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Question about 6 month follow up after benign biopsy

Djabi53
Djabi53 Member Posts: 96
edited February 2018 in Benign Breast Conditions

I am 63 and had a first mammogram earlier this year. It showed faint calcifications in both breasts. Bilateral Diagnostic mammogram with magnification was done. Ultrasound was done on right breast and ruled out any concerns. As a pre caution, a biopsy was done on right breast only. Biopsy showed fibrocystic changes, no atypical cells. Was told biopsy was very very good - normal. I have a 6 month follow up bilateral diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound soon and I'm getting nervous. If biopsy was benign and normal, why follow up so soon? Are they suspecting cancer even though biopsy was normal? Should I worry about the 6 month follow up? Should I worry that both breasts were not biopsied? I've been reading that some studies show that a 6 month follow up after benign biopsy is not necessary - that a year is better. Thanks very much for any information.

Comments

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,689
    edited August 2015

    We certainly understand your anxiety. They are probably wanting to make sure that there are no changes since that time, but this is a very good question to ask your doctor. Please keep us posted!

  • worriedteacher
    worriedteacher Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2015

    I'm in the same boat - fibrocystic changes, no atypical cells, and they want a followup mammogram/ultrasound in 6 months. I, too, have read that there are studies showing that this 6-month checkup is not that useful. I think the reason they want to do these checkups is preventative...but it does seem like overkill. Hang in there...

  • Neurotic
    Neurotic Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2015

    Same for me. Fibroadenomatoid changes, sclerosing adenosis. 11 samples taken of cluster microcalcifications in right breast...radiologist said excellent biopsy ...believes he removed all...benign...gyn said follow up mammo and us in 6 months ...then if no changes it will go back to yearly. That seems to be the protocol.

  • Djabi53
    Djabi53 Member Posts: 96
    edited August 2015

    Thanks moderators, worried teacher, and neurotic! I go on Monday for my 6 month follow up and I will let you know. I also had genetic testing done last month and my results are expected next week. My anxiety is high and I very muchappreciate you taking the time to share your experiences.

  • proudtospin
    proudtospin Member Posts: 4,671
    edited August 2015

    good that your doc is careful and looking out for you, best wishes for a good outcome

  • Neurotic
    Neurotic Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2015

    Hope all goes well on Monday and with your other test results. When I go for follow up in January, I will once again return to panic mode...just my nature. Good luck and let us know

  • alicki
    alicki Member Posts: 85
    edited August 2015

    Hello,

    Same here, fibrocystic changes, scelorsing adenosis and tubular adenosis and I suspect some fat necrosis coming back. (grrh) Check up early November, (still on a six month watch) with Breast specialist.

    As I've just had a breast reduction (which turned up the SA and TA), I will ask for MRI. Can't see much in my breasts.

    Euh I have tried lymphatic drainage (done by therapist) for breast. She's fantastic and it really helps. It's 'airs' the lumps and they feel all soft after the session!

    Mods: I once again stress that I appreciate this forum, and hope it will remain a 'safe place' to discuss our non cancerous breast issues.

    Best to all of you.

  • 614
    614 Member Posts: 398
    edited August 2015

    I feel that the 6 month protocol is wonderful because it allays any fears.  The close surveillance puts one's mind at ease. 

    I am also on a 6 month wait and watch plan.  However, in my case, my radiologist could not biopsy one suspicious area so I am waiting for 6 months to see if there are any changes to this "1.5 cm linear non-mass enhancement with rapid washin washout kinetics". Two suspicious areas were found in May 2015 and one was biopsied.  The biopsied lump had 7 different benign findings including prominent sclerosing adenosis and moderate epithelial hyperplasia.  I will know more in November 2015 when I have the diagnostic mammogram, sonogram, and MRI.  For me though, I will have tests every 6 months anyway due to the lobular carcinoma diagnosis.

    I wish all of you the best and I am hoping that nothing is found for you, or if it is, that the results are benign. 

    Good luck.

  • alicki
    alicki Member Posts: 85
    edited August 2015

    hello,

    How do you manage this 6 month rolling process without going nuts?

    Thx

    Alick

  • Petitegal127
    Petitegal127 Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2015

    Good Luck tomorrow. I hope you get good news. It is normal to have a 6 month follow up. I have been on a 6 month follow up for 2 years now, with ongoing issues. Sometimes you ask yourself, is it necessary? It is if they catch something, they get it early. When I had a benign biopsy and went back in 6 months for another mammogram, they found something new, had another biopsy, which was atypical and I had surgery to remove that area. I was supposed to go back to once a year in July but nope, they found some new calcifications on other breast, I have to go back in January for a 6 month follow up.


    Alicki, It is hard to manage this. Even though you are told it is all good and come back in 6. It is always hanging over your head! I go on with my life every day and try and forget but once January rolls around I will be worrying once again. I love when people say "don't worry".....

