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Topic: Calcification cluster

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

Posted on: Jan 6, 2011 11:08PM

BundleofNerves wrote:

Hi, I'm new here and have been reading some of these stories. I had an abnormal mammogram Monday and they retook several shots. Said I have a 2cm cluster in right breast. I am having a biopsy on Monday and am extremely nervous. I know they say 80% are fine, its just that 20% chance is driving me batty. I have alot of questions, but I guess for now, how many of you who have had a diagnosis of bc, started out with a calcification cluster? thanks for any help

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Posts 1 - 29 (29 total)

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Jan 7, 2011 01:34AM Anne1962 wrote:

BundleofNerves,

I don't know the answer to your question, but others will come along soon to give you an idea. I had microcalcifications that turned out to be atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH). This is considered  benign, but it ups the risk of getting breast cancer. I will be interested in any replys to your question as I am curious too. I wish you a B9 outcome. Let us know what you find out.

Anne1962 

Anne1962

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Jan 7, 2011 04:17AM BarbaraA wrote:

I had a calcification cluster that turned out to be DCIS and a 1.9cm IDC tumor. I totally blame myself, as I had not had a mammo for 5 years. Stupid, stupid me.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield.

Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 7, 2011 07:27AM Beesie wrote:

In my right breast I had calcifications that turned out to be breast cancer; in my left breast I had (and still have) calcifications that were totally benign and harmless.

Because this is a breast cancer website, you will find a lot of women here who had calcifications that turned out to be breast cancer.  Since you are already nervous, that's probably going to scare you.  What you have to remember is that the women who hang out here are the ones who were in the 20%; the rest of the women - the 80% who had benign results - usually don't stick around here for long after they get their results. 

Good luck.  I hope that you are in the 80%. 

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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Jan 7, 2011 06:26PM BundleofNerves wrote:

Thanks for the info. I'm trying to be positive, but. Hope everything turns out ok for everyone too!

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Jan 7, 2011 06:30PM Makratz wrote:

Try and stay positive, I know how hard it is.  I have calcification clusters in my breast that are benign.  Good luck on Monday.  Let us know how it goes.

Linda...♥♥♥ Never, never, never give up ~ Winston Churchill

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Jan 7, 2011 11:29PM BioAdoptMom3 wrote:

So far I have had a calcification cluster twice and both biopsy results were benign!  Try to stay positive.  The odds are in your favor!  I am adding you to my prayers.

Nancy

Nancy

Dx 1/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 8, 2011 07:58AM carcharm wrote:

One of the things they look for is are the microcalcifications "lining up?" Are they linear? I had none the year before and all of a sudden I had linear microcalcifications and sure enough DCIS with a .3cm invasion. This is for ductal cancer only. I am not sure if lobular cancer shows up as microcalcifications or not. I think not. I think lobular cancer  is more mass appearing.

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Jan 8, 2011 08:08AM D4Hope wrote:

Barabara I skipped  my annual mammo and knew I had had calcifications. Don't beat yourself up.

I am heading in for a mammo and ultrasound on Tuesday because I found a lump on my scar(diep) just above where the cancer was. Grrrrr. I just hope it's fat. To the op, calcifications can become cancer, just know yours can very well be b9. Good luck.

Every day I wake up is a good day.

Dx 2/2/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 03/29/2009 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)Chemotherapy 04/09/2009 Adriamycin, Cytoxan
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Jan 10, 2011 07:05PM BundleofNerves wrote:

Had the biopsy today. Actually they did 2, as they saw another area a few inches away they wanted to test also. Was'nt too bad and the doctor and 2 nurses were very kind  and explained everything they were doing and kept asking how I was doing. They did the vacuum biopsy.Starting to get sore now. Bled a bit as they think they nicked a vein, so they said I'll probably have a very colorful boob! lol  Have to wait til Thursday for the results. Hope everyone here is doing ok. thanks for being hear and listening, its a big help.

