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Topic: Biopsy marker migration and pain...4 years post biopsy?

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: Nov 27, 2010 04:11PM

Valarina61 wrote:


I guess I should start with a little history. I am 49. I had both breasts lifted and augmented (saline) in 1994. I had a TAH in 2000. Generally healthy but suffer from GIRD (have had several esophageal dialations) and the occasional hernia. Over the years my breast implants had encapsulated to the point where it was painful just to hug people. I decided to have them replaced... so 5 years ago they were replaced with silicone submuscular. They are small and are placed high so that most of my natural tissue falls below. Very happy with them. I have had annual mammograms for about 10 years. Four years ago there was micro calicfications found in my right breast so sent for a biopsy. They did a repeat mammo at that time and found 3 more areas so I had 2 biopsies on each breasts. At each site they placed a clip. Everything was benign and have had no problems since.

Six weeks ago I woke up with a searing pain in my right breast (outer lower quadrant). It came and went for the next week or so. I made an appointment with my N.P. She did a breast exam and said she felt a lump at 7 o'clock (same breast). I could not feel it. Sent for a mammogram at the end of that week. There, they did an exam prior to mammo. Examiner didn't feel that lump but felt 2 small hard areas just off of my areola (same breast). Had mammo... then they did an u/s. Didn't speak to radiologist but was told everything was fine and to follow up with doctor. Called N.P. for an appt. because still having pain and now breast in that area has become larger. She prescribed 10 days of antibiotics and would schedule an MRI. Waited 8 days and didn't hear anything. I did another BSE and found a hard pea sized (but elongated) lump between the 2 spots nurse had felt at time of mammo. Reported this to N.P.'s office when I called about MRI. Insurance refused to pay for MRI so asked did they want me to have biopsy with this new lump or what? They would call back... but didn't. So I called and made an appt with N.P. My appt was Wednesday. N.P. didn't realise that I had silicone so that is good cause insurance will pay for MRI since that's the case. N.P. did exam found the same lump I did and noticed my breast is getting even bigger. After exam I asked her if it was possible for a biopsy marker to migrate. Her response left me reeling!!! Yes, it is. One of yours has moved didn't anyone tell you? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Why wasn't I told and isn't it possible that this is what the problem is? "Mmmmm... I don't think so. I don't know anyone who has experienced pain from a biopsy clip." She went to get my mammo and u/s report but of course they weren't in my file. When they find them they will fax them to me. Now I am waiting for MRI appt. Has anyone else had this problem? I haven't found much info on line. I would appreciate any feedback.

Sorry this is so long but wanted to give as much information up front as I could. 

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Nov 27, 2010 05:46PM leaf wrote:

Yes, markers can move.  This woman had a 4cm movement in 10 months.  Since this is a case report, that would make me think that this is a large movement. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11...  It looks like a more common movement is about 4mm over several months. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19137493

That doesn't mean that's what your breast lumps and/or pain are due to breast clips.

Breast pain is quite common.  They often can't find a cause. www.mayoclinic.com/health/brea...

This one woman appeared to have an allergic reaction to her titanium clip, but she had an extensive history of allergies, and had atorpic dermatitis shortly after breast clip placement. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11...

So while it is possible your pain is due to the breast clip,  I find no Pubmed references to any association between breast clips and breast pain.  

Of course, your breast pain is distressing.  It must really affect your quality of life.  But I wouldn't jump to the assumption that your breast clip is definitely causing the pain.  

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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Nov 27, 2010 06:15PM Valarina61 wrote:


Thank you for the reply. I too read the same "articles" that you posted. To be honest my first thought when the burning pain started was it felt similar to when I had my biopsies done. (My right breast never completely got numb). But when I researched it I couldn't find much. So I put that thought aside. I then researched other causes of breast pain and really found nothing that fit.I am just at my witts end from the worry and uncertainty. This pain is new and only in that area. However, the lump I have found doesn't hurt just the tissue around it. I haven't felt any enlarged lymph nodes but have had pain on and off on that side under my arm, in my elbow and around my collar bone. My gut tells me that it is something to do with one of the markers but I could very well be wrong because I don't yet know where it has moved to. I guess my jumping to conclusions is wishful thinking that that is all it is and then it could just be removed. Again, thank you for taking the time to research and respond.

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Nov 28, 2010 06:42AM leaf wrote:

I sure hope your breast pain resolves very soon, and all your lumps are Boringly Benign.

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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Jun 13, 2013 09:43AM nanasusie4 wrote:

Hi, I also had biopsies done in both breast 1 year ago. They did not find cancer. Thank God. I had to go in a few times  for check ups. I have had pain in the right breast now for awhile Right around the sight. I often wondered if it wasn't the marker. I go tomorrow to have another mamo and going to ask what they think. If i get a good answer ,will let you know. The pain is burning and sometimes sharp quick pain. Very scary to me.TTYL.


