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Topic: lumpectomy tomorrow for atypical cells

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 26, 2011 02:07PM

momcorba wrote:

I went for my routine mamogram over the christmas break.  I always have a diagnostic one since I have a thickening on my left breast.  When they called, I thought they were calling about that.  But they were calling about the Right breast.  I went for a second Mamo a few days later.  Then a week later they did the biopsy.  When I went for the results they said it wasn't cancer, but atypical cells and that they needed to take them out and a margin.  They said the cells are small and with the margins they are taking about a golfball size out.  I am small breasted anyway!  I am mostly getting nervous about the needles that the radiology dept will put in before.  They said I am awake for that part!  I am getting real nervous about this and being put under. Then I get to start the 2 week wait to see if there is any cancer.  Anyone who has gone thru this and can give me some advice on the procedure tomorrow, I  would appreciate it.


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Jan 26, 2011 02:21PM MammaShells wrote:

I'm sorry that you are going through this! I just had this done in November, feel free to PM me. The wires weren't bad, I sat at the machine while they guided them in and it went fine. They tape the wires down so that you aren't too uncomfortable and they also give you something before the anesthesia to help relax you. I was surprised at how long it took to recover and expected 24-48 hrs and it was a little longer than that. But, everyone's experience is different.Wishing you all the best!

Dx 11/15/2010, LCIS, Stage 0 Surgery 2/24/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Jan 26, 2011 06:26PM cherylmi wrote:

I have atypical cells also..... been waiting for my steroatactic biopsy results for over two weeks now...... thinking I may be on the same path.... mine were just microcalcifications cluster they biopsied..... was yours a mass or clusters of microcals??? Hoping & praying for the best for you....

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Jan 26, 2011 06:34PM - edited Jan 26, 2011 06:35PM by bdavis

I had this 12 years ago... and this year was diagnosed with cancer. What I have learned is that a) I still have atypical cells b) my risk of cancer rose from 15-25% because of the cells c) the procedure is not bad at all d) if I knew then what I knew now, I may have started Tamoxifen as a preventative, which would have cut my cancer risk by 45%.

My pathology reports still come back as hyperplasia, but also adenosis, metaplasia and pappillomas... plus microcalcifications. Because I still have "things" in my breast that are suspect and can lead to cancer, I will be discussing prophylactic MX with onc on Friday... MANY times, it does not turn to cancer, but since it has for me, I am not inclined to see what happens in the future. 

I actually recently posted a thread on hyperplasia, invasive carcinoma and recurrance since I was so concerned.

But as far the procedure, I have now had 2 lumpectomies (one for ADH and one for IDC), MRI guided biopsy and a couple of needle biopsies... no problems at all.

Please PM me if you have any questions.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 26, 2011 06:55PM cherylmi wrote:

Thanks for the info bdavis and sorry about your cancer diagnosis..... I do not know what my result will be yet but if I do have the same as you 12 years ago am wondering how long they checked your status.... yearly mammo or such.... I have multiple microcals in both breasts but just the one group was clustering. I am wondering which route to take if I do end up with the increased risk added to my current risks of 100% cancer on my fathers side.  Two cousins died in their late 40's from breast cancer and my aunt had bilateral mastectomies in her 40's for cancer. My brother died at 16 of embryonical carcinoma. And my father has one brother with prostate, one with throat, sister died of stomach and mother died of stomach, sister died of leukemia and my father has had precancerous colon polyps removed. I have read through medical journals that the fathers side counts as much as the mothers even though some say not. Well guess I will have to wait my results to decide.  This waiting is the worst.  WIll be about three to three and half weeks before I get the result.  Thinking if it was invasive breast cancer they were suspecting they would have had me on the next step already. Thinking they are having a hard time deciding where to categorize me WHO KNOWS!!!! Well best of luck with your treatment and I may do the elective MX if need be.