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Jan 10, 2011 08:22PM shabby6485 wrote:

Hi there,  I have a long history of calcifications.  So far I have had 2 stereotactic, 1 MRI and 1 surgical biopsy------  all benign.

I hope all turns out ok! 

Dx 3/2012, LCISSurgery 08/14/2012 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Jan 10, 2011 08:35PM, edited Jan 10, 2011 08:35PM by Faynette

Hello:  This is my first time to post as I just read a lot on here last night.  I had calcifications before that were benign but this year, they showed DCIS. stage 0.  They say, if you get cancer, this is the good one to have.  I had two areas of new microcalcifications and they only biopsied one site and used the sterotactic biopsy.  I am now researching my options.  By the way my aereola is totally black and blue as is a good one inch circle above the nipple area because it caused a blood clot to form inside the breast.  They told me it would dissipate over time.  I was set on saying no to radiation but today I went to see the guy anyway and found out they want to shoot two beams through the breast, none INTO the breast.  I was worried about my lung getting radiated.  Now I'm not worried as it appears it will only nick the edge of the lung.  What I don't understand is the ER/PR+ part of this.  I know my type of cancer is "fed" by estrogen.  What about the estrogen stored in my fat cells?  Is it going to be bad if I diet, thus releasing extra estrogen from storage? I'm 54, went through surgical complete menopause years ago. I don't think I want to take the pill for 5 years, the side effects sound awful.  I'm trying to decide whether I want to go for lumpectomy or mastectomy.  If they remove the two areas of calcifications with lumpectomy then find out they don't have clear margins or if they happen to find some invasive cancer, then another surgery will be done and it will be a mastectomy.  This is a tough one!

Dx 1/4/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jan 10, 2011 08:36PM Faynette wrote:

I'm posting again so I can add this to my favoite topics.  I am trying to learn how this works, sorry.

Dx 1/4/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jan 10, 2011 09:00PM Nancyb7912 wrote:

I just had my 6 month mammogram today and much to my surprise they found calcifications. Stereotactic biopsy is next week as I have been taking aspirin after knee surgery and have to be off of it for a week. I just completed 15 months of chemo and Herceptin so this really throws me for a loop. I really expected to have a breather for a while. What are the odds that the calcifications are cancer? My only experience has been with IDC.

Dx 12/22/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 10, 2011 09:13PM Faynette wrote:

from my limited research, the odds are 20% - which isn't bad.

Dx 1/4/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
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Jan 11, 2011 06:06AM leaf wrote:

Here's a good website about calcifications. http://www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/4793bfde0ed53

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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Jan 12, 2011 06:43AM BundleofNerves wrote:

Had the biopsy on Monday, it was'nt too bad. Was supposed to have a followup on Thursday to get the results. Yesterday, I get a phone call at work and it was the doctor with the results, B9!! Was so relieved and thankful. Just wanted to say thanks for the support here and I wish everyone good luck on their outcomes.

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Jan 12, 2011 07:14AM leaf wrote:

Good for you, BundleofNerves!  Best wishes to you.

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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Jan 15, 2011 11:18AM Nancyb7912 wrote:

Leaf, thanks so much for the link. Very helpful. It looks as though my calcifications are in a cluster. I'm not sure I understand the explanations but clusters are more indicative of malignancy. Is this correct?

Dx 12/22/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 15, 2011 02:55PM, edited Jan 15, 2011 02:56PM by leaf

"Clustered calcifications are both seen in benign and malignant disease and are of intermediate concern.
When clusters are scattered througout the breast, this favors a benign entity.
A single cluster of calcification favors a malignant entity."

But I DON'T  think a single cluster is a sure sign of malignancy.

Do you happen to know your BIRADS score?  (I don't know what my BIRADS score was for my 'suspicious calcifications', though I'm pretty sure it was a BIRADS 4.)  (My diagnosis was LCIS and nothing worse.  Don't expect that, as its quite unusual.)

I can kind of figure out different categories (though not all the time), I really have a lot of trouble telling benign from malignant within a calcification category.   I'm obviously not trained, and obviously not a radiologist. But maybe that's why they do biopsies?

