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Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried —

Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time. PLEASE DO NOT POST PICTURES OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. Comparing notes, symptoms, or characteristics is not helpful here, as only medical professionals can accurately evaluate and assess your individual situation.

Posted on: Jan 16, 2009 01:32PM

helene333 wrote:

Hi, I am new here, glad I found this forum. I am so confused about the treatment I am receiving..... I went for a screening mammogram in early December and was told that it showed an abnormality. A second mammogram and sonogram were done. They both showed a star-shaped lesion in one breast. I then received an ultrasound guided biopsy, it came back negative. The doctor still didn't feel convinced so had a stereotactic biopsy done a few days ago. That, too, came back negative, shwing no cancer cellls.  But my doctor says that, in order to rule out cancer 100 percent and find out what the lesion is, an MRI should be done. She says an MRI might tell us if what I have is simply a radial scar.....(I thought a radial scar was diagnosed through biopsy, not MRI) Has anyone experienced a similar treatment history where an MRI was done AFTER two negative biopsies?

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Jan 16, 2009 01:55PM FitChik wrote:

I know a woman who had a battery of mammograms, ultrasounds, etc. and nothing was found until the MRI. She, originally, had a lump that disappeared, but she just felt that something was wrong and kept pursuing it. It turns out that she was correct. Of course, that's not to suggest that you do have cancer but, rather, that when anything is suspicious, it's best to exhaust all of the diagnostic tools available to find out what's going on. Since biopsies only sample selected areas of tissue, its always possible that the important area is bypassed.

And bottom line...you can't really have piece of mind until you exhaust all of the avenues, right?


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." ~Nora Ephron
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Jan 16, 2009 02:59PM lisasayers wrote:

Mammogram didn't catch mine, ultrasound didn't catch it....MRI did!

One year cancer FREE 10/24/09! Bilateral with TE 10/24/08, 4 Cycles TC ended 2/6/09, Exchange Surgery 410 Gummie 3/20/09 Dx 9/25/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 16, 2009 05:33PM helene333 wrote:

Thanks for your replies, I really appreciate it....

I can understand why one would want to do an MRI in addition to mammogram and sonogram, especially with someone who has dense breasts, like myself. But after two biopsies that showed no cancer present?  I always assumed that a biopsy would be the final step.... that the results would be trusted. I also thought that a stereotactic biopsy was a very precise way of making sure that one got samples of the tissue in question..... that the suspicious area could not be bypassed.....Am a totally wrong?

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Jan 16, 2009 06:20PM anianiau wrote:

An excisional biopsy, which removes the entire lesion, would have been definitive for a single lesion, if it were done with wire localization. That is one reason why some women opt for an excisional biopsy, over a stereotactic. A second reason is that if the stereotactic does find something, surgery to remove it will be the next step anyway.

I googled images for "star-shaped breast lesions" and came up with this:

3.2.3. Spiculated lesions

This is by far the most definitive way to detect cancer. As a cancer cell proliferates, it shows up as a ‘star-shaped' or ‘stellate' lesion, with spiky lines radiating in all directions from a central region. A white star shape is characteristic of a malignant stellate lesion whereas the black star indicates a radial scar and post-traumatic fat necrosis. In advanced cases, spicules that approach the skin or muscle, cause retraction and localized breast distortion.

Your MD may well be responding to the presence of a "star-shaped lesion" as the reason for having an MRI done. Please don't dismiss her concern. This isn't something you want them to miss! You might also want to talk with her about having an excisional biopsy.

In any case, I wish you good luck.


Dx 10/20/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 18, 2009 09:00AM helene333 wrote:

Thanks again for everyone's advice. I have decided to go ahead and have the MRI done, just to be safe.....

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Jan 18, 2009 09:05AM Mykidsmom wrote:

Helen - I had digital dx mammograms, US's and two biopsies as well as two MRI's last year in order to dx my issue. The problem w/ the biopsies is that they can miss the lesion in question (that's what happened on my first bx). The MRI is not a difficult procedure. Just drink a lot of water the day before and try to think of something fun while you are in there. It is noisey. Best wishes and let us know how things turn out! - Jean

Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy w/ Tissue Expanders - 12/08 Exchange 04/09 Dx 8/25/2008, LCIS, Stage 0
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Jan 18, 2009 09:12AM samiam40A wrote:

I also had a clean digital mamm and u/s.  The only test that detected my invasive cancer was the MRI.  I had put it off for two years due to cost and claustrophobia concerns.  Wish I could do that over again!  Definitely take advantage of every resource available to you.  Best of luck.

IDC diagnosed 1/12/09, 1.6 cm, ER+/PR+/HER-, MIB-1 15%, bilat mx w/TEs scheduled for 2/3/09; awaiting BRCA results

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