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Second Stage Breast Screening - Microcalcifications

(24 Posts)
tartanbuggy Mon 26-Oct-15 14:55:19

Feeling a bit sad and quite scared...

I had a standard breast screening appointment recently and got home from work on Friday to find a letter asking me to attend for second stage screening on Tuesday (tomorrow). I wasn't able to get hold of anybody over the weekend, but this morning a breast care nurse phoned me and explained that the reason for the recall was that some areas of microcalcification had been found in my right breast.

I have been trying (and failing miserably) not to look on the bleak side. I've been on sites like Macmillan to find out more but, of course, I'm not going to know anything until my appointment tomorrow.

Has anybody else had this? I'm beginning to feel more and more panicky and could do with some cyber-support - I'm on my own at the moment.

Whatevva Mon 26-Oct-15 15:03:31

I am no expert, but from what I understand, microcalcifications can be associated with breast cancer, but the large majority of them aren't.

FWIW, I found the second stage screening experience much better than the first stage and everyone was very helpful in explaining things.

Fallstar Mon 26-Oct-15 15:30:30

Sorry you're having such a worrying time.

I had this with my first mammogram. I'm usually pretty laid back but it really scared me as I had no idea what to expect and ended up googling frantically.

Like Whatevva, I found the second-stage screening was better than the first stage in terms of explaining stuff. With mine, they wanted to investigate further after the second mammogram so they did an ultrasound and then I had a biopsy there and then.

I had to go back for the results after a (very stressful!) week and it turned out that there was absolutely nothing wrong at all.

All the staff were kind and patient, and put me at my ease. It's natural to be worried but they will be able to answer any questions you have.

tartanbuggy Mon 26-Oct-15 15:32:38

Thanks, Whatevva, it's good to hear from somebody else who has gone through the second stage. The nurse who phoned me sounded very nice and helpful; unfortunately I was out and about with DD when she phoned so I was a bit limited in what I could say or ask.

I too picked up from my googling that there can be an association with breast cancer. Nowhere does it say that that will be the definite end result but, with my Dame Doom hat on, that's what I keep thinking about. I keep trying to tell myself that it's more than likely not to be anything to worry about, but then I hear the little voice at the back of my mind saying "Oh, but what if it is". I know I'll have a better idea this time tomorrow, but the waiting is proving very difficult.

tartanbuggy Mon 26-Oct-15 15:42:32

Thanks as well Fallstar, that's very reassuring. I was reading about what might happen if they wanted to explore further after the second mammogram and I was freaking a bit at the thought of a biopsy. Not too keen on needles! Did it hurt? Or was it OK?

The thought of possibly having to have a wait for results is not a nice one. I work in a school so am off for half-term at the moment, but on the other hand there's nothing like 30 or so 5- and 6- year olds clamouring for your attention to keep your mind off things!

I can't stop wondering if calcification is something I might have contributed to - diet, lifestyle, whatever - or whether it is just random. Not the most helpful way to view things, I know, but my mind won't switch off at the moment.

Fallstar Mon 26-Oct-15 15:59:02

The biopsy wasn't too bad and the lovely nurse sat with me and held my hand/reassured me throughout. I didn't actually see the needle (don't like them either!) and it was all very quick. I was more freaked out by the idea of it than the reality, if that makes sense.

Hopefully you won't have to have one but if you do, rest assured that they will have done loads of them and will be used to people being very anxious at the prospect.

I've never heard of calcifications being anything to do with lifestyle. They are apparently pretty common, though.

tartanbuggy Mon 26-Oct-15 16:44:31

Thank you smile I'll come back on tomorrow after I've had the appointment and will say what has happened.

Fallstar Mon 26-Oct-15 17:02:33

Hope all goes well for you, tartanbuggy smile

Whatevva Mon 26-Oct-15 17:10:15

TBH, I went in saying no way was anyone getting anywhere near me with a needle of any sort. After I saw the original mammogram, it looked so absolutely like one of the classic pictures of positive mammograms you see on the internet, that I would have had it done with no worries.

As it was, they found nothing and I was mammogramed, ultra sounded and ultrasounded again. They made absolutely certain there was not a thing they could have missed, then told me it was fine but the results would be checked in their weekly meeting before I was signed off.

What Fallstar said was reassuring (to me too smile).

Hope it all goes well.

StayGold Mon 26-Oct-15 19:30:43

Hi I've had the biopsy for calcification. The experience is OK. I found the breast care nurses amazing, very reassuring and they held my hand throughout. I never saw a needle and the scar was tiny. Results came back quickly too. I had an ultrasound at the same time which prolly won't be offered but might be as standard at your hospital. Appointments usually run on time but be prepared by taking a book etc. Hope all goes well for you Tartan x

tartanbuggy Mon 26-Oct-15 19:40:30

Thank you all so much. Your replies are really helpful! Thanks as well StayGold for sharing your experience. It certainly seems that the anticipation is much worse than the reality. Here's hoping for a more cheerful me this time tomorrow.

Le1890 Mon 26-Oct-15 22:13:57

No experience but just want to say thinking of you and hoping to all goes well xx

tartanbuggy Tue 27-Oct-15 13:22:30

Just got back home - well, maybe there will be a more cheerful me this time next week ...

As some of you have said, the staff at breast clinic couldn't have been kinder or more reassuring. Even when I wimped out big time blush. There were areas of microcalcification on the first mammogram, so they did a second set to have a closer look and compare. The doctor examined me (found nothing untoward), did an ultrasound and then explained they would need to do a biopsy. I got a bit upset at that stage because I had been hoping against hope that they would look at the second tests, tell me there were no problems and send me on my way. I cried a bit and feel such a twit now - but they were very kind.

The biopsy itself was actually fine. I squealed somewhat when the doctor injected the anaesthetic, not because it hurt but because the thought of it was icky. The biopsy itself was fine; didn't feel a thing.

I go back next Tuesday for the results and it's going to be a long, long wait. They did say that what they saw today was graded "3" or indeterminate which, I suppose, is better than 4 or 5. The main thing I took away was that even if the results turn out to less than ideal and if it has to go to surgery to remove the calcification, then it is quite straightforward and very high success rate.

Just another week ...

Thank you all for your messages and information. I would have gone in today far more upset and anxious if I'd not had the benefit of your support.

Fallstar Tue 27-Oct-15 19:08:05

It's great that the staff were lovely and please don't feel a twit for getting upset - it's completely natural. I was surprised at how wobbly the whole experience made me feel

Sorry you had to have a biopsy in the end but you're in excellent hands and fingers crossed for your results next week.

Take care of yourself smile

tartanbuggy Tue 27-Oct-15 21:00:31

Thank you. I was a bit more emotional than I wanted to be, but I guess they'll be used to that. It'll be a long week, but fingers crossed.

StayGold Mon 02-Nov-15 15:08:28

Just posting to say good luck tomorrow Tartan, flowers

My only piece of advice is... if possible take someone with you. Whatever the outcome you will be emotional and a friend/partner or relative would be very helpful. (I speak from the experience of not taking someone on one visit and then being so pleased when someone was there for the second one). x

tartanbuggy Tue 03-Nov-15 20:54:10

That's so nice of you to remember StayGold, thank you!

I'm delighted to say that everything is fine and I was given the all clear! They were happy that the areas they spotted were just a normal part of the process of getting older and don't warrant any further investigation. But what a long week last week was...

Mind you, it does bring it home what a valuable service it is that is provided and if it can help to identify and treat women in the early stages, then I'm all for that. I'm just really grateful.

Thank you to everybody who posted with messages of support. It helped me so much. smile

Fallstar Tue 03-Nov-15 22:15:51

That's great news, tartanbuggy!

StayGold Wed 04-Nov-15 09:20:22

Wonderful news Tartan, so pleased for you grin. You're right the service is amazing, I am actually being treated now for BC (3rd round of chemo yesterday) and after annual mammogram and MRI mine was picked up nice and early and I was dealt with amazingly well and fast. take care x

Sansoora Wed 04-Nov-15 11:41:03

I came in to start a thread on calcifications and found this one.

My 36 year old daughter had a routine mammogram today and calcifications were found but she has not told me which kind. She has sent her results to her doctor and we will know more tonight.

I feel sick. Absolutely sick with fear.

Sansoora Wed 04-Nov-15 11:43:04

Staygold, I hope your Okay after your latest round of chemo.


StayGold Wed 04-Nov-15 18:51:19

Sansoora, hope the news is kind flowers if not there's a great thread on here the tamoxifen gang for all cancer related advice and support it's in the general health bit too sorry on mobile so hard to copy the link. There are lovely people on there if you need them X ps I feel ok at the moment thanks for asking xx

Sansoora Thu 05-Nov-15 02:39:01

Stay, thank you, she's fine and Dr doesn't even want to see her. He's the head of oncology at our local teaching hospital and we've recently been through the dept with my SIL and our housekeeper so it was a case of her saying - my Dr is away so Im going to text him and ask if he will see these results. He obviously knew she was very worried because he called her back at 9pm and told her she was Okay and to put it to the back of her mind - and well done on having her check ups because if it had been something nasty it would have been caught very very early on.

Oh and I know it may seem very odd that we could contact the Dr but its like this where we live.

Thank you for posting and trying to make me feel better.


StayGold Thu 05-Nov-15 09:13:26

So pleased it's positive news Sansoora. You are lucky though as my surgery/doctors are a bit naff. Have dealt directly with consultants/ hospitals throughout my treatment which is fine as they've been fantastic. Pleased for you both X

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