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Prior calcifications, now bloody discharge

workhard_playhard80 Member Posts: 2
edited June 2023 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

Hi all, I know this is not a board for medical advice, I guess I just needed to write this down in a place where people would "get it". I'm in my early 40's, two years ago my annual mammogram came back with a cluster of microcalcifications in my right breast. I had a follow up diagnostic, and was categorized as BIRADS 4. Had a stereotactic biopsy and marker placed, but pathology came back as benign, fibrocystic changes and adenosis. Which was a relief. Last year's screening was unremarkable.

Then, a little over two weeks ago I had some blood stains in my bra. Squeezed, and more dark blood came out. Cleaned it up to squeeze again, and it's just a single duct, which happens to be on the same breast as my prior biopsy. I have an appointment for a diagnostic mammogram, plus ultrasound of breasts and axilla next Friday, but am trying to just not worry too much. If it had been multiple ducts, or the other breast, I think I'd be more likely to chalk it up to coincidence, but part of me is worried they missed something in the biopsy a few years ago.

My mom died of cancer at age 49 (not breast, but a rare lung cancer- Pancoats tumor), so I'm extra sensitive about this. I also had an abnormal pap last summer, and am on a "wait and recheck" on that too. I had high grade SIL on my cervix in my early 20's and had a LEEP to remove, and haven't had a single abnormal pap since. It was just "atypical squamus cells of undetermined significance", so no lesions, etc. this time, but all of it just feels heavy.

If you've had both microcalcifications and bloody discharge in the same breast, and it all turned out great, I'd love to hear your story. If you had similar symptoms and did it turn out to be something, I'd also be interested. I'm an information seeker, so I just hate this waiting until I can get in for my imaging. Thanks for reading, I know it's long!


  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 848

    @workhard_playhard80 , I'm sorry that you have joined all those waiting for imaging. Waiting is hard but it is part of the diagnostic process. Condolences on your mother's untimely death. Pancoast tumors are thought to be caused by environmental exposure rather than genes. While there are some hereditary cancers most occur for no known genetic reason.

    There are protocols in place for diagnosing suspicious lesions which begin with imaging and are followed by biopsy if warranted. I've had more biopsies of multiple body parts than I can easily count (including 4 LEEP procedures and 2 cone biopsies of the cervix as well as one breast biopsy) and have had every possible result: benign, infectious, inflammatory, atypical, indeterminate, precancerous and malignant (just twice.) While it is possible for cancer to be missed by a biopsy it is unlikely. More often a malignancy was not present if the previous biopsy was clear and has developed more recently. I have several precancerous areas that are biopsied on a regular schedule to check that they remain stable.

    Not knowing is stressful but other people's diagnoses have no bearing on your situation. In the meantime try to stay busy to distract yourself. Let us know how the imaging turns out. I hope you get good results!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,893

    @workhard_playhard80 We echo Maggie's sentiments. We're so very sorry for the worries that bring you here, but we hope you can keep yourself busy until you have more answers. Keep us posted with what you find out next Friday — we'll be thinking of you!

    —The Mods

  • workhard_playhard80
    workhard_playhard80 Member Posts: 2

    Thanks to you both. I know that the lung cancer isn't hereditary, I think her age just makes me more aware of my own mortality and that just being young-ish doesn't mean I'm invincible. I know I won't get all the answers at the imaging appointment, but hopefully, I'll at least have a better idea of the next steps. When I went through diagnostic imaging the last time they were able to tell me that I'd need the biopsy and I scheduled that before I left. Thanks for the support, and I'll definitely be keeping myself busy between now and then.

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 151

    Years before I had cancer, I had bloody discharge from one of my nipples. I was pregnant at the time. Turned out to be a papilloma in one of the ducts and a fibroadenoma. I had a small surgery to remove the papilloma and was fine afterwards.