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Pathology Question

Mk2615 Member Posts: 6


I had a double mastectomy last week following a breast cancer recurrence. A biopsy confirmed I had ER- PR- DCIS in two different areas of my breast. I have just received the pathology results from my double mastectomy, and it is saying that I do not have DCIS or any other type of cancer in either breast. I would be thrilled with this news, but I have not undergone any type of treatment for the cancer. I am feeling very confused. How could it have disappeared between the biopsy and the surgery. The two areas of concern were each about 1.5 cm, so I know they were small but they were not microscopic. Has anyone else ever gone through something similar? Did they miss my cancer somehow during surgery or did I just undergo a major surgery for no reason


  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    I'd guess that maybe all the suspicious tissue was removed during the biopsy? Best thing to do is ask your doctor to review the report with you.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,366

    Sounds like you need to discuss the pathology with your doctor. 1.5 cm is over half an inch, so not an insignificant size. What type of biopsies did you have?

  • Mk2615
    Mk2615 Member Posts: 6

    I had core needle biopsies - several biopsies on each area of DCIS. It didn’t even cross my mind that my surgeon might have somehow missed it during my mastectomy, but he just called and is ordering me an MRI to see if it is still showing up on scans. I don’t understand how you miss that when you are removing all of the breast tissue, but I guess it is possible.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,366

    That sounds really frustrating, but I'm glad they will do the MRI and hopefully they won't find anything. Still strange, though. (I asked about the type of biopsy because I thought maybe they took the tumor out for biopsy, but with a needle that seems highly unlikely.) Sorry you have to go through the anxiety; let us know when the MRI is scheduled. Take care.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192

    mk2615 was your recurrence close to you skin or your chest wall where it might be difficult to "collect" all the tissue? Seems pretty surprising that all your DCIS was removed in the initial biopsy and could happen I guess but I would think then they were unbelievably accurate with that needle.

    Might be worth it to have a separate set of eyes review your initial biopsy pathology and your surgical pathology just to understand. Bless you I hope you get clarity soon.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    Most breast tissue is actually just fat, so it's definitely possible for something to be left behind or missed if it's close to the edge of the surgery site, like rah suggested. It's great that they are taking it seriously though! I hope you get some answers soon.

  • quietgirl
    quietgirl Member Posts: 165

    I have gone back and forth whether to post or not but decided you can always just ignore me if I'm not making sense

    just for something to compare I went back to the pathology report on my biopsy to maybe give you some insight while you wait for more information

    sample one which was Ductal carcinoma in situ involving numerous cores of tissue these are the 9 measured segments

    1.6 cm in length x 0.4 cm in diameter, entirely in A3.

    2.0 cm in length x 0.5 cm in diameter, entirely in A3.

    1.0 cm in length x 0.4 cm in diameter, entirely in A4.

    1.4 cm in length x 0.6 cm in diameter, entirely in A4.

    1.6 cm in length x 0.3 cm in diameter, entirely in A4.
    0.8 cm in length x 0.5 cm in diameter, entirely in A5.

    1.8 cm in length x 0.5 cm in diameter, entirely in A5.
    1.9 cm in length x 0.5 cm in diameter, entirely in A6.

    1.7 cm in length x 0.4 cm in diameter, entirely in A6.

    My point is all that in those lengths were in one of my samples from the two sites that were biopsied

    I'm not saying that all your DCIS was removed in your biopsy, mine certainly was not. just suggesting that how long something is doesn't mean it's also that wide. And since DCIS is icontained in the duct, it seems like it would need to be sheer luck to remove it all during a biopsy and if everything was removed by biopsy there would have been absolutely no way of them knowing that.

    I can only imagine how tough this is and hoping that you get answers very soon. Waiting for answers to questions you were expecting is often the hardest part I think.

  • wondering44
    wondering44 Member Posts: 247

    Ask your surgeon after your MRI to confirm there was not any residual breast tissue left during your mastectomy. Residual breast tissue should show on an MRI. Unfortunately, it does happen. A re-excision before radiation (if you are doing rads) is an option if breast tissue was left over.

    Hopefully your MRI will show not a thing and allow you to breathe again.

    Crossing fingers for you. I know the waiting and wondering is difficult