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Topic: Spiculated Mass

Forum: Waiting for Test Results —

For members not diagnosed with breast cancer, but waiting for test results:  Biopsy, mammogram, ultrasound, or other screening tests. Waiting is VERY difficult but remember...

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom

Posted on: Jan 17, 2009 06:50PM

joanmac52 wrote:

I have just received the news fom my gynocologist that they have found a starburst shaped mass at 12:00 on my right breast 1/2 inch in size. I have made an appointment to see a surgeon as my Dr. said I need a biopsy asap. What should I expect now??? I am scared and from what I have read this does not look good. Any answers will help as I haven't talked to anyone yet about this. Thanks

Joan Dx 2/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 17, 2009 07:17PM anianiau wrote:

This is scarey territory. Take deep breath, joanmac52, then do the follow up your MD has set up.

What should lyou expect? My guess is that you will have a lot of decision making to do, as soon as you know what you are dealing with. Sounds as though you have a single mass, so an excisional biopsy would give you a definitive answer to the question, Is this cancer? Other biopsy methods can miss the target, so if you are given a choice, you may want to request the excisional biopsy.

When you go to the appointment that is being set up with your surgeon, TALK with him/her! You'll get his/her best effort on your behalf if you ask for the reasons behind the recommendations being made.

I suggest bringing along a significant other to the surgical consultation. That person could be your husband, friend, sister, whoever you know will be level-headed enough to handle the job of listening, taking notes, and asking questions you may not have thought to ask. Yes, you should make the decisions, but that doesn't mean you can't have help.

Of course you are scared! You can ask you MD for anti-anxiety meds if you think that would help.

Whatever you decide, know that you have come to a very good place for support and information. Women who have traveled your path--whatever it may be--know the inside scoop on how to handle day to day issues. (I think the registration shows about 44,000 women and some men, as well, are registered users.) The research threads are good places to search for expert information from the MDs and clinicians.

You can go to the chat rooms as well as the discussion boards, for real-time contact with other users. I wish you the best of outcomes. Please let people know how you fare. 

Hugs & aloha.

Dx 10/20/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 17, 2009 07:57PM jast wrote:

Hi joanmac52,

Sorry to hear you are going through this--this board is a great place to get support.  

I found out right before Christmas that I had a spiculated mass with a Birads 5 rating.  My surgeon suggested a needle biopsy, which I had and it came back as a benign fibroadenoma. However, my surgeon is not comfortable with the result because fibroadenomas are not spiculated--so I am now going to have an excisional biopsy.

As anianiau wrote, an excisional biopsy would give you a definitive result. I did take my husband with me, which I found helpful.  I was quite nervous and forgot about half of what the doctor said, so my husband was able to fill in the blanks.  The waiting is difficult--I have found it helpful to stay busy with projects around the house.

Best wishes for a B9 outcome!


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Jan 17, 2009 10:13PM Lories wrote:

Hi joanmac - first I am sorry you had to join the club, I was just diagnosed a month ago today, right before Christmas, so am fresh in the mix.  Luckily, for me, because I am so impatient, I was able to be diagnosed quickly and had the surgery a few weeks later.

The first procedure will be a biopsy, so do encourage your doc to set one up soon.  That is the worst part, waiting for the biopsy, then waiting for results, then waiting for the next step.

There are a number of different techniques for doing a biopsy, one, if you can feel the lump, the doc can take a sample with a needle.  If not they will either locate it on a sonogram or with a mammogram or with an MRI to locate the mass and then take a sample.  Once you know what kind of biopsy you are having, there are a lot of different threads on this forum that can explain the technique. 

It could be a day or two later that you get pathology results, then your doc can offer different choices and can recommend what comes next.  When it comes to surgery, if it is indeed cancer, then chose what you feel is the best way to go.  Most treatment options have similar outcomes and your doc can help with his thoughts as well.  Much depends on the type of cancer and the location and the size and the size of your breasts as well.

This is not a fun time for you, but this site is an excellent place to find answers and ask questions. 

I hope things turn out well - there are many, many caring people here who are a fabulous resource, and we are with you!  Keep us posted.  Lori

Dx 12/19/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 2/1/2009 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2009 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/15/2011
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Jan 18, 2009 12:23AM revkat wrote:

A spiculated mass flips the odds that the lump will be cancerous from the 80% benign -- 20 % cancer to 80% cancer -- 20% benign. But that still is a significant chunk of them that turn out benign.

Lori gave a good overview of what happens now. Best of luck to you and hope for a good outcome.

Dx 1/28/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/20 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Jan 18, 2009 10:15AM auntpeggy wrote:

Hi!  Thats what I have.  A 3 cm spiculated mass.  I found a lump that felt like the size of a pea.  They told me I was feeling one tip of a star shaped mass.  It didn't show up on mammogram either.  Only thing that showed up was microcalcifications.  Imagine a 3cm tumor not showing up!  That in itself is scary.  Had sterotactic biopsy under mammogram and ultrasound.  Both positive for breast cancer.  Invasive Ductal.  Next step is surgery.  Bilateral mastectomy. 


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Jan 18, 2009 10:38AM auntpeggy wrote:

Sorry, I guess I should have posted in the Newly Diagnosed section.  So glad I found this site.


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Jan 18, 2009 01:05PM joanmac52 wrote:

Thanks to all of you who have replied. Who did you get to do the biopsy, local surgeon ????? what kind of surgeon????... and should I insist on an MRI of both breast before the biopsy??? I don't know where to start or who to see I am so confused!!!!!!!!!!

