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dsb
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/16/2010 10:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I was told 18 years ago that I had microcalcifications in my right breast. After my regular mammogram 2 weeks ago, I was asked to come back in to have it repeated on the right side. 2 days after that I was told that I needed a needle biopsy. There is no mass, only increased clusters that are suspicious of cancer. The Birad rating is 4. First of all, I am scared of a needle biopsy. I am afraid that if the microcalcifications are malignant, the biopsy could cause the cancer to spread. Then comes my family history. My paternal grandmother died from breast cancer in her 60s. My maternal grandmother had a mastectomy at age 19. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer (microcalcifications) at age 49 (I am 59). What I want, and my husband totally agrees, is a mastectomy...preferably a double mastectomy. I can honestly say that even if a pathology report showed no malignancy after both breasts were removed, I would have absolutely NO regrets...only relief that no cancer had spread and relief that I wouldn't have to worry about breast cancer any more. My only concern is seeing my little granddaughters grow up and getting to enjoy old age with my husband. I am meeting with the surgeon on Monday and the biopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. I am prepared to tell the surgeon no and to get a second opinion. I want to find a doctor that will do the double mastectomy and will write it up to meet the requirements of my insurance. How difficult do you think that will be? Thank you.

(Note: I skipped my mammogram last year - too busy. During the last year, I have had pain in the outer quadrant of my right breast.)

harrington49
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 7/17/2010 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi DSB

I can imagine how worried and concerned you must be right now, I think I would probably be thinking along the same lines if I also had family history like you do. But I think you will have a tough time finding a surgeon who will do a double mastectomy, I could be wrong of course but I think it is a big ask.

The only thing you can do is plead your case to the surgeon and see what he says, I think you should be guided by his advice. I hope whichever way it turns out, that you are happy and well at the end result. I wish you all the luck in the world and that God will look after you and guide you during this most testing and worrying time for you.

God bless.
Harrington49


barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/17/2010 8:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, DSB. With your family history, I would think you WOULD be able to find a surgeon who would do a prophylactic double mastectomy, and I would think your insurance would cover it. This is obviously not a cosmetic surgery, and there is reason to believe that this might significantly reduce your chances of getting breast cancer in the future, which would save the insurance company $$$. Hysterectomies to avoid future problems are pretty commonplace; if you think about it, the mastectomies would be no different, really. OF course, it depends on whether you have really good insurance (thank goodness if you do!), or really bad insurance (which is becoming more and more common, unfortunately!).

I don't think a needle biopsy will make any cancer that you might have spread. But I would agree with you that a surgical biopsy would be a better choice. Remove the suspicious area altogether.

Another note: a double mastectomy will go a long way in alleviating your risk of breast cancer, that is true. But it doesn't entirely eliminate it. No matter how good the surgeon, it is impossible to remove every breast tissue cell, and those remaining cells could still develop breast cancer. Of course, your odds of that happening are very slim, but you still need to be vigilant about examining the breast area and have your gyn check you every year, as well.

Good luck in your quest to find the right surgeon. A good breast center would be the place to start, I would think.

Hugs...
BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


alysmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 107
   Posted 7/17/2010 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
My name is Georgia and I live in Texas.  In 1997 I had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction with implants.  I was covered with health insurance through the federal government.  I had already had, at age 48, at least 7 surgical biopsies and multiple needle aspirations for lumps.  I was still getting them and refused any more biopsies from my surgeon, who opposed a prophylactic mastectomy.  I changed surgeons and he supported my wish to have the mastectomy.  The insurance company approved it and it was done.  I have never regretted that decision.  Just make sure you find a good, board-certified plastic surgeon.  I still get mammograms and so far so good but no more surgeries and fear. 
 
Good luck.  It sounds like that would be the right decision for you.  By the way, I have no family history of breast cancer except in a paternal aunt and one first cousin on my mother's side.  My insurance company still approved it.  For them it was less expensive than all those surgical biopsies.
 
Georgia. 

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/17/2010 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey, Georgia... thank you for sharing your experience. If the government thinks it is cost effective, I can't imagine that a private insurance company would decline!
Hugs,
BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


dsb
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/18/2010 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you to Harrington49, Bev, and Georgia. I will be meeting with a surgeon tomorrow afternoon. An acquaintance gave me the name of a breast specialist at M.D. Anderson as well as the name of 2 plastic surgeons that do reconstructive breast surgery at M.D. Anderson. Then over the weekend, my daughter, a registered nurse, ran into a family friend at the lake. The friend is a physician at M.D. Anderson. My daughter asked the doctor what she thought about the names the acquaintance had given me. She told my daughter that the recommended doctors were so outstanding that she would send her own mother to them. That makes me feel good. In the meantime, I will go ahead and have the biopsy on Tuesday morning, and then if the results confirm cancer, I will call M. D. Anderson to see how soon I can get in. I'm not sure about the reconstructive surgery. I mean...why bother? Is there a medical reason to have reconstructive surgery?

Frayda
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 248
   Posted 7/20/2010 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi! Just want to give you some food for thought regarding reconstruction. I had bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction 10 years ago (all covered by insurance). There may not be a medical reason for the reconstruction, but there is definitely an emotional one. Once my cancer treatment was finished and my reconstruction was completed, I felt whole again. I looked good with and without clothes. I would venture to say that my reconstructed breasts look better than the big floppy original equipment LOL! Don't discount your emotional well being. It is all part of the healing process. Good luck!
FK

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/20/2010 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wondering how things went today, DSB...
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


dsb
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/20/2010 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, now I just have to wait a week for the results. They said I might hear as early as next Monday. I took Xanax 50 mg. (not sure of spelling) about 15 min. before they started. The doctor and the 2 techs were very supportive. There was a little delay while they tried to figure out if they could do the procedure without me being on antibiotics because I don't have a spleen, but the thought of rescheduling and wasting more time did not appeal to me, so I said lets just go for it. I had 3 biopsies done with 3 tissue samples for each. The first was extremely painful, but I never felt the rest of the procedure. The tech scolded me about skipping my mammogram for 2 years, 2008 and 2009, but as I explained to her I only skipped 2009, and that I felt it had been ok to do so because there were no concerns in 2008. Plus the govt. said last year that women only need mammograms every other year. She replied that women should ignore that recommendation because it was stupid and life threatening. The whole procedure took 2 and a half hours and then I went home wearing steri strips and an ace bandage with an ice pack. Now I just have to wait. For some reason, I am very calm now even though I know the results can be bad. Please keep me in your prayers. Thank you.

Ramona2829
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/18/2012 7:40 AM (GMT -7)   
DSB,

Youre in my thoughts over the past few days. Ive read and reread these threads and have since joined the site. Im 42 and going for my first biopsy on the 27th. Thank you and so many other ladies for your posts.
I hope youre well.
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