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Waiting for biopsy

ness7432
ness7432 Member Posts: 11
edited June 2022 in Waiting for Test Results

Hi Everyone,

My name is Amy, 40 years old, mother of 3 sons and 3 bonus kids. I am here because I am in the long 3 week wait for biopsies and I am not sure what to do with myself. I was hoping to tell my story, if others have had similar and how it worked out for them, or just read and gain information for whatever is happens next. I went for my first mammogram ever on 4/29. I was told it was very common to be called back after the first one and I was, instantly. They found asymmetries in both breasts and I am heterogeneously dense. They also saw a calcification in one lymph node but the radiologist feels that is from tattoo ink as I have several chest/arm/shoulder tattoos. I go in for diagnostic mammogram and was then sent for ultrasound. The radiologist came in to the room to also do a live scan in front of him, he seemed pretty concerned or perplexed. He said that what he saw on the first mammogram on the right breast is seen again in the diagnostic one but can't seem to locate it on the u/s. However the left one is for sure seen on u/s and I need to have both biopsied. He even used the words, I can't exactly determine what it is but it definitely isn't benign, and I don't know if he meant definitely isn't just nothing or like definitely cancerous. He has to do the right side biopsy using the mammo machine and the left side using the u/s. The report that was posted to my portal after the fact said the left side has a "non-circumscribed hypoechoic oval mass" and has a margin of 6mm and is 7 x 3 x 6 mm. Which seems taller than wide to me, which isn't typically good news, and the other labels of the mass aren't the good ones either. They also gave me a Bi-RADS score of 4. I am the kind of person that would rather prepare for the worst instead of hope for the best. Does anyone have any information on these kinds of findings? I don't go for the right side biopsy until next Monday and then the left side which is the mass until the following Monday 5/23.

Thank you for your time,

Amy

Comments

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 252
    edited May 2022

    Hi Amy,

    I am sorry to see your worry but glad you are here.

    Birads 4 is a polite way to say that to more than likely benign, but cancer needs to be ruled out.

    Call to see if both biopsies can get scheduled simultaneously (totally doable) or ask to get put on a waitlist if a cancelation comes up. That is a long time to wait for results, and that is the hardest part. Try to stay busy doing something fun off your bucket list or a favorite activity to get the days to pass quicker.

    I wish you benign results.

    Please keep us posted out here.



  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884
    edited May 2022

    Amy, welcome to our community. We're sorry that these changes brought you here, but so glad that you reached out to join us. We know it's scary, but many, many biopsies come back benign, as you'll read in our article Biopsy. May we also suggest that you check out the article What Mammograms Show: Calcifications, Cysts, Fibroadenomas that describes some of the benign results that can come from testing.

    Good luck on your biopsies! Please keep us posted!

    The Mods


  • ness7432
    ness7432 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2022

    Thank you both! I appreciate the guidance. I was hoping to do both at once, but one of them has to be done guided by u/s and one guided by mammogram so that's why they scheduled them seperate, but I am going to call tomorrow to see if that can be arranged or worked out so I don't have to wait as long for the second one at least. That is good to hear, I thought the BIRADS 4 was a little more of a chance its not benign. I will read those articles posted and stay busy, thank you so much :)

    Amy

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    wondering44,

    I also got birads 4 this time, and will get biopsy reports in 2 days. As I surfed in this forum, I found lots of women said they got birads 4. Is birads 4 officially included in the imaging reporting system? I know what 4a, 4b, and 4c mean.

    For my case, they gave me biopsy appt very quickly, even without scanning again. I thought it might be 5, cause they are so determined. It took me 10 days to get appt with family doctor, when I saw it is birads 4 and only 5 mm, I felt relax. Now, time to get biopsy report, what is the negative percentage of birads 4?

    Cathy

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 252
    edited May 2022

    Cathy,

    It is my understanding a birads 4 is to get insurance to cover the cost to biopsy.

    4a - 2%-10% cancer risk, 4b - 10%-50% cancer risk, & 4c - 50%-95% cancer risk. I don't know if the % changes with a previous cancer dx. 4a & 4b are much better than a 4c or 5.

    I did an MRI biopsy yesterday. I have to wait for the stereotactic biopsy until the results for the MRI biopsy come in. They were not able to do both at the same time. They did consider it though. I was happy with the consideration. I had an endoscopy and biopsies done during it today.

    I'm not too concerned with the “wait for results" this go round. I was happy just getting to the biopsy. For me, good or bad, I will have the results now that I have the biopsy knocked out .

    I did hate waiting for the biopsy…seemed to take forever.

    I hope you and ness get benign results. I know waiting is stressful. I remember having higher stress when I was new at this. It was a lot to manage during that time. Let's cross our fingers for ness. I can imagine her world right now with her wait.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    wondering44,

    Thanks for the explanation. I am so stressful that I've investigated this birads4 a lot, doctors simplify jobs, I see.