  • Djabi53
    Djabi53 Member Posts: 96
    edited August 2015

    Hi Ladies,

    Thank you for sharing - and for your kind thoughts and good wishes.

    Today I had my 6 month follow up to a benign biopsy that showed fibrocystic changes with no atypical cells. At the time of my biopsy, I had faint calcifications in both breasts, but had biopsy on just one breast. Today I had a bilateral diagnostic mammogram with bilateral magnification views. I did not need any ultrasounds today. They told me it was bilateral today because I have calcifications in both breasts, and they biopsied only one breast because that breast showed the calcs starting to form a line. Calcifications in other breast are scattered. They also told me I have a lot of calcs. This is my first mammogram (I am 62). The tech and radiologist told me they follow all calcs for 2 years to ensure stability. I have no previous mammograms for them to compare.

    I had a good report! No changes! But I do need to come every 6 months for the next year and a half to ensure that they are stable. I'm really okay with that. As much as I hate the anxiety that goes with 6 month surveillance, I honestly think that I will be just as nervous if not more nervous if I ever get to annual appointments. 6 months tells me that if something develops they find it earlier than on an annual.

    Over the weekend, my anxiety was very challenging but manageable. But today before the appointment my anxiety was worse than it's ever been. I almost couldn't get myself to the appointment, and I barely functioned once I did get there. And that was even after taking Xanax last night.

    My abnormal mammogram that led to biopsy came earlier this year when I was being worked up for endometrial cancer. I was having tests done for thickened endometrium/endometrial cancer and breast cancer at the same time. It took 90 days to complete the 2 work ups. Endometrial concern turned out to be polyps. I think being worked up for 2 cancers at the same time earlier this year is why my anxiety was so high today, but I don't know if I will ever calm down around doctors again.

    Today I also got my courage up to ask about my breast density and learned that density is not a problem for me!

    Tomorrow I get my genetic testing results.

  • worriedteacher
    worriedteacher Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2015

    I'm so sorry that your anxiety was so challenging - but I think we all can definitely sympathize. I'm glad you got a good report today, though, that's a great day in my book. I feel the same way you do - I'll be stressed when I go back for my 6-month mammogram, but I'd rather have the scrutiny in case something changes.

    How are you feeling now? Any more relaxed? I know when I was that worked up, it took a toll on my energy levels and it took a couple of days to feel myself again. Do something relaxing for yourself!

  • Bendi
    Bendi Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2015

    I welcome my six month follow up! This will happen in September. I would far rather catch something suspicious right away....

    I am more excited to get it done and over with so I can get on with my life that has hovered in the shadows of cancer for too many months. Come on September! And if "leftie" is showing more issues let's just deal with it.

    Poor hubby is suffering far more than I am.

  • Petitegal127
    Petitegal127 Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2015

    Well I am glad they are benign. I am going in 6 months for calcifications too I am 50. My doc suggested for me to get a 3D Mammogram for me, because I have dense breasts. I am glad that are not dealing with the density. Sooo They can see a lot more clearer looking at your tests. Try and not worry, is easier said than done, I forget about it then when January rolls around for me, I will be nervous again. Good Luck to you!

  • Wanderlust3
    Wanderlust3 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2015

    I had a partial lumpectomy because the dr was as he stated more than concerned and the mass was large-- it ended up being benign but I was told to schedule another mammo for 6 months later. I haven't but I really believe it's better safe than sorry. My results increased my risk and admit I'm pretty dumb for not doing as told

  • Bunnyhuggr
    Bunnyhuggr Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2015

    I was going to post this same question, then I came across this thread.

    My stereotactic biopsy of calcifications last week came back benign. Fibrocystic changes only. Great news!

    But then they want me to come back in 6 months for another mammogram? Why?? If there were some atypical cells I could understand. But everything was normal.

    At first I thought, well, in 6 months I can get a 3D mammogram, which I've never had & really should because I have dense breasts.

    But then I started thinking about all the mammos I had before, during & after this biopsy. Isn't all that radiation going to increase my chances of getting cancer?

    Not to mention all the time, money, & stress I wasted just to find out I'm perfectly healthy. Do I really want to go through that again in 6 months? No. Maybe in a couple years I'll have another mammogram. Hopefully a 3D one. But 6 months sure seems like overkill to me

  • Djabi53
    Djabi53 Member Posts: 96
    edited November 2015

    Hi Bunnyhuggr - I started this thread. I totally understand how you feel. In August, I had my first 6 month follow up to a benign biopsy that showed fibrocystic changes only (no atypical cells). I had a diagnostic mammogram with magnification. No changes. At the 6 month follow up I was told I need to come back every 6 months for 2 years. Was told it is protocol and done for all calcifications. At first I was okay with this going on for 2 years. But the constant anxiety of this is really difficult. But honestly they've scared me so much over the whole thing, that I'm afraid I'll be more anxious if I don't keep this up for 2 years. I'm 62 and do not have dense breasts.

