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Breast Cancer

Stereotatic Mammatome Biopsy

10/12/2009

Question:

I am scheduled for the above biopsy but am extremely afraid of having it. Last year, in the same breast a lipoma was seen in my right breast. I had to have my mammography done at a different location this year and they recommend this biopsy due to an abnormal, suspious, possibly malignant calcification. If this is the same lesion as last year, hasn`t changed size or shape, why do I need this. This test, according to all I have read last approx. an hour, I was told it will take 2 hours. It is small in size near my nipple. What if it can`t be seen by the sterotatic imaging. I don`t want disfigurement either because they have removed so much tissue. I am ready to cancel this biopsy because I am not getting the answers to these questions from the people wanting to do it. Please, help me make an informative decision.

Answer:

The stereotactic biopsy is the best and least invasive way to make a diagnosis on calcifications. It is time consuming and may be somewhat uncomfortable (having mammogram and needle biopsy while on your stomach on a table) but should not be at all disfiguring. It is probably best to have this done if the facility that is recommending it is one you trust. Otherwise, if there is another large breast center in your community, you could always get a second opinion. But please, do not ignore advice to check on abnormal calcifications.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University