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Worried about upcoming biopsy and next steps

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Initially diagnosed in 12/2018 with triple positive IDC. Had full treatment and have been on AI’s ever since. Recent mammogram shows fine pleomorphic calcifications in the lumpectomy bed (BI-RADS 4). I have a biopsy scheduled for Thursday, and I am trying to figure out next steps if it is a recurrence. I had bad cording after my surgery in Jan 2019, and worry about how mastectomy is to recover from. Should I get a bone scan? PET scan? I have had hip/back pain but have assumed it’s the AI. I am trying not to get ahead of myself, but it is a struggle.
Lulu

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  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
    edited July 2023
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    Hi Luluh

    Sorry you are going through this. Hang in there. You are not alone. I am in a similar situation, since I just found a little tiny bump in my chest, attached to the pec muscle. I got an ultrasound and I am waiting for the report.

    You will get a biopsy, and if the area is confirmed to be cancer (hopefully it won’t be), it would be only then that they will order a PET scan of your entire body, to determine if the cancer is a local recurrence (in which case you would get curative treatment) or if you also have mets in distant places (hopefully not, but in that in case you would be Stage IV, and therefore you would get different, palliative treatment)

    Nothing you can do until you get that biopsy and the results. Only that will drive the next imaging, if any. Fingers crossed you don’t have cancer!

    On your second question, I found the recovery of mastectomy to be relatively easy, and it gave me peace of mind not to have to get a mammogram ever again.

    Laughing Gull

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    Hi Laughing Gull,

    I appreciate your response. I am trying to not over research, and am trying to focus on other things.

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this same anxiety. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you too! I hope that your report is clear and there’s nothing going on. Keep me posted on how it goes.

    Lulu H

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
    edited July 2023
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    Hi Luluh,

    Fingers crossed for you too.

    I got the results of my ultrasound, and they unfortunately couldn't see any mass in the ultrasound. My palpable lump is tiny, and it probably blends with the surrounding tissue. The surgeon will schedule a procedure to remove it to biopsy it. I have no date yet for this procedure, but I am hoping for a spot to open soon. in the meantime, I am trying to stay distracted, with movies and special activities and anything that distracts me and calms my mind.

    LaughingGull

  • survivor11
    survivor11 Member Posts: 430
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    Thank you LaughingGull for directing me here and I really appreciate your earlier response. So I found a marble sized lump, about 2 cm 6 days ago In initially dx Lt breast. Initial dx with IDC stage 1, ER and Prog +, HER -. DMX, with reconstruction and 4 cycles of TAC in 2011, age 39. No issues since and tumor markers lowest they have ever been as of 8/2022. Went to Oncologist today and scheduled for needle bx this Wen. Freaking out just as you both are but trying to keep myself as calm as possible. Hugs to us all.

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    The removal of my lump (since it is tiny and right under the skin, it will be removed entirely to biopsy it) is scheduled for Tuesday next week.

    Survivor11, I will be thinking of you tomorrow and I wish from the bottom of my heart that your lump is benign. I see in your signature that you had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction with implants. If you dont mind my asking, where is your lump? Between skin and implant? By the mastectomy scar? Mine is in the chest wall, under the skin and attached to the pectoral muscle, like a peppercorn in size.

    luluh, best luck for Thursday.

    Really panicking today 😩

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    I know how overwhelming it feels right now. 🌊😬Breathe deep and know that you are stronger than your fears. I am thinking good thoughts and am hoping for the best possible outcomes for you both. 🤞🏻It has helped me to know that I am not alone and I want you to remember that you also are not alone. ❤️Here’s to courage, to hope, and to good news for us all.

    Lulu H.

  • survivor11
    survivor11 Member Posts: 430
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    laughinggull, it appears to be between the implant and my skin, very easily felt. Same breast as initial dx. I am sending you prayers and hugs for Thursday. I kinda wish I was going under to just have it all removed, not looking forward to another needle biopsy, last time I bleed like a pig and my whole breast bruised.
    Thank you Lilith.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
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    I don't have a lump, but on July 7th I went for my mammogram. It states in the orders to do an ultrasound "if needed". I've had them off and on through the past few years. Well, they did an ultrasound and the tech told me there was something there that wasn't there last year. I switched imaging centers, so she said it could be just that. The radiologist wants me back in 6 months ( I got them to move up to 3 months) to do another ultrasound. If it's stable, then there is no need for a biopsy.

    I had to have a biopsy a couple years after treatment on my surviving boob. They did a lift at the time of my reconstruction, and it left some scarring or something behind, that's what showed up. Now, this father down the road, I'm just hoping it's just a difference between the two center's imaging equipment.

