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Jun 26, 2008 04:46AM
, edited Jun 26, 2008 11:54PM
Lisa, I replied when you originally posted last week, but yours was one of the many duplicate posts out there and my response was attached to your other post and now is lost somewhere in the pile of old posts. I'm reposting here because I have a bit of a different perspective from what most have said.
You absolutely need to get clarification on what the radiologist reported about your mammogram, but depending on what actually was said, it could well be that waiting 6 months for a follow-up mammogram is a reasonable approach. It's all a question of whether you actually have DCIS calcifications or calcifications that only have a 5% chance of being cancer. It's not possible to have both.
Here's my post from last week with more of a explanation:
Are you sure that the radiologist said that you had "DCIS calcification"? That doesn't seem right, for a couple of reasons.
First, while the radiologist may see calcifications, it is impossible for him to know if the calcifications are DCIS or if they are normal benign calcifications (which 60% of women get). Calcifications can be macro (larger) or micro (smaller) and they can be scattered or clustered or linear. If they are macro, they are benign. If they are scattered, they are benign. If they micro and are either clustered or linear, they probably are benign (80% of the time) but they could be cancer (20% of the time; mostly DCIS). So anyone who has clustered or linear microcalcs should be sent for a biopsy. That's the only way to know if it's DCIS.
Second, DCIS is cancer. It's Stage 0 non-invasive cancer, but it is cancer. Because it's Stage 0, some doctors do consider it to be pre-cancer, but it still has to be treated as if it's cancer. It has to be removed. There's no question or debate about this. So if you have DCIS, the radiologist would not have said that it's not serious and you can wait 6 months for another mammogram. Even if it just appears that's there's a possibility that it could be DCIS, a biopsy would be the next step.
So my guess is that the radiologist doesn't think you have DCIS. It sounds much more likely that you have calcifications that are not either clustered or linear - calcifications that appear benign. The normal treatment in this sitation is a follow-up mammogram in 6 months. This is done just to ensure that no new calcifications turn up that change the pattern to form a clustered or linear appearance. If the calcifications remain stable for 6 months and continue to appear benign, then the docs are happy and you're confirmed as being okay.
My recommendation is that you get a copy of your mammogram report to see what it says. Your family doctor or gyne should also advise you on it, letting you know if he or she agrees that the 6-month follow-up is appropriate based on what the mammogram showed.
As for the pains, it sounds as though your pains may be related to the mammogram itself - the stretching and contorting and squeezing could cause all the pains that you describe.
Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage IA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke