Why Are All Of My Breast Screenings Coming Back Inconclusive But The Breast Biopsy Shows Malignancy

Question

Asked by jenniferl

Why Are All Of My Breast Screenings Coming Back Inconclusive But The Breast Biopsy Shows Malignancy

Had a large lump in my breast. Had mammogram came back normal due to density. Had ultrasound came back as fluid filled cyst. Had an aspiration and pathology came back with suspicious cells in the fluid. Had the lump removed came back from pathology as a malignant Grade III infiltrating invasive ductal carcinoma. 2.0 cm x approx 0.7 cm. Overall grade of 8 and er- and pr-. Some tumor cells show features of medullary carcinoma. Surgeon told me that margins were still showing more cancer and need to have more tissue taken as well as lymph node biopsy. Was sent to have an MRI came back inconclusive. Sent to a University hospital and had a PEN and PET scan. University has requested my surgeon send over all pathology, Mammo, and MRI results to compare their findings. Still awaiting the results from the PEN and PET scan from University.I am afraid that they are going to go in there blindly because they keep wanting to say that I have dense breasts and there are hormone changes of my breast due to doing my screening near my monthly cycle. Also...genetics test came BRAC1 and BRAC2 normal.

Answer

Jennifer, I'm not a doctor, so I can't comment on the details of what the doctors are finding. However, it is not unusual for a screening test to be inconclusive. In fact, to some extent all imaging tests are inconclusive. It is only a biopsy that can say for sure whether a suspicious place on a mammogram or MRI is actually cancer.

It sounds that part of what is unusual in your situation is that places that seemed OK on the imaging tests are actually showing cancer. For example, it is very unusual for a cyst to be cancerous. It is good that you have been referred to the university hospital where they have more experience. I'm sure you are anxious to have all these tests over so that you can start on treatment, but your doctors will want to be sure they have as much information as possible to make sure you receive the right combination of treatments.

Keep asking questions. You might find it helpful to take someone with you to doctor's appointments because getting so much medical information when you are already under stress is hard to process. Getting a cancer diagnosis is always hard, but you can get through this.

Answered by Phyllis Johnson