  • bennybear
    bennybear Member Posts: 245
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    I’m sorry you’re all going through this. Honestly, the not knowing is the toughest. Once you know you’ll make plans to move forward! Hugs!

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
    edited July 2023
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    Hi all,

    Survivor11, best of luck with your biopsy today! Does your lump move, or is it fixed? Mine is tiny, like a peppercorn, and I can move it under my skin, but it is attached to the pec muscle, bc I feel it moving with the muscle. I understand wanting it all removed. We need to be patient. I will be thinking of you .

    Luluh has her biopsy on Thursday, i.e. tomorrow. Mine will be on Tuesday next week.

    Hi homemom, welcome and thanks for chiming in. You have some history. So you get mammograms in the non-cancer breast, and ultrasounds in the cancer/mastectomy breast? And the changes are in the cancer side? Hopefully, it will be the change of equipment, as you say. Good for you to move it up to 3 months!

    Waiting for my removal/biopsy, trying to stay calm and distracted. And taking half Ativan at night to avoid waking up at 3am to poke my lump. What are your strategies to deal with the anxiety? This really tries my patience and sanity.

    Have a great day everyone,

    LaughingGull

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
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    No, everything is on the non cancer breast - mammo and ultrasound.

    I've been taking a CBD: 9:1 that I got from the dispensary. I was taking zzzquil every night and wanted to stop.The CBD calms you so your brain isn't working overtime. That's what keeps me awake most nights. That and some random song!

    I take one before I go to bed, but twice I've had to get up at around 1 or 2 and take another one.

  • survivor11
    survivor11 Member Posts: 430
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    LaughingGull, it is rather small and I can’t really tell if it’s movable or if that is the implant moving. I had the biopsy today, have to wait 3-5 days for results. I am sending prayers for your soon to be biopsy. Praying for you Home om

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    Happy for you survivor11 that you had the biopsy already. I hope you get the results before the weekend and that they are benign!!!

    homemom, I agree nights are the worst. I took half Ativan last night and slept like a log all night. I am planning on doing the same for the next few days.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
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    Thank you Survivor - here's to all of our worries to be for naught!

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    lulluh, good luck with the biopsy today. Fingers crossed that it's easy and painless and reveals benign lessions only.

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    The biopsy went well - not too painful and I seem to be doing ok. The waiting is so hard😩. Here’s to good outcomes for us all. Hang in there❤️


    Lulu H

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,126
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    Hello ladies! I have been following this forum and my heart goes out to all of you because waiting really is the worst part. I have had three biopsies due to results of mammogram or US and all were positive for cancer, so I know firsthand how it feels. I also had a mass that was seen on an US that they told me to wait 6 months and then another US to check for growth. I waited, actually slightly more than the 6 months, but thankfully that was benign. I think they say 6 months because the mass should double by that time if it's cancer. Don't quote me on that, no one told me that, I just came to that conclusion.

    That said, having had breast cancer three times all I can say is I am crossing my fingers that all of your results will be benign! Cyber hugs for all of you!

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    One step closer Luluh…do you have any fun activities planned for the weekend? I filled my weekend with plans, so I have less time to worry. And at night, early to bed with a sleeping pill. Everything looks and feels better in the morning.

    Thanks Mavericks. You didn’t have chemo or rads after the recurrences?

  • jh40
    jh40 Member Posts: 140
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    Hoping it’s ok to chime in here. Just had my first mammogram today after my single mastectomy and chemo. There was a 5mm spot in my remaining breast at the bottom of the nipple that I was told is “too round” to be cancer and is most likely a lymph node. Tech thought it was a fibroadenoma. Radiologist thinks it’s a lymph node and wants me back in 6 months for more imaging. After asking a million times if it could be cancer and receiving a million no’s, I am still feeling like I can’t trust it. Anyone else have a lymph node pop up on an ultrasound?

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    well, my path report came through the portal. It may be premature but…

    (According to MY reading of the biopsy report. Haven’t heard from the doctor officially)

    As I read the report - No cancer! I think it’s Fibrotic changes and some late stage reaction to the chemo/radiation & surgery). I hope that everyone else has similarly positive results!
    keeping you all in my heart❤️

    Lulu H.

