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Topic: Grouped Calcifications???

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried — Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time.

Posted on: Aug 7, 2009 03:40PM

pmb0602 wrote:

Please help me understand what this all means . . .  I had my yearly mammogram three weeks ago.  About a week later I got a letter in the mail telling me I needed to come in for some follow up views.  According to the report, I have a benign intramammary node and benign lymph nodes in my left breast, as well as a 2 cm area of grouped calcifications and another "new" area of grouped calcifications.  In the right breast I have a stable small asymmetric density as well as an area of grouped calcifications.  After having magnification views the radiologist said I need to have Stereotactic biopsies on both breasts!!!  I know you guys aren't doctors and can't give medical advice, but I am intersted in your thoughts.  From what I understand, calcifications can be the very beginnings of cancer - is that right?  If any of the biopsy samples come back as cancer, how would it be treated since there really isn't a "lump" to remove?  Is it possible to have bc in BOTH breasts?  Sorry for all the questions but I am really stressed about this.  I am almost three years out of treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma and I thought I had done my "tour of duty" in the cancer war already.  I know I will be able to handle another cancer dx, but I have to tell you this really sucks! Yell I have my biopsy next Tuesday and should have my results the next day.  Like I have read everyone say over and over - the waiting is the hardest.

 Thanks for any info / advice you can give me Smile

Pam

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Aug 7, 2009 04:00PM mawhinney wrote:

As I understand it, calcifications are not cancerous but there is a concern that cancer may be hiding amongst the calcifications.  I have had calcifications for years and they look like bits of salt sprinkled on my fillms. When a questionable area is deep in the breast or too small to be felt, a special mammography machine will be used to aid the radiologist in locating the area.  If the biopsy comes back positive, it might be necessary for the surgeon to remove some or all  of the tissue that makes up your breast.

Dx 5/18/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 7, 2009 04:05PM mawhinney wrote:

I found the following information on the his site under Symptoms & diagnosis. Hope it is helpful.

Calcifications: Calcifications are tiny flecks of calcium - like grains of salt - in the soft tissue of the breast that can sometimes indicate the presence of an early breast cancer. Calcifications usually can't be felt, but they appear on a mammogram. Depending on how they're clustered and their shape, size, and number, your doctor may want to do further tests.

Big calcifications - "macrocalcifications" - are usually not associated with cancer. Groups of small calcifications huddled together, called "clusters of microcalcifications," are associated with extra breast cell activity. Most of the time this is non-cancerous extra cell growth, but sometimes clusters of microcalcifications can occur in areas of early cancer.

Dx 5/18/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 7, 2009 04:27PM 12954 wrote:

pmb

"If" the calcifications come back as cancer, and remember there is about an 80% likelihood they will be benign, yes it is treatable. I have had 3 biopsies for calcifications, the first one was DCIS, (left) but the second two were both B9.(right breast). Apparently I am good at building /creating calcifications.  To remove the DCIS ( if indeed it is that) they do a wire guided lumpectomy. I don't think cancer in both breasts  at the same time is all that likely but it isn't impossible. Good luck Yes the waiting is the pits- it's awfully hard not to imagine the worst. Trish

Dx 10/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Aug 7, 2009 07:14PM idaho wrote:

There could be a lump - but it is just not palpable yet-- which is GOOD- and like Trish said there is an 80% chance it is benign- the odds are in your favor!  Peace and Health to you,,, Tami

There's no place like home......There's no place like home

Dx 2/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 8, 2009 07:20AM fmakj wrote:

I too had an area of calcification.  Apparently (I was told during my mammo) after about the age of 50 calcifications are quite common (I was 44), it is only when grouped together in an area that it must be tested. This does not automatically mean it is cancer, but must be looked at to make sure it isn't. "If'" this area of calcification is not B9, you have gotten it at a very early stage!  Let's hope it is B9! Try to keep your thoughts positive and your schedule as normal as possible! 

Mary Louise

Dx 6/1/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 8, 2009 01:32PM, edited Aug 8, 2009 01:35PM by leaf

Yes, its possible to have breast cancer in both breasts, but that is quite unusual.

Someone posted this link about breast calcifications.  I wish I had seen it when I was going through diagnosis.  It helps you understand what the radiologist is looking at.

www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/4...

If you're going through hell, keep going-Winston Churchill

Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, Stage 0, ER+/PR-Hormonal Therapy 07/15/2006 Tamoxifen
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Aug 9, 2009 06:29AM pmb0602 wrote:

Thanks everyone for your imput and support.  Leaf, that website was a BIG help and will come in handy when trying to understand the biopsy results.  Right now I am trying to keep a positive attitude - it's working about 75% of the time Tongue out  At least it will be over in three days and I will have a definitive answer!