So, mammographs in April and May at two different facilities showed a group of microcalcifications. After a stereotactic-guided core needle biopsy in May, the report contained the following addendum:
"Multiple additional deeper sections were performed on all tissue blocks and only rare additional microcalcifications were identified.
Imaging and histology are benign and concordant. Please note, despite the core tissue specimen radiograph showing complete removal of the small group of numerous calcifications, only rare microcalcifications were seen on histology."
Don't ask me how that is concordant, because I am unable to explain that given the, you know, actual definition of concordant. Numerous calcifications on the core tissue specimen radiograph is not concordant with rare microcalcifications seen on histology.
When I called in May upon reading the addendum, the radiologist stated that he was unable to explain why pathology only found rare microcalcifications, but stated that he was sure that all of the microcalcifications had been removed at the biopsy. A follow-up mammogram was scheduled in November.
So, 6 and a half months later, the follow-up mammogram showed no microcalcifications. Since I was puzzled and I like to have a copy for my records, I obtained a CD with the images, and that seems to be correct - I do not see any microcalcifications (a titanium marker was placed after biopsy, and I can clearly see the numerous microcalcifications on the original mammogram from April).
The ARNP I seem to be assigned to told me that there were only a few microcalcifications showing on the original radiology report, which contradicts the actual report. She was pretty much useless to me as a source of information since she apparently wasn't able to comprehend the report.
So, has anyone had the experience of microcalcifications dissolving or disappearing? I was on a high dose (50 mg) of prednisone last week - I wonder if that could that cause something that perhaps looked like microcalcifications (if there is there anything benign that can look like microcalcifications on a mammogram) to seem to disappear.
I've been going to a NCI cancer center, but am looking at switching to another facility after today's experience. I am completely unimpressed by the ARPN's "explanation", and there is another well-respected (though not NCI) facility associated with a different university about 90 minutes away.
I don't know what went wrong, but the only explanations I can think of were that there were never numerous microcalcifications, the microcalcifications are hiding behind the titanium marker, the pathology department is inept and numerous microcalcifications were removed at biopsy but not seen on histology, or the microcalcifications have vanished.