Core biopsy

I went to the GPs a few weeks ago because my left breast felt much more lumpy than usual and quite tender. (my left breast has always been a bit on the lumpy side and I’ve always just thought this was just ‘normal’ for me)

I was referred to the breast clinic and had an appointment a week ago. They did a mammogram and an ultrasound which they said showed no abnormal features. The consultant said that because the left breast was “palpable as an asymetrical abnormality”, he wanted to do a fine needle cytology, but that his feeling was that it was just “simple cyclical hormonal breast change”. He did the fine needle thing the same day and said he would write to me with the results.

I was feeling ok and reassured by what he said until friday just gone, when I received a letter saying that they had discussed my needle biopsy in the weekly meeting, and that there were some “slight abnormalities which are not in themselves terribly worrying but that they would like to reassess me”.

Well, I went along for the appointment on monday (8th), the fine needle aspiration was a C3, so “probably benign”. I was seen by a different consultant this time and she was really “off” with me to be honest, made me feel like I was wasting her time! She said that she couldn’t feel any lump (even though I can, and so could the first consultant) she told me that pain in the breast doesn’t mean cancer and that if I had a period pain I wouldn’t be worried about cancer of the womb so why was I worrying about tenderness in my breasts!? She then told me that screening doesn’t start till age 50, so in effect I was getting it early! She made me feel really stupid. Anyway, she said that she would do a core biopsy seeing as the FNA came back C3, and that they would send for a follow-up appointment in a year’s time and that the biopsy results would follow in the post.

Then yesterday I received a telephone message on my answer phone to say that they had booked me an appointment for me to get my biopsy results on tuesday 16th. I am now worried that the core biopsy result is not ok, but don’t want to go back and see this consultant again because of how dismissive she was of me on Monday. Help!

Crazywoman. (and scared!)

Crazywoman - I know is is hard, but try not to drive yourself mad with worry unless/until you have something definite to worry about. It may just be that it is normal procedure to go back for the results and you may not see the same consultant, anyway. I don’t see how could she do a core biopsy if she couldn’t find a lump.

I am really surprised they left the message. My hospital won’t leave any message at all, not even ‘ring me’, although I have told them they can - and the number is withheld, so I have to guess who it is.

Good luck for Tuesday.

Ann x

Thanks Ann.

I said exactly the same to hubby about ‘how did she do a biopsy then if she couldn’t feel the lump’.

I hate all this waiting for results:-(

Hi Crazywoman

Just had to say how disgusted I am to hear of how this person treated you. You do not have to see this person again - you have the right to ask for someones else (I did!)

I was diagnosed with high grade DCIS last year (10cms). To nutshell it, I had to have mast + reconstruction and after the removed breast tissue was examined, it was found that I had ‘4 foci of invasive disease’ and without the removal of this and if it had been left, I would have gone on to develop inflamatory breast cancer. Oh, and I had pain and ‘stinging’ and itchiness in the breast which my GP had originally told me was a sign that ‘nothing was wrong’.

I am sick and tired of people being told that if there is no lump, there is definately no cancer - in the less common cases THERE IS NOT ALWAYS A LUMP and without a core biopsy of the ‘10 cms area of calcification’. (this area shows up on a screen when they do the core biopsy. It’s quite obvious and ‘guides’ them where to take samples from).

Sorry to rant a bit but mis-information is unhelpful and dangerous. I’m keeping everything crossed that your results will be OK and I know you’ll have much support here should you need it. The ladies on here are unbelievably supportive and helpful.

Lots of love. Cathy x

Cathy - Yes, they did my core biopsy using the scan for guidance. My point was that if the consultant did a biopsy, she obviously found something on the scan to show her where to take it from. Rather than saying there was nothing there, she should have admitted it.


Hi everyone

Ann - agree with you totally that Crazywoman’s consultant should have admitted that there was something to investigate. My angriness was around the consultant’s attitude to Crazywoman(& in my case GP) who said that ‘because there was no lump, there was no cancer’ which I have since found out is not always correct (the majority of breast cancers do produce lumps - as I understand it - and that’s why doctors tend to make the assumption that if there’s no lump, you’ve nothing to worry about).

Good luck again Crazywoman and love to all. Cathy x


The consultant didnt use a scan for guidance, she felt the area and said is it this ridge you mean here? (when minutes earlier she said both breasts felts fine, no lumps) The ‘ridge’ she was feeling was what I have been saying is the lumpyness that I can feel. (it’s really hard to tell because my breasts are naturally lumpy anyway, but there is definately an area that is harder than normal and somehow just feels different)

I don’t know if I have been over-reacting about how she spoke to me now, because I know I am very stressed over it all and probably a bit (lot) touchy. But anyway on friday after I posted on here I phoned up the hospital and said that I wanted to see the original consultant for my results not the one who did the biopsy. They said they couldn’t sort anything on friday, but will phone me up on monday (tomorrow) to let me know when/if I can see someone else instead.

Still Crazywoman x

Hi again,
just to update, I went to see the original consultant for the results of the core biopsy and it was a B3. He said he was very sure it is benign but the only way to be positive it to have the lumpiness removed (he could feel it as well) and for it to be examined properly under the microscope.
So yesterday I had surgery to remove the lumpy tissue, and I now have an appointment for the results on 23rd March.
I’m fingers crossed and praying for a benign result.
Thanks again ladies for your advise, and for listening.
Crazywoman x

Good luck, hope all turns out for you… fingers crossed,
love Teresa xxx

Good luck for the 23rd.

Ann x