Microcalcifications found on first annual mammogram post diagnosis

Hello.

Last year, I was diagnosed with stage 2 ER+ invasive breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy to remove a 32mm tumour followed by 15 rounds of radiotherapy and Tamoxifen for 5 years. After surgery, they told me there was clear margins and also that only 3mm was invasive and the rest was DCIS. Also there was no lymph node involvement. It was horrible and scary but I thought I’d been lucky and life was getting back to normalish.

I recently had my first annual mammogram which I’ve been dreading because I have severe anxiety even though they said I was very low risk. Also, I’m very obese and haven’t managed to lose the weight which they told me to. Anyway, they’ve found an an area of ‘microcalcifications’ which I had last time and I have to go back for more tests. I’m terrified this really means the cancer has come back and I’ll either lose my life or have to have much harsher, disfiguring treatment. I have 3 children and I’m struggling to cope. Is it all my own fault for failing to lose weight. Please, any advice or help will be much appreciated.

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Hi Kazi1976. I just read your post and wanted to give you a ‘virtual hug’. I haven’t quite got to the first year scan yet but I know that the whole process is filled with anxiety and hearing that you need further checks is bound to fill you with dread. I hope and pray for good news for you…and that if your worst fears are confirmed, that the treatment you have had means that this will be something caught very early because of the screening process and they can get this sorted. It must feel like the whole circus is starting again. The screening is important for nipping this in the bud and keeping you safe and here with your kids. Sending you positive and healthy vibes xxxx

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Thank you so much Blue80. I’m very grateful for your reply and the virtual hug x

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Hello Kazi

I’m so sorry you are feeling so worried it is entirely understandable given what you’ve been through already.

Normal life is tough, having a cancer diagnosis is mega tough and being told that you have to lose weight and that somehow it’s your fault is just not on!

One thing at a time, fingers crossed that your tests come back clear.

There is no one thing that causes cancer: there are things which have been shown to reduce risk one of which is weight, another is smoking, another is lack of exercise. Similarly there is also no one thing that causes us to gain weight and to become overweight, again it’s complicated there are lots of factors at play and there is support available to help you, but only once you’ve got your tests out of the way.

Sending you lots of hugs and keeping my fingers crossed for you for your follow up appointment

AM xxx

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Thank you AdoptedManc I appreciate your reply very much. X

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Hi @Kazi1976

I am due to have my first annual mammogram in July (bilateral invasive with no lymph node) and not looking forward to it. I met with the Breast Care Nurse a few weeks ago and we talked about it and anxiety of recurrence. She said not to be anxious if I get a call back after the first annual mammogram as they have nothing to compare the scan to post surgery. There will be scar tissue in the scan this time.

As already mentioned there are multiple factors that can cause cancer, I have recently received a negative genetics test, although I’m pleased, if it was positive I would have a reason for getting bc. But now I don’t know. Just had bad luck I suppose.

Don’t forget the BCN nurses are there for a chat if you need

  • Helpline: 0808 800 6000 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat 9am-1pm). Speak to our trained helpline team. No questions are too big or too small.

MacMillan also have a helpline that is open 7 days a week

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that it is all ok.

Let us know how you get on :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Hi Kazi,

I too want to send you a virtual hug! I’m so sorry you are going through this.

I empathise with you because my BC was found as microcalcifications 2 years ago that turned out to be DCIS AND a 10 mm invasive, (9mm bigger than they initially thought). I also had to go back to be re-biopsied as they then spotted another load that they’d missed! My lumpectomy turned into a mastectomy.

PLEASE don’t blame yourself. It’s hard being told to lose weight after going through such a traumatic experience. I was a couple of stone overweight and drank gallons of Prosecco so blaming myself for getting it, well I had that T shirt! It’s not your fault, please stop blaming yourself, you have just been unlucky. We can all feel better for losing a bit of weight or cutting back on alcohol, I know I do, but it takes time to achieve so don’t put pressure on yourself for now. Slow and steady is always the best way to keep weight off.