    Sorry that you were biopsied today, I noticed your last diagnosis was not far away. Fingers crossed, for benigh results.

    Cathy

  • ness7432
    ness7432 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2022

    Cathy and wondering,

    I am sorry to hear you guys are also waiting for biopsies or results. I hate that I can't get both mine done at the same time too, I also need a mammogram guided stereotactic and a vacuum assisted ultrasound guided one. I reached out to my PCP to try and find out what letter A B or C the radiologist thought it was. This was his response: "The recommendation is to get a biopsy done. The ABC terminology is used to determine how suspicious the lesion is for cancer. The recommendation means that the suspicion is high enough to pursue a biopsy. I do not think a, B or C would add any more information in this case." My reply was well a 10% chance or a 95% chance does make a difference to the person waiting three weeks for a biopsy. And of course, no reply lol. I left a voicemail today with the Breast Care Coordinator today to get more answers. It is my mass or tumor in my body, I think I have a right to ask questions about it. I would rather be prepared for the worst. Then hopefully be pleasantly surprised. I wish you both all the best prayers and healing and benign results. I can only imagine how much fun going through TSA and flying was after all that!

    Amy

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    Amy,

    Thanks for the info. I think doctors use this way to simplify their jobs, only birads 4 requires three sub categories. As I went through the process, I was cared very well physically, so nice to be treated during biopsy, but they seldom care our mentor health. Maybe because most of them are male, they don't understand what those mean to a lady has so long waiting time.

    Yeah, if it is 4a, I won't worry so much, just have normal life. If it is 4c, I will prepare it as it is 5.

    Wish all got benign results.

    Cathy

  • ness7432
    ness7432 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2022

    Cathy,

    Well right I thought Birads 4 DID require a letter assigned to it, but they only put 4. And when I asked my primary care (who ordered the original mammo and radiology said if I had any questions to go thru who ordered it) he told me basically it doesn't matter as I posted above so I'm confused. But it matters to me, and yes exactly either I will expect the worst or not think of it as much. I'm hoping the breast care center calls back tomorrow. Thank you, and I will say prayers for all of us.

    Amy

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    Amy,

    My first mammogram was ten years ago, the time I registered in this forum. Like you, I was also ordered for a biopsy, however they only gave me birads 3! They thought I don't understand report? I talked to my family doctor, who agreed with my thinking, so he helped refer to another doctor to take another look. 2nd opinion back six month follow up which complies with birads 3, they called me and asked for my opinion, I said yes, I would prefer six months follow up. That is my story.

    To vent the stress, I go to pool very frequently, my swimming distance greatly improved, .. you''d better find something to do during this waiting. It occupies at least tenth of this year's time.

    Fingers crossed for the benign news.

    Thinking of the ladies who are also in the biopsy result waiting rooms. Doctors think a simple 4 is enough, because they think the report is for doctors' usage, they forget it is patient's right to get know what it means, we patients are becoming more and more knowledgeable.

    Cathy

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 252
    edited May 2022

    Amy,

    I'm not educated on why doctors do a birads 4 without an a, b, or c. I have read it before though.

    My birads last year was a 4c (high suspicion). My biopsy confirmed the cancer dx. This year I have a birads 4a (low suspicion) for findings on mammogram and a birads 4b (moderate suspicion) for MRI findings. I think each facility may have different ways of doing things. The facility you are at may stop at birads 4 or may not have put it on your report (not sure).

    Last year my area of concern showed on the mammogram and ultrasound. The radiologist at that time said it is more suspicious when the same area shows on both the mammogram and ultrasound. If that info. is not in your reports you can definitely ask the facility that did the imaging.

    Your PCP correct in getting the birads info. you are looking for from the facility who did the ultrasound and mammogram. The PCP may only have access to the same report you have that shows the birads 4.

    Dr. Google is not your friend right now. Yes, it is hard to not search. Yes, many of us spent countless hours trying to get the answers there too. Try to talk to your doctors about questions. Make a list and call the breast care center to get better info. It is totally okay to call them to get all of your questions and concerns addressed while you wait for biopsies. It is okay to make it their job to explain everything during the "wait." If you have more questions keep posting here. This place has a lot of experience and a lot of great information to share with you. :-)

  • ness7432
    ness7432 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2022

    "Thinking of the ladies who are also in the biopsy result waiting rooms. Doctors think a simple 4 is enough, because they think the report is for doctors' usage, they forget it is patient's right to get know what it means, we patients are becoming more and more knowledgeable." EXACTLY THIS!

