Confused about atypical cells found during needle biopsy
I am a 49 year old female who had a complete hysterectomy in November for suspected ovarian cancer. It turned out to be extensive endometrious which required major surgery and repair to colon and pelvic wall. During this period of time I also had an abnormal mamogram which showed calcifications. There was not major concern about this and I was instructed to return for a 6 month recheck. The follow-up mamogram was disturbing to the radiologist because the calcifications were no longer layering. They were clustering with abnormal shapes and borders. It was decided to go forward with a stereotactic breast biopsy. The radiologist explained the purpose of the stereotactic and the plan of treatment should everything be okay (benign) (6 month follow ups for a period of time)
I received a call from my physicians office telling me that it was recommended that I go to see a surgeon. When asked if my physician recommended this, I was told that it was the radiologist at the breast center. Needless to say the conversation was very confusing. I heard "they could not get everything they needed during the sterotactic, aytpical cells. I did not understand this because when I was undergoing the biopsy, the radiologist told me he got excellent samples and pieces of the calcifications.
So, I am anxiously awaiting the appointment with the surgeon. Based on the information that I have obtained from researching, it seems that they found atypical cells and now I need another biopsy. (excisional)
Based on this information, can someone who has had similar experience, give an opinion as to what is going on? Should I go to my ob/gyn and get help? Could all this be related to estrogen (ovarian/breast) I am on hormone replacement but the radiologist did not think this was estrogen receptive. Sounds to me that I have a huge problem with estrogen. I am scared to death and so exhausted from this nightmare, not to mention very overwhelmed. Thanks for reading. Any help would be most appreciated.
Re: Confused about atypical cells found during needle biopsy
Last year, I had a similar experience as you. I had a small area show up on a breast MRI that was not seen on a mammography or ultrasound. I had a stereotactic biopsy done under the MRI which showed severe atypia-cells that were benign, but were about to turn malignant. The radiologist called me and told me that I needed a wide excision breast biopsy as soon as possible to make sure that all the cells had been removed. She also called my breast surgeon and told him the same thing. I had the surgery, and, thankfully, the area was also benign.
I think the radiologist wants to make sure all the abnormal cells have been removed and that you have wide, clean margins to insure that none of the cells have been left . Any cells that could be left in that area that are different could eventually turn to cancer.
I would also suggest that you speak to your breast surgeon about the estrogen replacement. Because of previous diagnosis of atypical cells and LCIS, I took tamoxifen for 5 years. Tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker. In some women, breast cancer is fueled by estrogen, and taking an estrogen replacement is not good. You need to get advice about that.
I want to tell you that the surgery was not bad. It was same day--I was in the hospital for a total of about 8 hours. I had very little pain and only needed a tylenol for discomfort!!
I wish you luck, and if you have any questions, please ask!! Good luck, sweetie-you will be fine!
Last edited by nibbsie; 04-27-2010 at 05:10 PM.
Reason: wrong word