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Jan 26, 2011 07:30PM bdavis wrote:

Hi Cherylml...After my first lumpectomy, at age 35, I had yearly mammograms and yearly checks with the breast surgeon in addition to my gyno appts.  I did that for about 5-6 years and then the surgeon said to come back only if I had a problem... I continued my mammos and soon added ultrasounds. I have had cysts, fibroids and have known I am lumpy. Last year I has a cyst aspirated just to make sure it was ok... and then this september I found a lump and the rest is history.

You have a LOT of cancer in your family and before you make any surgical decisions, I would get genetic testing... with your history, you are totally entitled (me, not so much). If you are BRCA + you have a 85% chance of cancer... you would want to know that before a lumpectomy.

And a mastectomy doesn't have to be drastic... yes, they remove all the tissue, but there are possibilies of skin sparing and nipple sparing (a bit controversial) and the reconstruction is amazing. Having come out the other side of ADH and playing the wait and see game (post lumpectomy), I am a bit irked that I didn't do more, and won't make that mistake again. And when I say I wished I'd done more, no doctor would agree with me because I was proactive and on top of it all, except for the Tamoxifen (but no one mentioned that all these years). And by the way, neither lump showed up on my mammogram.

Be your own advocate and do your homework... which you are just being here. 

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 26, 2011 08:11PM cherylmi wrote:

@ bdavis thanks for the input.... I too have very dense breasts with four cysts in the right in the past and have fiborcystic breast disease.  Lumps all over so hard to tell what to worry about.  Heard dense breasts are many times poor for tumor views so am looking at asking for MRI too if they will justify it after I receive my biopsy results whichever way it comes out. I am going to stay proactive as they will allow me on this....will post my results as soon as I recieve them... going on my third week waiting now and getting ready for the worst but praying for the best.... Best of luck again with your continued journey and success in beating this :)

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Jan 26, 2011 11:49PM GabbyCal wrote:

I hope all goes well for you tomorrow. I had this done last week. They used the same local anesthetic they used for the biopsy to "numb" my breast so I didn't feel them put in the wire.

Take care and give yourself time for R&R after the procedure.  

Dx 12/23/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 27, 2011 08:54PM momcorba wrote:

Yes, mine were cluster.  So, after they got me dressrd, they wheeled me down to radiology and using the mamography machine they numbed me and then put in 2 kneedle to mark the spot.  They had a very hard time, because it is way under my arm.  I started to faint before the first one, and I did faint as they were doing the secondf one.  It was not painful, just a very little pinch when they numbed it, but the way I had to stand and bend my back and neck and being under the compressions for so long add to that not eating, and they think that is why I fainted.  I didnt look at the needles or anything.  They brought me back up starts and then did the surgery.  The most painful part is now.  I did not want to use the narc. pain pills, but it is getting pretty uncomfortable, so I am.  And that diffentaly helped. Motrin did nothing. I am staying home from work tomorrow and will learn my results from the lumpectomy next thurs.  Cheryl, after the biopsy, they told me in 5 days.  Have you called them?  Thanks for everyones thoughts and prayers.

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Jan 28, 2011 07:28PM cherylmi wrote:

My biopsy came back after 14 days...... ALH and having MRI next week due to dense breast tissue to make sure not missing anything..... also set up for one week visit to breast clinic at Mayos clinic in Rochester to look at options for lupectomy and further testing on right side which has 5 cysts and cluster of microcals also that were not biopsied.  This changes my risk of getting invasive cancer from 1 of 8 to 1 of 5 according to them??? So going to be proactive and catch it as they stated at Mayos the cells can lead DCIS and invasive over time if left.  Any others with this and needing treatment???

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Jan 28, 2011 07:29PM cherylmi wrote:

Hoping yours comes out well momcorba.... the waiting is the worst I think :) 

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Jan 28, 2011 08:23PM bdavis wrote:

Cheryl... if they just do a lumpectomy, you may want to consider tamoxifen... it can attack those atypical cells... how old are you? Tamoxifen will push you into menapause.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 28, 2011 10:01PM cherylmi wrote:

bdavis I am 45 and just want to do what is right to prevent the next step from coming which I am fearful will be DCIS or IBC.  Believe I probably have had the ALH for three years already and am thinking they are going to find it in the other breast too at Mayos later this month.  Am going there for full five day work up end of February and have MRI next week bilateral breasts. Maybe tamoxifen will be the choice if they think that will keep it calm.  Just worried about SE's.  My co-worker was on it and felt suicidal.  Did not find that as a common side effect though per literature.