Joan Dx 2/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 18, 2009 01:57PM - edited Jan 18, 2009 01:59PM by leaf

Hi Joan!  At my place, my routine mammogram was ordered by my OB/GYN.  It was suspicious.  The radiologist recommended a biopsy, but it had to be ordered by a clinician.  My OB/GYN ordered the biopsy.  When I got the results, I was referred to a breast surgeon, who did the excisional biopsy. 

Some people get a breast surgeon involved earlier than this. Then the breast surgeon recommends a biopsy.  At my place, the radiologist can't order a biopsy.  I suspect they want several docs involved in case of law suits.

Whether or not you have an MRI may depend on your situation.  MRIs are not as invasive as a biopsy, but they are costly, and some insurance companies will not cover them.  So sometimes in the process of getting diagnosed, some people have MRIs and some don't.

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 18, 2009 02:59PM Lories wrote:

Hi Joan - leaf is right.  Since your gyn got you started they can order up the biopsy.

The other thing they can do is to recommend a BS or surgeon who is familiar with breast cancer surgery and treatment.  In my town there are only 2 BS so the surgeon I had recommended by my OBgyn years ago (when I had a small cyst) had done a lot of breast surgeries. He is also one of the main supporters of BC fundraising in town and I routinely send all my mammograms and test results to him.

His nurses were right on the stick and ordered my biopsy immediately.

He called me on the phone with the diagnosis and when I saw him a few days later to discuss it all, he ordered up an MRI.  He wanted to be sure the cancer had not spread anywhere which can show up on MRI.  His staff got me in the very next day (Christmas Eve) which was incredible.

So, get that biopsy scheduled asap and also get some recommendations on a surgeon, and have your obgyn get you in for an appointment - these docs have the power to move us up in lines and get us seen soon.   Or if you know someone who knows someone get help to weasal in (remember I said I was impatient :))

My obgyn was very good and called me as well to ensure I was good with a surgeon as well when he realized I needed a biopsy.  I am so lucky to have good people, and there are a lot of them out there.

Your signature does not say where you live, but you may get some advice from this forum. If you lived in Anchorage I could help.  Thinking of you.  Lori

Dx 12/19/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 2/1/2009 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2009 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/15/2011
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Jan 19, 2009 09:35AM jast wrote:

The radiologist called my OB/GYN (who ordered the initial mammogram/ultrasound) with the results and my OB/GYN ordered the biopsy and referred me to a breast surgeon at a breast center.  The surgeon did the needle biopsy and will do the excisional biopsy at then end of the month.  My surgeon did not suggest and MRI and I did not know enough to inquire about one.  

This site has helped to educate me...I will ask about an MRI.  What I have learned so far is to ask a lot of questions about the process, all options available, why the surgeon wants to do things a certain way, etc.  Then do research--this is helping me to feel more comfortable with the course of action.   

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Jan 19, 2009 12:21PM joanmac52 wrote:

Thanks a bunch, I Don't even know what kind of surgeon my Ob-Gyn is sending me to. I feel stupid I left it in his hands I told him to refer me to someone good,that's where we left it. His office set this appointment up for me. I meet for consult on Wed morning , I know better now to ask questions I will have a list with me....Thanks for this site or I would not know where to start....I will ask for Xanax lol.

Joan Dx 2/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 21, 2009 11:08AM jast wrote:

Hi joan,

Don't be hard on yourself-this is unchartered territory.  It is reasonable to get a referral from a physician that you trust and if you desire, you can always opt for a second opinion.  Hope the consult went well.


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Feb 21, 2009 08:08AM - edited Feb 21, 2009 08:10AM by jan-marie


I am new here today but noticed your post about the biopsy of a spiculated mass that came back as fibroadenoma. Your doctor said that wasn't possible, but here's an article I found last night that said that it could be a fibromatosis, The name of the article is "Fibromatosis: The Breast Cancer Imitator" and it was published in Southern Medical Journal, 2004 Vol. 97, No. 11, pp 1100-1103. Of course your doctor would need to evaluate the atricle, but at least it proves that a spiculated mass could be a fibroadenoma and not a cancer.

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Feb 23, 2009 12:25PM shap wrote:

Hi...where I live the follow ups are either coordinated by the radiology dept at the hospital or with a surgeon that your OB/GYN refers you too. I highly recommend the surgeon route. They still work with the radiology dept at the hospital, but I had my excisional biopsy on Tuesday and the surgeon called personally with the results on Thursday (benign thankfully). A week after my benign results I got a letter from the hospital telling me that my mammogram showed suspicious calcifications and I should seek follow up procedures. I was really glad my OB/GYN and subsequent surgeon (who was just a general surgeon, but still great) were so pro-active on my behalf.

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Apr 30, 2017 01:24PM Nimmichstp wrote:

I am new to this group. My mammogram shows a new, irregular, speculated mass with architectural distortion in my right breast. I'm scheduled for a spot compression and ultrasound next Wednesday. My breast is not dense. Should I be concerned

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Apr 30, 2017 05:01PM Tpralph wrote:

nimmich, speculated is never a good word; however most breast masses are benign.  I think whenever we get a breast lump there is concern; howeve you are doing what you can and following up with your health care suggestions ie, u/s and spot compression , from there they will decide if it is concerning enough to get a biopsy. No point worry about what might be until you know. (terrible advice from me who worries all the time). IN the meantime, try to keep busy and I find distraction with friends/ family and chores helps.  I also like to bake!

Dx 3/10/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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May 4, 2017 06:36PM Nimmichstp wrote:

thanks. I have a biopsy scheduled for tomorrow, ultrasound-guided. We shall see

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