    My PCP is in the same building, he could have easily called over and asked for answers to my question, and the report specifically says if you have any questions about the report please call the doctor who ordered it. So I did, but I agree with you, they don't realize this goes to my portal and I can read it, and while I don't google some random information, I do read medical reports and research trials, and if I want to know something about what is inside my body, they should tell me. So yes I did call the breast care coordinator in the women's health office where they are doing my tests and hopefully she will call me back today.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    Same here, I only read official publications, but all said birads 4 has 3 sub categories.


  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 252
    edited May 2022

    ness,

    You are correct it is your right to have the right info. Push to get it. Don't feel bad about the pushing.

    My comment on "Dr. Google" only comes from a kind place. I spent countless hours last year searching while waiting. What I eventually learned was that my time was best spent doing fun things and enjoying my hours with my family. Dr. Google did not change the results. I did allow that "Dirty Dr. Google" to compromise my time I could have spent enjoying my husband and children. This year I have spent my time doing fun things with my family and friends. That has helped the time go by much better. That is all I meant by it. :-)

  • ness7432
    ness7432 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2022

    wondering, I'm sorry I didn't mean to imply you meant anything else by it! I giggled at the dr google cuz I know it's never the best idea I was just saying I do make sure to read factual or professional stuff rather. And you are correct it's far better spending time with family as you said, im only looking it up while I am at work during down time actually im wayyy too busy during the day haha but yes agreed it's best not to focus on it because no matter what reports I read won't change the outcome or results for me personally. But it did help me gather some questions. I am definitely going to push for answers however no matter what she tells me I really won't know for another few weeks regardless so I will try to put it out of mind for now. I'm waiting for a call back though to see what she says. Thank you and again sorry I wasn't offended or anything like that.

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 252
    edited May 2022

    ness,

    No offense taken on this side. :-)

    Save your finger strength from Google search for logging in your MyChart to check to see your results are posted. My fingers are in need of a break already. I am definitely giving them an excellent workout, lol. Not that the results will get posted any quicker with the EXCESS of log ins. :-D

    Please keep us posted on your results.

  • ness7432
    ness7432 Member Posts: 11
    edited May 2022

    Wondering,

    Haha! We are much alike. I do that with every test! I don't want to know how many times I refresh the test results page. I'm an over obsessing for sure. But I haven't even had the biopsies yet so I won't be doing that until next week and the week after lol The breast care coordinator called me back and she really didn't answer my questions she was just reading the report I have already read and she said well because it's oval it wouldn't be vertical it's horizontal and that to me doesn't make sense because something can be oval and vertical but she did say if it was taller than wide he would have wrote that however He put the measurements as 7 by 3 by 6 (length times with times height) is what I was always taught so that would mean so if the width is 3 and the height is 6 then it's taller then wide. So idk I don't think she wanted to tell me anything that wasn't already read on the paper. I'm getting a copy of the images tomorrow. And will just wait it out and hope.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    ness,

    Pushing won't change the result, but it can let us better prepare for it. Google let me know the options and why dr. recommend this not that.

    Good luck for all of us.

    Cathy

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 411
    edited May 2022

    Biopsy back normal, thanks everybody.

  • purplecat
    purplecat Member Posts: 226
    edited May 2022

    So glad for you! Thanks for sharing

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 252
    edited May 2022

    Cathy,

    Congrats! I am SO HAPPY for you.

    My results are benign and I can trust the results since it was done at MD Anderson. Woo woo! I only have to remove my right breast after the nipple-sparing mastectomy error last year. I am ecstatic!

    Ness, I will keep you in my prayers while you wait.

  • msozrn
    msozrn Member Posts: 6
    edited June 2022

    Hi. New to this forum. I have had normal mammograms. I am 51. I just had one and they wanted a diagnostic one due to calcifications in only one breast. NO LUMPS OR MASSES. BIRAD 4, I was told in the chart. The people there were so cold and machine like. But, they said I need a biopsy. My right breast has no calcifications. I have breast implants. And I have had a lift. I had several surgeries to say the least, LOL. No history of breast cancer. I AM SCARED!! I am also an Oncology nurse and just started new job at new facility. They seen a small cluster of calcifications in left breast. PLEASE HELP

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 735
    edited June 2022

    Hi msozrn,

    Callbacks are always scary, but please know that birads 4 does NOT mean cancer is likely. It means that they cannot rule out cancer without a biopsy, that there is at least a 3% chance it is cancer. When doctors are confident that it's cancer, they rate it as birads 5.

    If it is malignant, the fact that its calcifications might mean it's still in situ and hasn't spread yet. That is sometimes considered pre-cancer. But whatever it is, it is less scary once you know what you are dealing with.

    I was terrified when my biopsy came back malignant. But treatment wasn't so bad, and I'm ok now. Yes, it might come back some day. But if it had been benign, the chance of cancer would still always have been hanging over my head because all women are at risk.

    Hang in there!