trying to make their jobs easier so that any idiot can do it...is putting women at risk and in major discomfort. Oh...discomfort by the way that doctors will dismiss because they think you are crazy or over reacting.
I could have responded to almost every one of these posts to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to post this subject matter. I have been so confused about having the biopsy to begin with (should I wait another six months or go with their recommendation) and this marker issue has added to my angst. Since then I've been trying to figure out what the compelling reason is to have it inserted.
I am electing to have stereostatic so that I don't have to have a surgical biopsy. I understand they are going to pinpoint the area using x-rays. So what is the purpose of the marker? If they can find the area now, they can find it again...and I hope if, God forbid I get bad news, that they won't just find the marker and assume "hey, there is the marker, that's the spot!" No, they will take more x-rays to make sure they have the area, which negates the reason for the marker altogether. I
f it's good news, it is quite possible that then I may have to have surgery anyway to remove the marker...that makes no sense. Then, I have chosen a non-invasive way to have a biopsy only to end up (possibly) cutting into my breast later unnecessarily. I don't like those odds. Plus, then there will be scar tissue in the area where they will need to keep an eye on in the future. I just can't find a compelling reason for this marker and THANK YOU for warning me and giving me to resolve to stand my ground tomorrow when they try to force it on me (my gut tells me that will happen, but I hope to be wrong).