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Waiting for my biopsy - possibility of third breast cancer


I had my first breast cancer diagnosed 12/2007. I had a lumpectomy and radiation. As part of my follow up, I alternated between mammogram and ultrasound and MRI every six months. All was good until 12/2015 - almost 8 years to the date - when there was a non mass enhancement near the lumpectomy site on my MRI. I had a biopsy which was normal but the doctors thought the results were discordant so I had an MRI guided biopsy in January 2016. They found a tiny cancer. My surgeon had left the area and I was on the hunt for a new surgeon and found someone recommended on this site. He was the breast cancer surgery chief at a major hospital and he recommended another lumpectomy (I know, totally unorthodox). My company was sold and I was scared of losing my job so I did not seek a second opinion. I had a lumpectomy with IORT. I also got Herceptin for a year and I have been on Arimidex for 8 years. Fast forward 8 years to 12/2023 and again I have an MRI report that reads almost exactly like my 12/2015 report and I am due for another MRI guided biopsy. This will be my third breast cancer if a malignancy is found. I am older now so things will be harder than they would have been 8 years ago. My last oncologist and surgeon left the area so I really don't have a team in place (I do have a new oncologist but I don't really feel that I am known). I really am not looking forward to doing this all again. My sister had breast cancer a year after my first occurrence and hers never recurred. Was I meant to have cancer again or was it the treatment I received? I was called back after my July mammogram and had more slides plus an ultrasound. They thought they saw something then but the radiologist then thought it was scar tissue. Well, looks like they were wrong and 6 months passed needlessly.


  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 111

    Hi @jonib !

    Really sorry you had to be here once again. When is your biopsy? First of all, try and take it one thing at a time…you know the drill. Maybe it will be benign?

    If not, you will handle it….I know you can do it! It really stinks that it is always around the holidays though isn't it? Both my diagnosis ended up around the year end holidays also. My dx were 19 years apart, so I was like you, having to find a new team. All of mine had retired except my ps. It's hard, but I think I like my new M.O. better than my 1st one and I liked him a lot, so you never know.

    I think I did pretty much everything possible and I still recurred, so don't compare your experience to your sister. My latest dx with an MRI biopsy was 10 months after I had another MRI biopsy. A disagreement between radiologists caused the delay. The one that immediately wanted to do another biopsy was right. I was angry, but it's water over the dam…can't do anything about it now. It sounds like you have been so diligent, that if it does prove to be malignant, hopefully you caught it early.

    Hang in there and let us know how it goes. You've got a wonderful community of support here willing to help you.

    Take care.

  • jonib
    jonib Member Posts: 94

    Hi @mandy23 - thank you so much for your response. It is good to hear from someone who understands what I am going through and can empathize. I can't discuss too much with my family as I know it upsets them. Although I have had B9 biopsies, they were always based on mammograms or US. The MRI biopsies always come up malignant! Hoping my luck is changing. I just retired and was looking forward to enjoying myself. Thanks again.