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Sat Jun 8, 2013, 10:20 PM

Questions about breast lump biopsy

First off I am male, have a dark lump in my chest that needed checked out. After mammogram and ultrasound the doctor needed more so I have had a biopsy. Results will be made available to me on Monday, (2 days from this post). I am seeking info from those here who may know more about the biopsy technique than I do.

My first question is why do they leave a tiny item, a 'marker' I think is what the doctor called it, why did they leave that in me? What purpose does it serve?

My second question is why after such a tiny needle puncture am I so severely bruised? My chest looks like I got hit with something the size of a baseball! Is this overly large bruising normal?

Those are my questions. BTW I am not terribly concerned about cancer although I understand this is very much a possibility. I do not know the doctor who performed this procedure, she being a specialist at my city's breast center, not my doctor, she informed me that the odds of the biopsy showing cancer are very slim.

Hopefully I am not breaking any DU rules here, I am not seeking anything more than general information about the procedure itself.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Questions about breast lump biopsy (Original post)
chknltl Jun 2013 OP
2Design Jun 2013 #1
chknltl Jun 2013 #2
Nay Jun 2013 #3
chknltl Jun 2013 #4
Nay Jun 2013 #5
chknltl Jun 2013 #6

Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2013, 11:36 PM

1. Answer from my understanding and experience

1. The marker is so if they go in again - they can find the same spot
2. The marker lets the next mammography know this spot has been looked at before

3. Do not know about the bruising - everyone bruises differently and some areas are more sensitive than others

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Response to 2Design (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 9, 2013, 12:35 AM

2. thank you for responding 2Design

My time at the breast clinic was short and although given time to ask questions I knew not what to ask. Now that the procedure is two days in the past I have questions.

So this marker is to let them know where they took samples you say. Ok I can go with that. I was kinda thinking it might have been something left behind to collect further data, something to be retrieved later maybe. Sorry, this is entirely new to me.

Wish I could show off the bruising. It is fairly impressive but not in a good way. The biopsy doctor warned me that there would be some of that and some bleeding (there was) but I wasn't expecting a bruise quite literally the size of a baseball! That bruise is a bit worrysome. If it is still there when I get called by the biopsy doctor on Monday I'll definitely be asking about it.

I suppose I should add for anyone about to undergo this procedure: In my case it wasn't so bad. The needle was very small and the local anesthesia numbed me up to where I didn't feel it. I am the worlds biggest baby around needles and for me this whole procedure was easier than a standard blood draw.

Thanks again 2Design

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sun Jun 9, 2013, 05:55 PM

3. The marker is so that future mammograms/MRIs will show the exact area looked at. If you

get passed from doc to doc and have several tests, it keeps everybody on the same page.

When I had a biopsy, I did not bruise much at all, but it hurt like hell. And yes, I did have breast cancer. As far as your bruising, you may just be easy to bruise, or perhaps the biopsy needle passed through a vein that bled under the skin more than usual.

Yes, cancer is very much a possibility, but try not to panic yet. I say that, but I know you are probably freaking out. You'll know tomorrow. Please let us know how it goes (only if that is OK with you, obviously).

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Response to Nay (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 04:49 PM

4. Biopsy results just in: Benign!

Wow! the doctor at Carol Milgard Breast Center just told me that the mass in my chest is benign. She further informs me that I should have elective surgery to have it removed at my convenience. This I will have done ASAP.

Regarding the bruising, the doctor says that it is not too unusual and that I could expect it to hang around for as much as a few more weeks.

With hindsight I wished I would have asked her more about that marker. What is it made of? Does it dissolve away or is it in me until the mass is removed? (I suppose i am being silly but i am VERY squeemish about foreign items stuck in my body....especially needles!)

Thanks for responding Nay. I guess I was lucky that I felt no pain during the biopsy procedure. My doctor was pretty generous with the anesthetic and quite sensitive to my fear of needles. She made me take a sedative prior to the biopsy procedure so I would be calm going into it. Perhaps that can be useful info for others who may be reading this.

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Response to chknltl (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 07:26 AM

5. Oh, I'm so happy you told me this. I don't know you, but I was still worried about you!

Benign! Excellent!

About that marker -- mine was a tiny stainless steel ball. Ask to make sure, but it will probably be removed during your elective surgery. I know mine is gone -- the mammogram nurse always has to mark the scars on the outside of my breast so the mammogram doc can 'read' where the surgery was done when she looks at the mammogram.

I wish I had taken a sedative for my (2) biopsies; my hair still stands on end when I think of them, and I'm not at all scared of needles nor do I usually freak out over pain. But those biopsies.....

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Response to Nay (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 09:45 PM

6. I was a bit worried truth be told.

Even though Dr. Chin (biopsy doctor) told me she thought chances were slim for cancer I worried about it too.

When that dang lump first appeared my personal physician told me it was nothing to worry about, so I didn't, for about five years! A couple of months ago I injured a rib and the doctor at the ER noticed the lump and made me promise to get it checked out immediately. (She seemed a bit alarmed about it actually).

If it weren't for that injury who knows how long I might have gone without thinking about that lump. Now I want it and that marker thing gone.

My doctor's nurse from the VA called me to give me my options. I guess the VA is going to give me a voucher and let me shop around for a private clinic to get this surgery done. Gotta love the VA! Over the years they have treated me well that's for sure.

I'm in agreement with Thom Hartmann when he says that on some level we are all connected, that through this connection positive thoughts and vibes can have a good effect. Thank you Nay, for joining my friends and family in being worried about me. We are all glad it turned out OK.

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