Biopsy or not

I have posted this for new user Jane,
Jo, Facilitator

I have just been for my annual check-up and was niavely expecting everything to be fine.Within about 5 mins the Dr was preparing to do a biopsy on an area under the scar tissue and my panic button was hit.

I was dx with bc in April 06. Had a WLE followed by rads and tomoxifen. The tumour was 14mm and grade 1 and I was told my prognosis was very good. A year ago I also had hysterectomy and overies removed (due to lots of fibroids)

I had a mamo 4 wks ago which came back clear and I have not noticed any changes. I asked if an ultrasound scan could see if any problem. After dr spoke to his senoir decided to book me in for US and then biopsy on Tuesday. Maybe I an being pathetic but I am worried about having an unnecessary biopsy. The original bc developed on scar tissue following the removal of a benign tumour 20 yrs ago and I worry new biopsy will somehow make the scarring worse and more likely for cancer to return.

I have to also mention the dr naffed me. I had never seen him before and never heard of him and didn’t bother to introduce himself or the student (i assume) he had with him. Felt like a piece of meat.

Any advice would be lovely


Sounds pretty irritating, doctors do have very bad bedside manners, and it is a shame they are passing these onto their students. However, maybe there is a problem and at least if you have the biopsy you will find it. If not, you will be able to say I told you so.


Welcome Jane to this very helpful and friendly forum. I too had yet another scare 2 weeks ago. Went for my 6 monthly mammo and ultrasound - my surgeon always insists on mammo and ultrasound - mammo clear but US showed something so had a core-biopsy done under US control and the pathology just came back - fibrosis consistent with scarring from previous 2 operations. Great relief. Don’t worry about biopsy making cancer more likely to return - it won’t. Cancer has a mind of its own and if it is going to return there is nothing you can do to prevent it. I was first diagnosed in 1990, then it reappeared in 2007 in same breast. I had 17 years remission when I lived a very active and healthy life, did not give up anything in particular, but it popped up and again was only detected by ultrasound which is why I think it is really important to have one as well as a mammo. Good luck and do let us know how you get on.

I have posted this on behalf of new user Jane
Kind regards

Thank you mole and olivia. I will of course have the biopsy as I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t. however, the last one I had I found intrusive and the pain went on until I had surgery some 5 weeks later. I thought an US scan may be able to show if anything suspicious. Anyway I am down to have both US and biopsy tomorrow.

I am aware that I have not had to put up with the treatments that many contributors to this site have, but I seem to have spent the past 2 summers in and out of hospital, plus a few other major upsets along the way. I was at last looking forward to this summer and doing stuff and then wham! everything is up in the air again, I am an emotional wreck and generally not coping - it sucks

yes I agree it sucks and I found the biopsies extremely unpleasant. My doctor said “some of my ladies count each time” and I said “well I’m not one of them” as I can’t stand being called a lady and I was lying in a ridiculous position on a table with my tit in the air and my arm up and in pain as the local anaesthetic didn’t work first time.

Also I was expected to sign a consent form which said all the risks had been explained to me when they hadn’t. I was a quivering wreck - in fact it was a miracle I could sign at all I was so anxious. Especially so as no-one had mentioned the word cancer and then the doctor who did my biopsies gaily went on about there being increasing types of cancer, 200 in total. Which is a load on nonsense. There’s only two common forms of breast cancer, ductal and lobular, and three grades of severity, which can be either oestrogen receptive or oestrogen negative.

As for cancer becoming more active as a result of biopsy it doesn’t seem to make any difference although I have heard it said that if cancer is advanced, it’s not a good idea to cut into it. But by that I think it’s if you have a big tumour rather than some suspicious areas.

I don’t blame you for being fed up though, I think you should do what you want this summer regardless.


Posted on behalf of Jane
Best wishes

I have just returned from the clinic. Had 2 docs do what seemed to be fairly thorough US scans and seemed satisfied it was scar tissue. Also saw the consultant this time who said she couldn’t see what last weeks dr was concerned about. I am to go back in 6 weeks to see the consultant. Its a great relief, but its been a really crappy few days.

Mole, I was interested that you had to sign a consent form for a biopsy. The dr last week did not even ask my permission, just told me he was going to do it. He only changed his mind after talking to the consultant who said he should get a scan first as if there is a problem they cannot do US scans for several weeks after a biopsy. He also told me he was going to do biopsy whatever the result of the scan. I think his attitude just annoyed and upset me.

PS I also hate being referred to as lady