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Microcalcifications and no mass shown on mammogram

a_nic_
a_nic_ Member Posts: 13
edited October 2021 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

First off, I'm so glad I stumbled across this site in all of my (tons) of google searches!

I had a diagnostic mammogram today for microcalcifications that were found on my screening mammogram 2 weeks ago. Radiologist is concerned and told me "more likely than not, it is cancer". Biopsy is scheduled for next Wednesday. They measured 1.2cm from I guess the beginning of the group to the end. He said that's pretty small. He also said most likely DCIS, which I'm thankful for, but obviously he doesn't know for sure just yet. My question is this... what are the chances of it being IDC instead if there is no mass? My breast tissue is almost entirely fatty the report said. No lumps felt or mass showing on the mammogram. In my head that tells me that's a good sign but is that overly optimistic? I thought all breast cancer was a mass? That's why I'm so confused. Does he maybe think DCIS because there is no mass? I'm a mess right now. Hopefully my rambling makes some sense. Thank you all!

Comments

  • cookie54
    cookie54 Member Posts: 618
    edited October 2021

    Hi, Sorry that you are stressed right now ,understandably so. I know it's hard but try not to get to ahead of yourself. We can guess all day at what we think it might be but the proof is in the biopsy. Calcifications depending on their configuration can be a sign of some type of cancer and sometimes not. My first biopsy was micro calcifications and I had an excisional biopsy which turned out to be ADH. ADH is not cancer but is a possible precursor for getting breast cancer in the future. It basically means your cells are dividing at an abnormally fast rate. My point being sometimes things aren't definitive on imaging to say yes this is DCIS or IDC a biopsy is needed. Yes I did go on 9 years later and I developed breast cancer but that isn't always the case.

    I agree with you it seems like the circumstances are very optimistic so lets think positive! The waiting is the hardest part for sure, wait for biopsy then waiting for results. It all stinks, but guessing doesn't do us any good. Hang in there and let us know how you make out. Sending good vibes and best wishes to you.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
    edited October 2021

    I too have had microcalc's that led to call backs several times and two biopsies where they were benign or a fibroadenoma (even without a mass being seen). It was the last time the microcalcs turned out to be DCIS. A small percentage of times DCIS can contain IDC though you're not even diagnosed with the DCIS yet. I had a very large area they expected to contain IDC and it did not - no invasive cancer at all. Wishing you the best! Please let us know....

  • eviec1
    eviec1 Member Posts: 80
    edited October 2021

    I had microcalcifications and no mass. They thought it was DCIS and it mostly was, but there was a tiny bit of IDC in there. While that made the whole thing a bit scarier, it actually didn't change my treatment plan at all.

  • a_nic_
    a_nic_ Member Posts: 13
    edited October 2021

    Thank you both so much for your advice and knowledge. My biopsy was today. They did the stereotactic, which I guess the normal type for microcalcifications. They said it could be as early as Friday with results. I sure hope so! Glad to hear you both seem to be doing good

  • leaf
    leaf Member Posts: 1,821
    edited October 2021

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Obviously, the people that will be replying to this will most likely have some kind of diagnosis; people who have microcalcifications and had no diagnosis usually don't stay for long periods of time, so they probably won't be replying to your post.

    I had 'suspicious microcalcifications' and had the more unusual classic LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ, which in spite of its name is not considered a carcinoma, but puts you at higher risk for later breast cancer.) When they were trying to get my first biopsy (2005), I was laughing at them: I knew I didn't have any lumps, so how could they possibly suspect I had breast cancer? Then I saw a woman about my age running as fast as she could out of the facility, crying. I wasn't sure how to react then. I didn't know at the time that you can have breast cancer without any lumps.

    They sometimes rate mammograms with numbers with or without letters describing possibly how close to cancer it might be. These are guesses; they don't know for sure until the pathologist looks at the biopsy slides under the microscope. There is certainly still hope you don't have anything worrisome.

    Waiting is very hard. I've had so many breast biopsies I've lost count, but still haven't had any detected DCIS or invasive breast cancer.

    Please know we are all thinking of you, and hope for the best possible result.

  • rrobin0200
    rrobin0200 Member Posts: 79
    edited October 2021

    I am so incredibly sorry you’re going through this right now. It’s such a stressful time.. the waiting, the not knowing, the “what if’s.”

    I was diagnosed with DCIS in 2017. There was no mass, only calcifications.

    The best thing to do is get the biopsy.. that will tell you everything. Go from there and take one step at a time. This forum is great for information and support.

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 222
    edited October 2021

    My experience was very similar to eviec1 above: microcalcifications on mammogram, biopsy of DCIS, and then an upgrade to IDC after the surgery due to just a tiny bit of invasion. It didn't change my treatment plan and only marginally changed the long-term outlook. The mammogram didn't mention a mass, although the pre-surgical MRI report does. But I have extremely dense tissue, and apparently the calcifications were so hard to spot that my surgeon commended the mammogram reader for a good catch.