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Jan 28, 2011 10:20PM bdavis wrote:

CHERYL...I am just 48 and premenapausal... but with chemo and tamoxifen, I will go thru menapause... My onc says that ADH or ALH can be combated with tamoxifen and reduce cancer risk by 45%... thats a pretty large percentage... He told me that if I had come to him 12 years ago when I ONLY had ADH he could have recommended it and perhaps I wouldn't be here now with cancer... but water under the bridge.

You are doing all the right things...  And now that I know what I know, if I were in your shoes, I would take the drug assuming you can handle the side effects.  I am also going to have my ovaries removed which is one more thing I can do to reduce my estrogen. Neither of us are sooo young... in that menapause is kind of right around the corner naturally anyway, so I don't think the osteoporsis concern for example will be severe... 

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 31, 2011 11:56AM laura49 wrote:

I am in a similar situation....2 walnut size areas with ADH, my surgery is not until March 4th....1st mammogram Nov 15 Both areas were new clustered calcification about 12 calcifications each. I am scheduled for an MRI next week. Did you have an MRI? Did you get the genetic testing before the surgery? I was told the genetic testing is done post-op so I am glad the other poster made mention that pre-op makes more sense?

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Feb 3, 2011 01:45PM momcorba wrote:

Well in a couple of hours I go see the surgeon for my post op and to get my results.  Today makes a week since my lumpectomy, and the site is still tender, and the strips are still in place.  Was anyone else still sore?  I thought it would feel better by now.

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Feb 3, 2011 01:54PM marie5890 wrote:


I just wanted to wish you well with your appointment.

I didnt have a lumpectomy, just a stereotactic biop, so I cant speak to the tenderness. But I still am incredibly bruised so if that is any indication (mine was a week ago as well), I would say that I would not be surprised that you are still tender.

Talk to your Dr about it though.  

Jan '11 Biopsy Dx-ed a PASH tumor (rare, but benign tumor)....All I ask is for peace and serenity to the depths of my soul. Makes the rest of life more live-able.
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Feb 4, 2011 11:04AM vmudrow wrote:

cherylmi - Hi, last year I was diagnoised with ALH with a stereotactic biopsy, they also took out a golf ball sized piece of tissue, to analyze.  I was barely an A cup before - so didn't have much to lose.  I was sent to a oncologist who wanted me to start Tamoxifen right away.  I have as strong family history of breast cancer - mom, aunt, cousin (died at 53) - I am 50. So I went for genetic counseling - my mom was tested for BRCA (negative), but they took all my history (previous biopsies etc) and figured my risk to 40% chance of getting breast cancer at some point.  Well, after talking to surgeon (said I would have to have MRIs every year, which show more, which mean more biopsies) and the side effects of Tamoxifen we decided to have nipple/skin sparing masectomies.  I was so done with the tests, worrying everytime.  Happy to say the surgery went well - I didn't have much in the way of breast to loose - I know have silicone implants - and no Tamoxifen, no biopsies, etc.  So happy it is all over.  Wish the best of luck to all you ladies!! Hugs, Valerie

valerie, Diagnoised 1/24/2010 with atypical lobular hyperplasia, prophylactic NSM on 5/6/10, strong family history, 40% risk of breast cancer
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Feb 4, 2011 11:05AM vmudrow wrote:

Oh forgot to say that there aren't too many that have masectomies that have ALH only - but it was the right decision for me...

valerie, Diagnoised 1/24/2010 with atypical lobular hyperplasia, prophylactic NSM on 5/6/10, strong family history, 40% risk of breast cancer

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