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BI-RAD 4 Core needle biopsy with ultrasound

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nelly3
nelly3 Member Posts: 8

Hello,

I'm a 73 year old lady new to the community. Have cystic dense breasts, had twelve biopsies since age 35 - no cancer so far. Once again next week will have yet another core needle biopsy with ultrasound for unpallable area seen on 3D mammogram. Have had 3D mammograms for six years now. This new unpallable area is new within 6 months.

This has been a 40 year roller coast and to say that I am tired is an understatement. I do not want to spend the last quarter of my life on a roller coaster!

And surely, treatment for women in their 70s must be different than for younger women.

Would like to hear from ladies in their 70s with similar circumstances. I am seriously considering stopping all mammograms. The continual years long anxiety is no longer worth it.

Thanks,

Nelly3


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  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
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    Nelly - been there, done that. I started mammograms at age 30. Every single time, I was called back for a screening mammogram and an ultrasound. Almost 40 years!!! At 67 I was finally diagnosed with possible cancer.

    The amusing part was the radiologist who finally said "you have cancer" (DCIS was cancer back then). She was new and started talking about the scars from previous surgery & how I was going to die if I didn't get this taken care of immediately. I had never had previous breast surgery of any kind. So I just laughed and said - yeah, sure thing lady. My OB/Gyn sent me to a lovely radiologist who did diagnose with scans & a biopsy, but assured me I was not going to die tomorrow. (11 years this week)

    I did choose a bilateral mastectomy. I'd just had enough!!!

    Maybe someone else will know if this is true, but a friend told me that doctors no longer prescribe mammograms after 80 'something'. Supposedly she said Medicare no longer pays for them??

  • nelly3
    nelly3 Member Posts: 8
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    Thank you so much for responding Minus Two.

    Yes, that's where I am - 40 years of this. You mentioned you just wanted to be done and had masectomy. That's what I have been thinking - just take the darn thing off, I'm done already.

    My biggest concern are the healthcare workers as you describe (those "surgery" scars were probably years of biopsies) and unfortunately there are many of them. Maybe I will ask about seeing an oncologist or radiologist who sees many elder patients. What do you think?

    Yes, that's what I heard. By age 80 it's probably a moot subject. At least it's going to be for me! ha

    Glad to hear you have enjoyed 11 years. Breast cancer today is far different from many years ago.

    Please feel free to email me any time. I so appreciate hearing from you. I will keep you posted on the outcome and what they say.

    Best to you,

    Nelly

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
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    Nelly - If you can, I'd get an opinion at an NCI hospital. Yes please do update as you go.

    I have never one time regretted having both breasts totally removed!!!

  • nelly3
    nelly3 Member Posts: 8
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    Hello Minus Two,

    Tell me if I'm writing too much but I may as well try to be prepared rather than sit around and fret.

    You mentioned the NCI so please tell me what you think about the following advice in a reference book I have:

    1. Call NCI to obtain second opinion on where to obtain state of the art care.

    2. It is best to be evaluated and begin treatment at a "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designated by the NCI. The only two listed for California are "Johnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center" in Los Angeles; and the "Kenneth Norris Jr." in Los Angeles. I live near Sacramento, CA.

    3. Next best: "Clinical Cancer Centers" known for excellence and designated by the NCI - "City of Hope" in Duarte, CA is listed for Ca. Duarte is about two to three hour drive from Sacramento (Bay Area).

    4. Then the book suggests to look for "Community Clinical Oncology Program" (CCOP) which consists of community physicians who work with scientists conducting NCI supported clinical trials - "Sutter Cancer Center" in Sacramento is listed. And Sutter is the healthcare system in Sacramento that is doing my biopsy next week.

    As I mentioned, what concerns me the most is will I have the physical and mental energy and motivation to wade through the healthcare system. There are private patient advocates that one can hire. This might be worth checking out.

    Thanks again Minus Two.

    Nelly



  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
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    Nelly -your book may be old or only regional. Below is the contact info. I'd imagine Stanford is closer to you than LA, and probably even UCSF is closer. I know people who have gone to City of Hope, but that's still a long way from Sacramento.

    Yes, you just contact them and ask what they need to give a second opinion. Some will just want your records, others will want to see you in person. You can do this!!!

    https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/can...


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,944
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    On the other side of this, my Mom was diagnosed at age 85, and had a lumpectomy and radiation. She lived to age 97. And I think Beesie's mother was also in her 80s. I'm 72, and I'm gonna keep getting mammograms as long as I can hoist my breast and a half into the machine.

  • nelly3
    nelly3 Member Posts: 8
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    Hi Alice,

    So glad I joined this onlline community. Thank you for your perspective! It really helps me maintain a positive attitude.

    I will keep in touch.

    Thanks,

    Nelly


  • nelly3
    nelly3 Member Posts: 8
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    Minus Two,

    Yes the book is dated so thank you for the link. I printed out the list of centers and noticed that UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is listed. That is right here in Sacramento so that would be a great second opinion right? Or even treatment center. With my insurance I can go anywhere.

    Also, Stanford, UCSF, are a straight drive on the freeway from Sacramento. No problem. This is a relief because second opinions are really important in this journey right?

    So glad I joined this community. You are so helpful.

    Stay tuned,

    Nelly

  • nelly3
    nelly3 Member Posts: 8
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    Hi Minus Two,

    Result of the core needle biopsy with ultrasound was a benign fibroadenoma, of which I have had many since age 35.

    The dozen biopsies I've had over the years were needle aspirations. The core needle biopsy was extensive and more involved. They placed a metal strip in there to mark the spot for future mammograms.

    Through this online community, I hope I can offer the same support that you offered me.

    Thank you so much and feel free to email me any time.

    Best to you always,

    Nelly




  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,116
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    Nelly - GREAT news. Thanks for reporting back.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
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    I am going to be 55 years old this summer. I was called back at my 1st mammogram, then 7 years diagnostic mammograms, once recommended biopsy, I did not go after seeking second opinion, cause that is birads 3. In year 2019, I was finally diagnosed and went through the whole journey. Yesterday, 2 years 4 months after my treatment, I was arranged for biopsy again, I have not seen the detailed report yet. Since the lady said, the suspicious stuff is an area, I guess that is core needle again, I already got one chip in my breast (I just knew this a few months ago, I thought they shall remove it during surgery), I just wonder how many chips can be stored in my breast. My breast is quite small, I think they can easily find the surgery area.

    I understand biopsy is the only one to know the fact, but after biopsy, the breast tissue is still there and still changing, then next round starts again. I enrolled here 10 years ago when I was first called back, back here in year 2019, I found my ID is still there. From year 2019, I found more biopsies are introduced than year 2012, I am really exhausted of that, now comes another one.. When technologies move forward, we can get diagnosis through non invasive ways? Biopsy is definitely good, but is it doable if repeat again and again?