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Confused about my test results



I had a routine mammogram the radiologist said the concern was BIRAD 5. Then I had a biopsy. The radiologist said it was cancer. He went on to say he would not believe my results if they came back benign. Which is a pretty confident answer. What do I do with that comment? I went home believing I had cancer. The biopsy came back benign. I haven’t spoke to my doctor because of the holiday but my doctor did say the results came back benign but that he recommend following up with the breast surgeon. Why would he say that? Words like adenosis and microcalifications were used in the biopsy results. I want to be excited but I also can’t get how confident the radiologist was and his comment he wouldn’t believe the results if it comes back with benign.

Does anyone have any insight for me?

I am concerned and feel very confused.

Thank you in advance.



  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 1,081
    edited July 5

    Hi @mcoleman80 , I’m sorry you were put in such a confusing and upsetting position. Most radiologists don’t diagnose cancer without biopsy results. BIRADS 5 does have a 5% chance of being benign.

    Sclerosing adenosis or radial scars are benign growths which are found in a tissue environment which is favorable for breast cancer. They can hide a nearby tumor on imaging. Some calcification patterns (like linear fine pleomorphic) are indicative of abnormal breast tissue. The current protocol recommends a wide excision (small lumpectomy) by a breast surgeon so that a larger area is biopsied. From what I’ve read there is anywhere from a 2% to 40% chance of malignancy. It’s rare so there isn’t much data available.

    Discuss this with your doctor after the holiday and get an appointment with a breast surgeon. My local hospital followed an older protocol of observation for architectural distortion caused by radial scars and two and a half years later I ended up with IDC; it probably would have been DCIS (stage 0) if my biopsy were done sooner. Hopefully you’ll have a better outcome than I did but I’m still here to tell the tale. All the best!

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 113

    Hi @mcoleman80

    Unfortunately b.c. isn't as straight-forward as we would all like it to be. I also think it's important to follow up with a breast surgeon and perhaps have a wider biopsy, if that's what they recommend. It may or may not be b.c., but you really want to get it out while still small if it is malignant.

    I also had a radiologist who didn't believe a benign result. She wanted to go back in and do another MRI biopsy as it was difficult getting to the area of concern and she was afraid she may have 'missed' it on the first one. Unfortunately, she was overruled by a peer and they took the 'wait and watch' attitude. 9 months later it had grown so they did another biopsy which turned out to be malignant. My breast surgeon was livid that they hadn't followed up on the original result. It may not have made a difference in the treatment in my case, but it really isn't something that should have happened.

    You are not me and your situation may be different. You don't know until they follow up on it. Even if it turns out to be b.c., if found early it is usually very treatable. We are all here to be evidence of that. I know the whole thing is scary. Take it one step at a time. We are all here for you if you need us.

    Take care.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287

    Hi @mcoleman80, and welcome to We're so sorry for the worries that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us. As you can already see, our community is made up of some amazing members, always willing to offer information, advice, encouragement, and support — we're all here for you!

    You've received some great responses above, and we don't have much to add. We agree, a biopsy will be the best way to know what's going on, and help develop a clear path forward. We, too, are so sorry for the confusion your radiologist has caused and the worry you're going through.

    If it's helpful, here's some information to help understand a little better about what you might be dealing with:

    We hope this helps and that you get answers soon! Please keep us posted with what you find out. We're thinking of you!

    —The Mods