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Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Buddy65 on Jul 7, 2020 8:33 pm

Today I spent 4 hours at the breast clinic at North York hospital getting additional mammograms, ultrasounds and a biopsy. I was too afraid to ask the radiologist  any questions about my prognosis and now I am so mad I did not.

Is it normal to have both breasts biopsied? There is still no tumour to be found but there were plenty of calcifications that they biopsied from both breasts. He also did a biopsy of the lymph node under my arm and it was extremely sensitive and tender. I heard that if it is cancer the lymph nodes swells but shouldn't be painful.

He also ordered an MRI for my breasts because they are so dense.

Has anyone had a similar experience? I am beyond stressed and cannot stop thinking the very very worst.  

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Wendy Tea on Jul 7, 2020 9:35 pm

Buddy65‍  Oh I am sorry your day was so stressful. Once those lovely vultures at the breast health clinic get their claws on you, they leave no stone unturned!  It is best that they find everything out now, or better that they eliminate problems now, than missing something.  It is doubtful the radiologist would have revealed anything.  Please try to breathe.  They are working really hard to make sure you have a successful outcome. We are here for you.
Healing takes time and opportunity. Wendy Tea

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Emilycp on Jul 8, 2020 10:41 pm

I have had a very similar experience!!
I spent 4 hours at the local breast assessment center and had the same tests that you did! 
They often start with the least expensive tests (ultra sound, mammogram and so on). I very recently got a diagnosis of breast cancer and it is into my lymph nodes. My arm is tender but not really too sore.
I had to get a MRI done as well and they told me the exact same thing "Your breasts are dense," all this means is that they need to get a better picture of your breasts and the MRI will provide them with that picture.
I know it is so so many tests and then the waiting is so stressful. It sounds like they are really doing everything they should be to make sure they can give you the best answers to all your questions
hang in there!

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Essjay on Jul 9, 2020 7:55 am

Buddy65‍ and Emilycp‍ welcome to the ‘dense breasts club’. Sounds like you are both being tested thoroughly which is a good thing. When we have dense breasts it’s really hard for them to see anything on a mammogram.

My 2cm tumour wasn’t visible to the radiologist On my diagnostic mammogram until after he’d done an ultrasound and knew where to look, and my last mammogram report (first post cancer treatment) said ‘extremely dense breasts so can’t see anything...can’t see anything of concern’...which I didn’t find reassuring and I’ve advocated for MRIs as well to have a proper look. 

Mammograms are good at picking up calcification though, and while these are often harmless, they can be associated with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), stage 0, hasn’t moved into the tissues. The radiologist was being cautious and testing everything that he couldn’t be certain wasn’t of concern.

@buddy65 it’s hard not to draw conclusions from what’s happening or what we feel, but really all we can do is wait for the results. You should know in a week, and let’s hope it’s good news. I encourage you to keep busy to try and distract yourself as much as possible - hard I know. I have my fingers crossed for you xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by ashcon on Jul 9, 2020 9:03 am

Wise words from Wendy Tea‍, Emilycp‍ and Essjay‍. 
I just had a chest ultrasound done as part of maintenance screening and the radiologist spent an inordinate amount of time in the area where my tumour used to be.  There were lots of those "click" sounds for each picture she was taking so I was sure she was seeing something suspicious.
Turns out, she was just being very diligent. 

I believe they really strive to avoid calling a patient back for more imaging tests. It is a costly and time consuming process. So they go nuts when they get their claws on you, as Wendy says, to prevent that. 

Emilycp‍ and Buddy65‍. Keep us posted on your updates and news, if and when you are ready to share. 

If you want more information about how dense breasts can impact screening and diagnosis, check out Dense Breasts Canada
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Treepeo on Jul 9, 2020 3:15 pm

Hi Buddy65‍,

I know it is difficult to go through all of those tests, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

In my case, I strongly suspected that I had cancer in my left breast because of the way it looked.  But as it turned out, I had cancer in both breasts, which came as a complete surprise to me.  I wondered why my mammograms and ultrasounds were so painful. And I had 3 biopsies in each breast, as well as one in my lymph nodes on my left side.  Ouch.