    The part you're doing right now, waiting for biopsy results, was the worst part of the entire experience for me. Hang in there! I'm so sorry you're going through this.

  • a_nic_
    a_nic_ Member Posts: 13
    edited October 2021

    Still no call back. The radiologist was hoping for today but I guess it will be Monday. At this point I'm trying to tell myself that the wait wont change anything. Preparing to hear bad news but obviously praying for the best! Seems like all of you started off the same as me, calcifications only, and that for the most part was caught early on. This gives me some hope that whatever it turns out to be, it is early and treatable. I'll update more when I get my results. Thank you all again!

  • eviec1
    eviec1 Member Posts: 80
    edited October 2021

    Yes, there is a VERY good chance that even if this is cancer, it is early and treatable. When I got my biopsy, the radiologist said he thought I had a 50-50 chance of it being malignant. Unfortunately, I fell on the wrong side of those odds. But I am FINE. I found out I had cancer on May 13th and I am already out of active treatment (just taking the hormone pill now). Obviously, I can't predict your outcome - whether benign or malignant and, if malignant, whether DCIS or IDC or hormone receptor status, etc (there are a lot of variables in breast cancer). But I can say that the odds are very good that whatever it ends up being will be early and very treatable. Good luck!

  • a_nic_
    a_nic_ Member Posts: 13
    edited October 2021

    Got the dreaded call today. It is DCIS, stage 2. Now to go in for an MRI. I should have asked at the time but I wasn’t thinking clearly - what do they look for on the MRI if I’ve already been diagnosed? My breast tissue is mostly fatty according to my mammogram papers, not sure if that plays a role in what will be seen on an MRI bs mammogram. As much as I’m upset about the diagnosis, I know it could be worse so I’m trying to be hopeful.

  • eviec1
    eviec1 Member Posts: 80
    edited October 2021

    DCIS is always stage 0. Do you perhaps mean grade 2? (Stage and grade are different things.)

    The MRI just looks for anything the mammogram might have missed - sometimes it gives a better view of the malignant area (which helps the surgeon plan - sometimes the size the MRI shows is a bit different than what the mammogram showed). It can also show other spots of concern that were too small for the mammogram to see. It also gives them another view of the lymph nodes to see how they look, the upper part of the liver, some of the lungs, etc. So basically it just gives them a better view into things so that they have a good idea of what to expect during surgery.

  • a_nic_
    a_nic_ Member Posts: 13
    edited October 2021

    @eviec1-yes I meant grade 2, oops! Thank you for the feedback on the MRI

  • eviec1
    eviec1 Member Posts: 80
    edited October 2021

    Just keep in mind, that nothing is set in stone until the final pathology report is in - and that happens after surgery. The MRI can catch a lot, but not everything is visible on imaging. As scary as any cancer diagnosis it, you likely have an excellent prognosis and caught this pretty much as early as you possibly could - so focus on the positives of that.

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 222
    edited October 2021

    I’m so sorry it’s turned out this way.

    You asked about the MRI. I had one too, because it was the best way to make sure there weren’t any other trouble spots, and although it meant anxious wait, it was a relief to get clean results ( outside of the known cancer.)

    Your story sounds much like mine so far, so if it’s any help to know, my entire experience from initial mammogram to final radiation treatment was exactly 16 weeks. This forum was a great help. And I just passed my 3year MRI and mammogram with flying colors.

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
    edited October 2021

    Sorry to hear about the Grade 2 DCIS! Do you have information yet on size or ER or PR %'s? Also my MRI showed another 3 cm area of non-mass enhancement. It made the whole area of concern nearly 6 cm. When surgery pathology came back the area from the MRI was a bunch of benign and precancerous stuff. Just something to keep in mind if the MRI seems to show something more - it may or may not be of concern....

  • a_nic_
    a_nic_ Member Posts: 13
    edited October 2021

    Hey everyone! MRI came back with an additional area of suspected DCIS so with this included the area is 4.6cm. Biopsy report came back ER/PR positive. EE was 90% with Allred score of 8/8 and PR was 60-70% with Allred score of 8/8. I honestly have no idea what that even means! I see the surgeon tomorrow afternoon so I’m hoping to get some answers then! Thank you guys so much. Any recommendations on other topics to check out that that I have been diagnosed

  • LivinLife
    LivinLife Member Posts: 301
    edited October 2021

    Thanks for letting us know about the update.... I hope all remains DCIS for you upon final surgery pathology a_nic_ Let us know how the surgeon's appointment goes. That's not a huge area (4.6 cm) though is a pretty good size.... The ER/PR positive is a good thing b/c hormone treatment will be an added option. Your percentages are good ones - high.... I don't know about Allred score....