I know going through the diagnosis process is absolutely horrid.  I think most everyone wants to have some solid clue as to what is happening.  I think it is encouraging that this article describes calcification clusters as 'intermediate concern' (as opposed to 'probably malignant'.)

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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Jan 15, 2011 10:16PM Nancyb7912 wrote:

I have more to learn - didn't know about BIRADS, but now I know mine was a 4. I'm sure my emotions are taking over and rationality is taking a back seat. Today was the funeral for a friend who started chemo shortly after I did in 2009. Her BC returned in September and when it did, it went through her quickly. Also working through the knee surgery after effects. The tears seem to erupt at the drop of a hat. Then, having to wait 2 weeks to find out is maddening.

Dx 12/22/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 15, 2011 10:26PM leaf wrote:

Oh my, Nancy!  You have so many, many reasons to cry and be afraid.  I would be in an absolute state of shock.  I am so sorry.  Please know I am reaching out my cyber-hand to you.  Of course, I hope your clusters turn out to be benign. 

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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Jan 15, 2011 10:51PM desertstorm2014 wrote:

Nancy, sending you a warm cyber hug, you've really been through the wringer.  I hope the time flies by quickly for you while you are waiting for the diagnostics.

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Jan 23, 2011 08:16AM Nancyb7912 wrote:

Not sure who's out there these days, but I finally got my biopsy results. Benign!!!  Can't express my relief in words.

Dx 12/22/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 23, 2011 08:25AM catbill wrote:

Nancyb-

So glad to hear the B9 news!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!! 

My condolences on the loss of your friend.  What an emotional rollercoaster you've been riding.  I wish you peace.

Oncotype 8, no chemo, no rads, bilat mastectomy, on Arimidex

Dx 9/29/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 23, 2011 08:40AM desertstorm2014 wrote:

That's fantastic news!!  :-) :-)

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Feb 5, 2011 12:25AM KindOfScared wrote:

Hello.  I am reaching out for some support.  My mother is a survivor.  I had my yearly  mammogram on Monday of this week.  I am a 49 year old single mother of a teenage girl.  Got called back for the first time ever for more images.  Had them taken today.  Both breasts have calcifications with the left breast having a small cluster.  I am going to have them both biopsied on Thursday.  My family does not know as I don't want to worry them.  If it turns out I have cancer, I will of course tell them.  If I do have cancer, is this a low stage cancer?  I didn't think to ask that at the clinic today.  I mean, if a woman does get cancer, would it be, as a result of calcification being cancerous, the "best" kind and curable?

Dx 2/14/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1
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Feb 5, 2011 10:21AM desertstorm2014 wrote:

HI - I am so sorry you are going through this! First of all, you may want to start a new thread out here, it is helpful as you progress through the diagnostic stages for people to keep up with your story. There are so many ladies out here, odds are someone has the exact same issue as you!

Second, check out this site on calcs:

 http://www.radiologyassistant.nl/en/4793bfde0ed53

I've found that I will only get a partial story from radiologists, but they may let me peek at the films so I like to be a little educated myself.  The last time, I pointed out a calc to the radiologist that she missed (in a big hurry, thanks :-( 

Anyhow, I think this site will help you as well as the wonderful ladies out here.You may want to ask for the genetic testing just so you know if you have an increased risk.  Of course there are ladies with the gene that never develop cancer and ladies with cancer who have none in their family, so not a perfect science. 

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Feb 5, 2011 11:50PM KindOfScared wrote:

Thank you. 

Dx 2/14/2011, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1
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Feb 6, 2011 01:33AM Anne1962 wrote:

kindofscared,

I am almost 49 years old, and I had microcalcifications, too. I had a stereotctic biopsy and was told that I have atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH). I don't have any family history of bc, but am considered high risk because of the microcalcs. Hang in there; 80-85% of the time they are benign. You are doing the right thing by getting this checked out. Please let us know what you find out.Thinking of you...Anne1962

Anne1962