  • Bunnyhuggr
    Bunnyhuggr Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2015

    Hi Djabi53, I know what you mean about the anxiety. When you're told there was something amiss on your mammogram, no matter how many times you tell yourself the odds are that you DON'T have cancer, there's no way to know for sure without being tested.

    Do you ever wish you hadn't had that first mammogram? I wish I hadn't had one this year. I just hope in 6 months I will have completely forgotten that I'm due for another one

  • 614
    614 Member Posts: 398
    edited November 2015

    I cannot wait until my next mammo/sono/MRI which is scheduled for 11/23/15.  It has been an extremely stressful 6 months.  The tests will give me peace of mind.

    I just found out today that my 44 year old cousin has breast cancer - luckily it is DCIS.

    Good luck to everyone here.

  • Ddw79
    Ddw79 Member Posts: 217
    edited November 2015

    That is just the way I felt last week . 7 months post dx. This was completely clear... Birads 1. Tomorrow MO to deal with going forward.


    Lots of good wishes to your niece

  • RDA123
    RDA123 Member Posts: 55
    edited January 2016

    I had Calcifications biopsied benign. At follow up more were found and need biopsy again. Anyone else in the same boat

  • Djabi53
    Djabi53 Member Posts: 96
    edited January 2016

    My first 6 month follow up after benign biopsied calcifications was okay. But I have to go for 6 month follow ups for 2 years. I guess that means that they can find something even though a biopsy is benign. My second 6 month follow up is the end of February. Please let us know how you are and how it works out for you.

  • leaf
    leaf Member Posts: 1,821
    edited January 2016

    Yes, at my place, if you have a biopsy, then you're going to get a followup imaging 6 months later even if everything is totally normal. (They also want to get a new baseline in case the area that was biopsied has changed, such as scar tissue from the biopsy.)

  • Anamia3-me
    Anamia3-me Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2016

    just go on with Life. B9. Such a miracle. Im glad i need the 6 Month follow up. The sooner the better. After all the anxiety of not knowing the first time. In kind of prepared for God's decisión with my health. I know i can handle with Faith and my family.

  • sarakozmanuik
    sarakozmanuik Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2016

    I hate when people say don't worry! I want in for an exam ( found a lump) I am 37 so first mamo and ultrasound said it was a fibroid. But they found a cluster of "somewhat" pleomorphic microcalsifications whatever somewhat means! Radiologist said he thought it was due to my fibroid issues but recommended a breast specialist determine weather a biopsy is needed. I got a call the next day and now I go wed for a biopsy. My dr said it prob nothing but getting called that quickly and saying I need a biopsy now has me worried. I ve been really freaking out! Can someone with experience please give me some insight😥

  • Carolyn1958
    Carolyn1958 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2017

    question I'm 59 and had first mammogram in June they want me back after two months for another one. Does this mean they found something.

  • 328was
    328was Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2017

    I had a mammogram, ultra sound, ultra sound biopsy, mri, mri biopsy. Pathology report indicates " strongly suggest that papillary lesions is controversial. Reference indicates benign core biopsies should be surgically excised because a substantial number of lesion are upgraded to ADH and DCIS at excision. I saw a surgeon yesterday she said wait six months and have another mammogram and an MRI. My BIL who is a phyiscian read the report thinks I should have the excisional biopsy now. BTW I was just diagnosied with luekemia because of the biopsy that showed up. Does anyone know can I request an excisional biopsy to have it behind me rather than have anxiety about the luekemia (on wait & watch) and the breast. Help!!! Thoughts please!!!

  • Zardoz
    Zardoz Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2018

    I had a mammogram with “suspicious" results. Then had ultrasound, and then a stereotactic biopsy with benign results. The doctor still wanted to do a surgery anyway to “remove the whole area of concern." The surgery results were benign as well. Although, within those results, I had some hyperplasia, and “atypia." She said my risk for cancer was higher. The whole year was an awful roller coaster of uncertainty after uncertainty. She's wanted me to see an oncologist and take tamoxifen. Also wanted me to get follow up MRI at six months, then moving forward, alternating that MRI with mammogram every six months for two years.

    I did not see an oncologist nor did I start taking tamoxifen, but I did get the initial six month follow up MRI, which thankfully came back with completely normal results. Technically now, it's been six months since that MRI, and so I'm due for the mammogram. I am a nervous wreck and so scared of being thrown back on that awful roller coaster. Any advice about whether I should go ahead with this mammogram now or wait? I'm also worried about all the radiation from all the mammograms I had leading up to and after the surgery as part of the “protocol." Is this over doing it? I just don't know. I've done some reading on the internet and my head is swimming

    I am 46.

    Thank you for any and all help/advice.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,689
    edited February 2018

    Dear Zardoz, We are sorry for your situation and glad that you reached out to our community. We notice that this particular thread has not seen activity since August 2017. If you don't get responses you may want to start a new topic in the Not Diagnosed But Worried Forum. That forum sometimes sees more activity. Let us know if you need help. The Mods