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Old 05-15-2008, 11:50 PM   #1
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What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

I had a mammogram last week and my doctor called and said I have new multiple linear heterogeneous calcifications in my left breast. I am now having a spot compression test done tomorrow. Is this anything to be concerned about? Why wouldnt I just have a ultrasound?

I have not had pain and breast cancer doesnt run in my family. I am postmenopausal.

Thanks

 
Old 05-16-2008, 04:56 AM   #2
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Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

Linear calcifications means they are in a line. They can show up from a previous breast surgery, injury, or they can mean there is cancer in a duct(DCIS).

I am sure doing the spot compression the technologist will do a magnified image. This will allow the radiologist to see the shape and direction these are going.

Ultrasound will not show these tiny calcifications.

 
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

Thanks ellemae for the info.

I am back from my 2 hour spot compression test , which the radiologist has decided I need a biopsy.

I was told I would have a Stereotactic Needle Core Biopsy. I am having this done at the same place I had my mammogram with the radiologist doing the biopsy. My sister and Mom has had biopsies and had a surgeon do theirs. Is there a difference?

How long does it take to get results? Also the nurse was asking me if I ever had cancer anywhere before and I remembered about 10 years ago or so I had a couple of suspicious paps and had 2 different cone biopsies on my cervix which I was told I had Class III cervical dyspalgia (isnt that the one that is in situ?) Do you think this could be related to my cervical abnormalities?

Sorry I hope Im making sense. Thanks for all your help.

 
Old 05-17-2008, 03:51 AM   #4
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Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

Stereotactic Core Biopsy is not done surgically. You will lay on an x-ray table with your breast through a hole in the table. The breast will be compressed and pictures taken for coordanance. You should be well numbed as they do not want you to move. If that happens they must do more pictures to realign you. When the radiologist and tech are ready they will fire the needle. Is is VERY quick. This is done several times. It takes our a small amount if tissue each time and this is taken to pathology.
It depends on the lab as to how soon you will hear. Ask the radiologist. Sometimes they are the ones to call you. It depends on the facility.

Breast cancer is a primary cancer meaning it starts with breast. However some cancers can show up in lymph nodes in the breast. Uterine/ovarian is one. Those however usually do not show up as linear calcifications tracking through the breast.

It is very common to see these type of calcifications after a trauma to the breast. An accident (seat belt injury),surgery, falling and hitting the breast, etc. In that scenario they are benign. So this is not a positive cancer thing yet!

When cancer grows through the ducts it cast off waste. This is what shows up as calcifications.
It is difficult for the radiologist to tell which process is happening without a biopsy.
Good luck on the test and I hope you don't have to wait to long for the test.

Last edited by mod_007; 05-17-2008 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Replaced "bx" with "biopsy" (twice) please follow posting rules regarding abbreviations

 
Old 05-17-2008, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

Thanks ellemae.

This was compared to my mammogram I had 2 years ago and I cant remember any accident in between there.....


Oh, whats the difference if you have it biopsed surgically? The nurse had talked about that option, something about inserting a metal wire and then having the spot biopsed. That sounded bad too. The only reason they discussed this with me is I have knee problems and they were concerned about me getting up the steps, but I also have neck problems concerning disk surgery I had last year and am afraid I woun't be able to lay on my stomach for very long (nurse said about 30 minutes) She said I could take some pain killers before I came. Do you know anything about this kind of procedure? Whats the benefits?

Thanks again

 
Old 05-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

The surgical procedure is called a needle localization. Because you/surgeon cannot feel a lump the surgeon must have a way for to find the calcifications .
In that procedure you must sit for a series of films. Most radiologists will numb the area but some don't.
You will be kept in compression while a needle is inserted into the area of the calcifications. Films will be taken to make sure it is in the right area. Then some radiologists will inject a blue dye (some don't) and insert a wire through the needle. The needle is then removed leaving the wire. You are then taken to surgery and the surgeon follows the wire down and removes the area.

The surgical removes more tissue than the stereotactic and is a more drawn out procedure. Usually there are stitches. The breast is bruised and sore.

The stereo is done in the mammogram facility/area and the patient goes home afterwards. There are no stitches. The breast is bruised and sore.
It does require you to lay on your stomach. I would call the radiologist that ordered this and tell him/her your concerns. See what he/she suggests.

 
Old 05-17-2008, 06:48 PM   #7
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Smile Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

Hi,
I had a Mammotone Stereotactic Biopsy almost a month ago and I really thought it wasn't bad at all. Yes, you do lay on a table with your breast hanging through a hole but the table is padded. They compress your breast while they mark where the calcifications are. But the compression wasn't as tight as it is during a regular mammogram. With me, they first numbed the breast with lidocaine and all I felt was a pinch. The surgeon made a small cut just big enough to insert the probe that would collect the tissue. From then on, I felt nothing. They shot a "marker" that permenantly stays in the breast, so if the results were malignant, the surgeon would be able to find the area and radiologists will watch this area when future mammograms are done. They took some films before they removed the tissue. It sounded like a vacuum cleaner was running while she removed 8 tissue samples. After she took the samples, they xrayed the tissue to make sure the calcifications were retrieved. I had minimal bruising with very little pain or discomfort. The surgeon told me that 80% of calcifications biopsied are benign. Mine were benign. Good luck and I hope this helps.

 
Old 06-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #8
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Re: What are Linear Calcifications in your Breast?

Thanks for all your responses

I finally received the final report from my spot compression test which said that there were a group of slightly heterogeneous and pleomorphic calcifications in the upper lateral breast and a second group of more punctate diffuse calcifications in the lower medial breast. In light of the heterogenous appearance of the upper outer calcifications, further evaluation of core biopsy is recommended. The impression was Left Breast: Suspicious/Category 4A.


But when I went for my biopsy today, the radiologist doing the needle wire insertion wnet ahead and did it then said she thought I should have the lower breast marked and took it out and marked the lower breast. My surgeon removed the tissue from the lower breast. (I had it surgically removed)

#1 what is Suspicious/Category 4A?

#2 should I be worried about them excising the lower instead of the upper as suggested by the other radiologist?

#3 what does heterogenous and pleomorphic mean? what about punctate and diffuse?

I'm really concerned about this mix up. Does this happen often? (They say it was mis-marked-upper when it should have been lower)?

Thanks for your help I hope I haven't been too confusing...I'm really stressed

 
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