In July 2011, I wrote about my breast calcifications, and my biopsy to have them removed, see the full story here: My Recovery
More than twelve months later, and I was due for another check up.. Basically to check that no calcifications had come back, I suppose and also to check that there were no new 'suspect' ones.. etc.etc. I was considering whether to go or not.. It's not exactly a pleasant process, and I didn't for a minute think that there would be new calcifications, and I had no lumps that I was aware of...
However, at the moment there is a lot in the press about Breast Cancer awareness, so I thought what the hell, go for the follow up and be done with it. I booked an appointment, and went along.
I was right, no new calcifications. Mammogram was fine. The ultrasound also did not show any new calcifications. We moved on to the right side, and saw what can only be described as a 'black hole' appear.. Ew ! 'It doesn't look suspect' said the consultant radiographer, as she measured the 'dimensions' of the hole '. We discussed the fact that this was 'new', it was not on the scan last year. 'You can leave it, or if you prefer we can do a biopsy', the radiographer said.
'What now ?' I asked. My little CC was outside in the waiting room doing her maths homework. I guess at a private hospital they can do this sort of thing straight away. 'Yes please' I said. Based on my family history of the disease, I prefer to err on the side of caution.
'Scalpel, please' said the radiographer. Actually, it was the same lady that had carried out my wire biopsy last year, so I am getting used to hearing her say those words... We discussed grammar schools too.. like you do. Anyway, the 'incision' was all of 2mm. She injected what looked like a bucketful of anaesthetic before she took a couple of chunks, with what sounded like a stapler. A few steri strips over the top, and that was that. I saw my consultant immediately afterwards and he reaffirmed what the radiographer had said.
I arranged to see my consultant with the biopsy results on Friday 19th October. It was a long four days, but finally the day came. The 'mass' was not malignant. It also was not a cyst this time.. The size of it is 8.4mm. And what next ? My consultant said that I should have a follow-up ultra sound in three months. The consultant said that some women have cysts or masses that are the size of a small fist, and some choose to have them removed for aesthetic reasons. Fair enough.
The main reason for the next ultrasound is to assess the 'rate of growth'. If it has doubled in size within three months, he said they would probably do another biopsy... I don't know what happens if it is the same size. Maybe I will go back six months later for another check... Who knows ?
It just goes to show that you never can tell what these tests will bring up, and the importance of going for regular health checks.