Because you have dense breasts, they have to be extra cautious so as not to miss anything.  But try not to assume the worst.  I know it's hard, but keep busy and distract yourself.  Once you get the results, you will know where you stand and you can take it from there.

I hope you get good news so you can put all of this behind you.  But either way, we are all here for you.  Take care.

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Buddy65 on Jul 15, 2020 3:14 pm

I do not know if I am crazy or if this is somewhat normal but I do not want the results of my biopsy and am avoiding phone calls. I know most people want to know but for me I feel like if I do not know forsure then there is still hope I don't have it. Once I am told forsure then my life changes. I know I am avoiding and all those things but everytime I go to call my doctor I am shaking so much.

I finally picked up a voicemail message from the hospital just now and they want to book me in with the surgeon but are still waiting for mri results. So obviously there was cancer in my biopsy otherwise why would they want me to see the surgeon. This is all so surreal and so horrible.

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by ashcon on Jul 15, 2020 5:43 pm

It is very normal to want to avoid any news on tests done!  And to shake uncontrollably many times at each stage of this process. Sitting on this precipice is the worst.   

For me, after my "stat" mammogram to confirm whether or not I had cancer, I left town for a week, went to a cottage, and hiked, kayaked, and swam every day in my my feeble attempt to "prove", at least in my head, that I didn't have cancer.
The day I got back, my doctor called me and told me to meet with a surgeon. 

Oddly, though, once given the news, I felt calm and peaceful all of a sudden.  The doctors told me what it was, and what they were going to do.  There was a plan.  
Others on this site have said the same thing; that once there is a plan in place, you no longer feel as afraid.

When do you see the surgeon?
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Buffythevampire on Jul 15, 2020 6:23 pm

Buddy65‍ In my case, the biopsies kept coming back normal. It wasn't until I had a bleeding nipple that my journey took a change in direction. I probably have had 6 biopsies done in one breast plus I was allergic to the bandaid they used and got a blister which hurt more then the biopsy. I was sent for a MRI after a lumpectomy and another lump was discovered which was bigger then the lump that was removed. Dense breasts have a way of hiding things. It is better to have the MRI results for them to get a clearer picture of what they have to deal with. 

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Buddy65 on Jul 15, 2020 9:53 pm

I don't have appointment date yet with surgeon because mri isn't back yet. I know I have it I am just terrified they are going to tell me it is stage 4. My husband died 12 years ago and he was barely 40 from kidney cancer. At first they said they will just take out the kidney with the tunour and he was scheduled for surgery the next week. Then they got the MRI results back and it had spread to his bones and lungs. I am terrified of getting the same news.

Re: Had biopsy for breast cancer today

Posted by Essjay on Jul 15, 2020 10:29 pm

Buddy65‍ I remember the day my docs phoned asking to see me to go through my biopsy results. It was a Friday and the appointment was made for Monday. Immediately after I put the phone down it rang again, it was the breast health centre to make an appointment for me to see the surgeon. The receptionist realised she had messed up straight away when I said I hadn’t seen my doctor yet. She couldn’t share any results, she could only tell me that her instructions were to book an appointment for me.

it was an agonizing weekend, and I was a bit angry about the mess up. I canoed with friends, went out for dinner, chilled out, and got things straight in my head. I was ready for cancer, but I had to face facts. I knew I had a lump, and obviously it was something that needed removal. These were the facts, this was all I knew. I didn’t know if I had cancer or not.

And right now, neither do you - all you know is there’s something that needs to come out...

All you can do is take things one day at a time and deal with what comes up one step at a time.

im sorry your husband had kidney cancer, and you’ve been through that with him. His cancer journey must have been very stressful and painful for you, but it doesn’t mean you are heading for the same journey.

How do you relax? Now is a good time to those things...

Let us know when you get your results, we are all here in your corner offering virtual hugs.

bets wishes Essjay xx
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018