Titanium Marker Clip From Biopsy Still Remains After Lumpectomy

Question

Asked by Theresa in Colorado

Titanium Marker Clip From Biopsy Still Remains After Lumpectomy

I had a partial left breast mastectomy one month ago. Fortunately and blessed the cancer was removed and the margins were clean. However I learned last week during pre-radiation/post surgical mamography that the titanium marker clip from the stereotactic biopsy back in Aug is still present in the cavity where the cancer was removed. I am concerned that having radiation to that site w/the marker clip still inside could be risky to my health. I often experience an itchyness and occasional pain in my breast but contribute it to post surgical healing. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Should I insist on having it removed before radiation begins?

Answer

Hi - Statistically speaking, a very tiny percentage of women do experience some allergic reaction to titanium. This could come in the form of pain or itchiness. If you're stressed that you'll be in that very small group, you might ask to have the clip removed. But there's no evidence, at least that I've found, that radiation applied to titanium in your breast causes or exacerbates an allergic reaction. Since you seem nervous about it, though - I'd ask your surgeon about taking the clip out, OK? Good luck - PJH