Topic: Consult with surgeon leads to more tests/biopsies... and then?

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried — For those who are experiencing symptoms or received concerning test results, but haven't been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Posted on: Jun 1, 2022 04:55PM

Posted on: Jun 1, 2022 04:55PM

dani_p wrote:

So, in early March I had my annual mammogram, at that time they saw microcalcifications which led to my first biopsy. The biopsy showed an intraductal papilloma, and I was referred to a breast surgeon for excision. Fast forward to my appointment with the surgeon. The appointment was overwhelming. She did an exam, and found a couple of lumps on the side of the biopsy/papilloma (I'm also having some "pathological discharge" which she said could be attributed to the papilloma). She went over my risk, and with my family history, extremely dense breasts, no pregnancies (I just turned 50), she calculated my lifetime risk at 42%. She said with this risk, my insurance would pay for annual MRI screenings. She told me that with the density of my breasts, the likelihood of mammography finding a tumor was very small. Prior to scheduling the surgery to remove the papilloma, she wanted an ultrasound of the left side to get a better look at the lumps, as well as a MRI to make sure there wasn't anything else going on. I just had my ultrasound today, and now I need 3 more biopsies of the left side. The lump that she felt near my biopsy site, which she thought might be scar tissue, is something solid, and there was another solid lump nearby that had "scalloped/wavy" edges on the ultrasound (this was how the radiologist described it as he was showing it to me). The 3rd lump, he felt, was probably normal tissue but he said since we're doing the biopsies on the other 2, might as well check it out. He said he didn't see any evidence of dilated ducts that would explain the discharge. So I've got to do that now, as well as the MRI that is scheduled for next week. On top of all this, the breast surgeon had said I might want to consider going on Tamoxifen to lower my lifetime risk. I guess, this all depends on the biopsy/MRI results. Will this roller coaster ever end?

Multi focal Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) with DCIS, Left > 1cm, Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/29/2022 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Simple, Skin Sparing; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Jun 1, 2022 05:23PM bcincolorado wrote:

I am sorry you are dealing with this. If you trust this surgeon listen and follow the advice given. I know when I was fist diagnosted my surgeon ordered more testing as well. They want to make sure they know what they are looking at exactly and some are really good at this and can catch things well. Mine had a wonderful bedside manner and explained it all to me very well from the testing which was very overwhelming at first. Best wishes to you.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/1/2010 Mastectomy (Left): Nipple Sparing; Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander Surgery 1/1/2010 Mastectomy (Left): Nipple Sparing Surgery 1/7/2010 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 1, 2022 06:49PM k-gobby wrote:

I agree. I had my first mammogram in my life after I found the lump in June of 2021. From there an ultrasound/biopsy. Then an MRI for a better look. Then a bone scan, electrocardiogram and more visits. The Medical oncologist talked with the breast surgeon, gyno surgeon, plastics team and their PA's.

I was confident as they began treatment and continue treatments. I think the first test is the hardest. Those who want these tests done want to see what they need to do. Then they will tell you how they plan to tackle it all. They are hoping too that all is being done out of caution.

Get back with us. Someone in these treads nows. Join the zoom meet ups tues or Thu. Let all know you need support.

Chemotherapy 8/14/2021 Other Surgery 2/1/2022 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander Targeted Therapy 2/1/2022 Talzenna (talazoparib) Targeted Therapy 2/1/2022 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Jun 2, 2022 06:32PM parakeetsrule wrote:

They are being thorough and that's great. It's better to be thorough and find nothing than to be one of the many women who had cancer and were ignored or brushed off.

All the testing and waiting sucks though!
Stage 2 at 37, Stage 4 at 41. Cancer is dumb. Cookies are good. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/14/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2021 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/13/2021 Piqray (alpelisib) Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 8, 2022 04:46PM dani_p wrote:

I had my MRI this morning and biopsies this afternoon.

There was a few hours in between appointments, so they had a chance to look at the MRI before I showed up for the biopsy appointment. When the ultrasound tech brought me into the room, she said "we've had a chance to look at the MRI from this morning, and the radiologist wants me to look at a spot that showed up on the right breast." Of course, all my problems thus far have been on my left. After she took her pictures, the radiologist came in and explained that I had areas of enhancement on the right side, but that my breasts are "very complicated" and while at this time she is not going to recommend biopsy on the right, she wants to wait and see what the results are on the left. She said I may need a MRI guided biopsy on the right once we know what's going on with the left. Then she said, the left showed multiple areas of enhancement but she thought they probably corresponded to what I was being biopsied for. She did the 3 biopsies, placed markers, and then ran me back to MRI for a 5-10 minute scan to confirm she biopsied the right areas. MRI confirmed that she biopsied the areas in question. She said results in 2-3 days. Things she said made me feel like she's expecting these not to be benign, like "I'll be in contact with your surgeon so that we can come up with a plan," etc. Hopefully I'll get results by Friday so that I don't have to think about this all weekend!

Multi focal Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) with DCIS, Left > 1cm, Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/29/2022 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Simple, Skin Sparing; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Jun 8, 2022 07:17PM parakeetsrule wrote:

Fingers crossed for Friday results!

Stage 2 at 37, Stage 4 at 41. Cancer is dumb. Cookies are good. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/14/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2021 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/13/2021 Piqray (alpelisib) Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 13, 2022 09:55PM dani_p wrote:

I just got the call from the surgeon. One of the spots was IDC. She didn't give me many details. She did say it was ER+/PR+, and still waiting for HER2 status. She said it wasn't big, and my lymph nodes looked good on the MRI, so probably stage 1. I asked her to fax me all the imaging/pathology reports tomorrow so that I can try to digest this. She also now wants to do the MRI guided biopsy on the right side.

Multi focal Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) with DCIS, Left > 1cm, Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/29/2022 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Simple, Skin Sparing; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander
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Jun 14, 2022 05:03PM parakeetsrule wrote:

Well that's bad news! I'm sorry. It's good they caught it now while you have tons of treatment options.
Stage 2 at 37, Stage 4 at 41. Cancer is dumb. Cookies are good. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/14/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2021 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/13/2021 Piqray (alpelisib) Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 14, 2022 06:45PM btwnstars wrote:

Sorry you are going thru this. Def not the diagnosis you want to hear! But it sounds smart to biopsy the other side to know what you are dealing with and come up with a plan. The beginning is very surreal and scary, but once you have a plan, it will feel better. And it sounds like it was caught early, which is important.

The MRI guided biopsy is not the best, some discomfort, but it will heal. If it makes you anxious, ask for some Ativan to take off the edge. You will just need someone to drive you.


Dx 3/25/2021: IDC, Left 1.5 cm, Stage IB/IIA, grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/12/21 Lumpectomy, Oncoplastic reduction, sentinel lymph node removal 0/6 Chemotherapy 6/30/21 AC+T
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Jun 22, 2022 03:19PM dani_p wrote:

Had my MRI guided biopsy today. You were right… of all my biopsies so far, this was the most uncomfortable. They gave me Xanax, at their recommendation, to make sure I was calm and stayed completely still. For whatever reason, the right side didn’t numb up all the way so that part of the procedure wasn’t the best. At least it’s over. I meet with the surgeon next Tuesday to figure out next steps. Still waiting on HER2 results

Multi focal Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) with DCIS, Left > 1cm, Stage 1A, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/29/2022 Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel; Mastectomy (Left): Simple, Skin Sparing; Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander

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