I know you’re scared to go through it again but it’s a huge positive that it’s been found. Totally understandable you are worried that more microcalcifications have been found but remember, that doesn’t always mean DCIS or an invasive cancer. Only the biopsy will tell you that and unfortunately as we all know, waiting for biopsy results is a grim experience! Try to keep busy to distract yourself.

I know it’s awful the prospect of revisiting the process but you will okay and it will be removed, whatever it is, take things one step at a time. You’ve got this! Take care x

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Hi @Kazi1976 - it is so not your fault for failing to lose weight and it may not be your weight that causes cancer to come back. If it is of any comfort, I am grossly underweight - I weigh only 78 lbs. I was 89 lbs prior to diagnosis/treatment. I had a single mastectomy on Sept 1, 2022. My tumour size was 6 cm. 28 lymph nodes were removed. I had 20 radiation treatments. I am now on letrozole and Abemaciclib. Just had my first infusion of Zoledronic Acid. Like you, I had my 18 month mammogram. Microcalcification was found on the unaffected breast. The radiologist will recommend whether a biopsy is required. This is such distressing news… when will it ever be over… sigh. I hope you are keeping well.

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Thank you Naughty_Boob. I’m so grateful for your reply. :two_hearts:

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Thank you so much Frances55 for your reply and virtual hug. All you amazing ladies are making me feel better x

Thank you Siggi for taking the time to reply. I’m so grateful and feel a bit less alone. X

Hello Kazi I will keep my fingers crossed for you that they are only calcifications I also had some of those as well as breast cancer & had surgery to remove the tumour & some lymph nodes last year. Please don’t beat yourself up about your weight. My neighbour is super fit cycled & runs to work & back & super skinny never smoked ‘ does not drink alcohol & has had breast cancer. Sending hugs xx

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Please understand it is NOT your fault. Try to give to yourself some of the enormous love that you have for your children. Sending YOU lots of love and very best wishes. Am just a little way behind you treatment wise & struggling with the weight issue too. And where that all came from. I have been reading Gabor Mate & trying to be kinder & more understanding . We got this :muscle:t3::hugs::heart:

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Thank you very much Bonfox. My follow up appointment is tomorrow and I am very scared.

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Thank you Stina. My follow up is tomorrow and I’m so scared x

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It is not your fault @Kazi1976. Please don’t blame yourself. 1 in 7 women get breast cancer and you can be thin, sporty and super healthy too. I am overweight with a bmi of 29.5. Maybe it was a factor, but equally I’ve met women with bmi’s under 25. I have 3 kids too and it is hard to look after yourself with work and 3 other busy lives to organise. Whatever the further tests show, you can do this. Seek help from us, family and friends, and do what you need to do. It might turn out to be nothing, but if it is something, come back and let us know. One thing I’ve learned since my diagnosis is that there are lots of positive, knowledgeable and helpful ladies on here to support us. Xx

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Just know that there are many women holding you in their thoughts today and sending you strength, courage, love, gentle hugs and positives vibes :pray:t3::crossed_fingers: :heart:

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I will be thinking of you today @Kazi1976

Sending you love and strength :sparkling_heart: xx

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@Kazi1976 Hi :wave: i feel for you I was made to feel bad because i am overweight and like yourself they found calcification on my mammogram. I had three surgeries the last resulting in a masectomy. Cancer can affect anyone. Whether your obese or not. I have started to go swimming and to the gym not solely to lose weight but also because it makes me feel better. Find something you enjoy. Maybe start doing some exercises at home. I love to ride my stationary bike if I cannot go for a swim/gym. Sending you hugs :people_hugging: and prayers​:pray:

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Hi Kazi1976,

I’m so sorry for the anxiety you’re going through. I feel your pain. I am two years post diagnosis of stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma with micromets to one lymph node. I have had two follow up mammograms and ultrasounds done and each time they have found micro calcifications. I have had one biopsy with them found to be benign. So what I’m trying to say is although it’s stressful, it will more than likely be benign changes. I know that by my second year scan, I have been a lot less stressed and I presume with everyone after, will get less and less frightening. Stay strong, you’ll get through this. :heart:

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