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Nov 16, 2013 01:09PM brogers2000 wrote:


I just had a biopsy on my left breast for micro calcification they found after all the mammogram's I had, etc. It was 10/16/13 and now today I have a pain in my left breast as you explain. I had a biopsy marker put in but they told me right after when they do the mammogram to check on the marker that it had moved and it is not in the place it should have been. I barely started having the pain when I had my menstrual cycle on 11/6. So I called the nurse from the breast care where I had my surgery and she said for me to call my doctor after my period is over if I still had the pain because it could be an infection inside. So of course now I am on my 2nd day of antibiotics and the pain hasn't subsided at all. I have a feeling it is the biopsy maker too. What can be done about that? Anyone find out if this does cause infection inside just wandering around? Not feeling very happy. The biopsy itself didn't feel as painful as what I feel now. :(

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Dec 25, 2013 07:05PM django wrote:

Wow, oh, wow.  I'm so relieved to hear of others who are suffering from the same problems.  I had a mass removed from the upper quadrant of my left breast approximately four years ago, followed up, of course, with a good ole' titanium clip.  

Fast forward to now, my left breast is much different and larger than the right, and the pain to the left outer quadrant is so severe at times I just sit and cry.  I cannot lay on that side and I have trouble moving that arm around.  My little boy sat next to me one day, leaned his head on me and I almost went through the roof because of the shooting pain.  I do feel a slight "sumpin-sumpin," but in all honesty, just because the pain is such a searing, stabbing type, I can't help but wonder if it's the clip.  Maybe it was bored where it was and decided to go sightseeing.  

Of course, this little tidbit of "oh yeah, the clip MIGHT migrate" was never mentioned at the time.  Yay!.  

Brogers, I feel for you.   I do think there are a lot of us in the same boat here.  

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May 21, 2014 03:16PM P_CZ wrote:

Well....it's clear from all my searching on the interwebs that these titanium clips do indeed migrate.  That's what I think is happening in my left breast.

I had a biopsy a month ago...and was having the usual nominal pain of recovery.  Then, the searing pain/burning sensations started.  Intermittent, and thankfully, fairly short in duration.  Now, as of a week ago, I have a tiny oblong lump under the healed incision point.  Scar tissue?  Migrated clip??

I went to the breast center again today where two nurses looked at it, and they agreed that it might've migrated up the biopsy tunnel to my skin over the last couple weeks.  (It was properly placed in the beginning, as shown on mammography.)

I go back tomorrow to have another mammogram to see where it is (where's Waldo??)...and I expect to see it is now located under my skin.  If it has migrated, I believe I can safely assume the pain was due to the movement of that little sharp-ish piece of metal.  And if it is right under the skin, where the doc would only have to nick the skin under a local anesthetic (same as in the biopsy) to remove it, I'm going to ask that it be removed.  I hope that's possible, as I don't intend to go around with this thing under my skin forever...lol.


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Feb 8, 2015 09:47AM kathy744 wrote:

I just had an ultrasound guided core needle biopsy 5 days ago, the pain was unbelievable. The radiologist said he couldn't numb anymore because then he couldn't see the nodule. He inserted a titanium marker. The first couple of days after I couldn't feel the marker, all of a sudden if I move the wrong way or sit too fast it feels like it is cutting through me. I jogged up the stairs yesterday to answer my phone and the pain was very bad and then I get a feeling of electrical shocks to my nipple. The biopsy came back as low grade cancer so the nodule will be removed and they better remove the marker at the same time. I am now scheduled for a stereotactic biopsy for calcifications in a different area of the same breast, I am going to tell them not to put a marker in. If it is cancerous the whole thing will be removed anyway. I believe my marker is moving already.

Dx 2/5/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2/19/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/13/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
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Feb 8, 2015 11:25AM leaf wrote:

I have no doubt you had intense pain during your biopsy. When I had brackets placed before my excision, I had pain of at least 9/10, although this is quite uncommon per a survey I did here. No one should have to go through that kind of pain.

I think it is much more likely that you are having pain from your biopsy than pain from your breast marker. Obviously, they use a needle that cuts breast tissue when you have a biopsy. It is common to have pain at the site of most surgeries. It is common to have 'electrical shocks' after a breast biopsy/surgery. I had a marker inserted after my core biopsy, and the marker was removed at my excision. I certainly had plenty of 'electrical' sensations after my excision, and there was no marker present. Most people think its because nerves in the breast can be cut when you have a biopsy or excision. The 'electrical' sensations gradually decreased over time (several months-years) for me.

If a breast marker can help prevent putting in a bracket (like a pin so the surgeon can locate the 'area of concern'), personally, I'd rather have a breast marker put in. Before my excision, I had 2 brackets (pins) inserted. This was more painful than my previous core biopsy (partly I'm sure because of the attitude of the radiologist). You may want to talk with your radiologist whether they'd need to put brackets in if they end up needing to excise this area.

Every person is different, so your situation, choices and preferences may be different than mine. I just want you to have less pain.

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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