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    Hi Luluh, thank you for sharing the excellent news! So happy for you. And kudos to the radiologist for uploading the report in time for the weekend. NOW you are going to have a wonderful weekend!

    jh40, I had fibroadenomas in my non-cancer breast since I was young, and was always reassured that they don't evolve into cancer. That's for fibroadenomas. Now into lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can be anywhere in the breast and they can appear in ultrasound. Radiologists have all these ways to measure their features and describe them: totally normal, a bit out of the norm in a totally benign way, to mildly suspicious to highly suspicious. etc., etc. (I am making the explanations up, but you get the idea); if they are reassuring you that what they see it's not cancer, I am sure they are right. But they should be able to explain why. Your diagnosis and treatment are very recent, and of course you don't want mysterious, unexplained thingies in your healthy breast. I know if I were you, I wouldn't stop until they explain the thing to my satisfaction. Have you talked to the dr, or just glanced at the report?

    Hope everyone has a great weekend,

    LaughingGull

  • jh40
    jh40 Member Posts: 140
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    laughinggull - I agree that an explanation would be warranted. I’d only been out of the appointment for a couple of hours before popping onto the forums for advice so I have no report to reference. The 3-D mammogram showed nothing and the radiologist (who was the same one that read my cancer diagnosis) wanted an ultrasound only for the sake of “completeness” is what I was told, and not because anything was suspicious. The ultrasound was given within 30 minutes of the mammogram. The tech is the one who paused on the nipple and said she thought it was a fibroadenoma. The radiologist asked for a video of the area and after viewing that concluded it was just a lymph node, but wanted me to come back in 6 months for further imaging, in what I would assume is an abundance of caution.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,126
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    laughinggull, I had both chemo and radiation after my first cancer in 2003 (IDC) After my surgery in 2019 for ILC, I had the oncotype testing and my number, while high enough to have chemo if I was young, was said to not likely to be effective due to being over 50, so no chemo and no rads because it was in same breast as the first and they won't radiate twice. I had a single mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction. I wanted a bilateral mastectomy and my breast surgeon refused to remove my "healthy" breast. Last August I was diagnosed with DCIS and IDC in my "former healthy" breast and they didn't feel chemo would be effective. Not sure why they didn't do radiation, but I am glad they didn't because in 2023 I was severely burned by radiation to the point of jelly bean size blisters and sloughing off of skin. It came back to haunt me after my DIEP reconstruction in 2019, because the skin had large open wounds that required me to have a home nurse visiting twice a week for months. What I experienced doesn't happen to most people who have radiation. Neither of my two sisters who also had breast cancer were burned the way I was.

    I am seeing my MO next week because of bone pain. I am fairly certain it is not metastasis, but I need to be sure.

    Luluh, so glad you got good news about biopsy results! Woohoo!

    I hope the rest of you have similar results like Luluh's!!!

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    LaughingGull,

    I’m thinking good thoughts! Good luck with your biopsy today. Fingers crossed that it's easy and painless and that it’s only a benign lesion. Hang in there!

    Lulu H

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
    edited July 2023
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    Thanks Luluh. So sweet of you to stop by. Makes me feel less afraid. My biopsy will be an excisional biopsy, performed by my surgeon in the OR. Right now sitting here in my gown waiting for the surgeon. I am going to ask him to please share his impression of the type of lump this is today after the surgery. The wait is so agonizing. Fingers crossed!

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    I had my excisional biopsy yesterday, it all went well. Round little mass, of nature unidentified, that was sent to pathology, and I will not hear about it until next week. The mass did not show signs of spreading out of itself, which would have been very concerning. That is not conclusive, only the pathology report will be, but it is kind of reassuring.

    Survivor11, we haven't heard from you. Did you get the biopsy results? Fingers crossed for you.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
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    I just got off the phone with my MO. We were discussing the bone density test from this morning. I have osteopenia in my lumbar area and she wants me to do more load bearing exercises. I took the chance to ask her about my mammogram/ultrasound. She read the report to me and everything discussed was followed with "benign". It looks similar to the "mass" that was seen in 2015 that turned out to be benign. She said not to stress over it, she's not concerned and neither should I be. I asked if I need to go back in 3 or 6 months. She said we can keep it at 3. Shewwww!!!

    I just have to look into back strengthening with weights. Positive vibes to you laughinggull!

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    Hi LaughingGull,

    I’m hoping that your little round mass is B9! I hope that you are healing up well. Keep us posted 💕

    Lulu H

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 511
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    My surgeon just call me to let me know that my lump is benign!
    Thank you all for your support. We haven’t heard yet from Survivor11

  • luluh
    luluh Member Posts: 20
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    LaughingGull, I’m so happy for you! Heal well and enjoy the rest of your summer!