Breast biopsy - scared

#1
Hi all:

I had a call back on a mammogram and after the second mammogram and ultrasound, I need core needle biopsies on one breast which are scheduled this Wednesday. I am sick with worry about the possible results, but also just the biopsies. I originally read material that stated they should be somewhat painless with local anesthetic. I then made the mistake of Googling and have read horror stories about the pain. Im trying to tell myself the experience will be different for everyone, depending on the physician, patient, where on the breast it’s taking place, etc, and that I’m building it up worse than it needs to be. Anyone out there with this experience have any sage advice for me? I’m finding it so hard to keep my mind off of this and I don’t want to spend the next couple of days filled with anxiety. (Luckily, Cathe workouts do provide the needed 1 hour or so respite from thinking.) Thank you!
 
#2
Hi Anne,
((hugs)) to you. Yes, anything that goes inside no matter how non-invasive can cause us so much anxiety right? I feel you.
I wanted to let you know, that at least in my case, no, it does not hurt. I have been having ultrasounds & both aspiration needle + core needle biopsies on my right breast every year (first year, I had it every 4-5 months) for three years now to "watch" a couple of hard lumps. In fact, I thought the mammo was far more uncomfortable. The biopsies were done by different technologists as well. Some are better at keeping me warm. lol. My only advice would be to try your best to relax, don't have any caffeine a couple of days prior to it and if you are still having some anticipation anxiety, ask for an ativan. You might be feeling a little tender afterwards, so bring a non-wired bra with you.
You got this!!!! :)
 
#3
I had a needle biopsy done before (not sure if it was a "core"). I found it incredibly anxiety producing and for me, that was more about the results and less about the procedure. The biopsy was "pinchy" and uncomfortable, but definitely not anywhere near agonizing. I agree with bringing a non wired bra with you. Lots of people have made it through these things and you will too. ;)
 
#4
Hi Anne,
((hugs)) to you. Yes, anything that goes inside no matter how non-invasive can cause us so much anxiety right? I feel you.
I wanted to let you know, that at least in my case, no, it does not hurt. I have been having ultrasounds & both aspiration needle + core needle biopsies on my right breast every year (first year, I had it every 4-5 months) for three years now to "watch" a couple of hard lumps. In fact, I thought the mammo was far more uncomfortable. The biopsies were done by different technologists as well. Some are better at keeping me warm. lol. My only advice would be to try your best to relax, don't have any caffeine a couple of days prior to it and if you are still having some anticipation anxiety, ask for an ativan. You might be feeling a little tender afterwards, so bring a non-wired bra with you.
You got this!!!!

Thank you for the reassurance. It really helps a lot.
 
#5
I had a needle biopsy done before (not sure if it was a "core"). I found it incredibly anxiety producing and for me, that was more about the results and less about the procedure. The biopsy was "pinchy" and uncomfortable, but definitely not anywhere near agonizing. I agree with bringing a non wired bra with you. Lots of people have made it through these things and you will too. ;)
Thank you for letting me know it made you anxious as well and that you survived. I appreciate your response and support.
 
#6
I think, generally speaking with these kinds of things, it is the millions of people who have the procedure and for whom it goes smoothly and with minimal discomfort, if some anxiety, of course, that we never hear from since when things go well and as planned, we don't tend to post about it online. So, it would suggest that the people we do hear from are the few for whom the procedure was not as smooth for any number of possible reasons ranging from idiosyncrasies of personal anatomy to the competency of the medical team involved.

I think, in your position, I would try to calm my anxiety with the rationale that having these tests ordered by my physician is actually a good thing because early detection is key. Ruling out possibilities is vital. I would always rather know than not know.

I hope you can take some comfort Anne in the well wishes of all us here on the forums. Thinking of you and I am keeping my fingers crossed for negative results all the way.

Clare
 
#7
I think, generally speaking with these kinds of things, it is the millions of people who have the procedure and for whom it goes smoothly and with minimal discomfort, if some anxiety, of course, that we never hear from since when things go well and as planned, we don't tend to post about it online. So, it would suggest that the people we do hear from are the few for whom the procedure was not as smooth for any number of possible reasons ranging from idiosyncrasies of personal anatomy to the competency of the medical team involved.

I think, in your position, I would try to calm my anxiety with the rationale that having these tests ordered by my physician is actually a good thing because early detection is key. Ruling out possibilities is vital. I would always rather know than not know.

I hope you can take some comfort Anne in the well wishes of all us here on the forums. Thinking of you and I am keeping my fingers crossed for negative results all the way.

Clare
Thank you, Clare. Very well said. I am typically the voice of reason in these situations and was surprised at myself and how quickly I lost my confidence and became filled with anxiety. Your words mean a lot, and I feel the love and support.
 
#8
Hi Anne,
((hugs)) to you. Yes, anything that goes inside no matter how non-invasive can cause us so much anxiety right? I feel you.
I wanted to let you know, that at least in my case, no, it does not hurt. I have been having ultrasounds & both aspiration needle + core needle biopsies on my right breast every year (first year, I had it every 4-5 months) for three years now to "watch" a couple of hard lumps. In fact, I thought the mammo was far more uncomfortable. The biopsies were done by different technologists as well. Some are better at keeping me warm. lol. My only advice would be to try your best to relax, don't have any caffeine a couple of days prior to it and if you are still having some anticipation anxiety, ask for an ativan. You might be feeling a little tender afterwards, so bring a non-wired bra with you.
You got this!!!! :)
 
#10
I had a repeat mamm yesterday. I’ve had many repeats and several ultrasounds over the years. I've been lucky..... everything neg. the pre test anxiety (!!!! ) however, is off the charts.

Elsie is right ....ask your doc for some anti anxiety medication. Xanax works best for me, they will give what they think is the best fit. If I get decent sleep before a test, it makes a huge difference in my overall stress level and attitude.
My anxiety maxes out in the middle of the night a night or two before the scheduled test. I always imagine completely ridiculous worst case scenarios. If I’m reasonably rested , I am much more able to cope.
Be careful with any medication until you see how it works for you. I only use it for sleep and would not drive if I’d used any. Somehow your imagination is worst in the middle of the night.

Best to you and hoping for a negative test. Finding anything early and dealing with it is much better than letting things go.
 
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#14
Hi Clare:

Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, one of the 3 biopsies tested positive for breast cancer. Saw a breast specialist this past week. I have a full day of testing on Thursday which will give me more information on a treatment plan. It still feels very surreal to me. Not that anyone does, but I never would have expected this.

As for the biopsies, the local anesthetic was the only painful part. I only felt pressure with the biopsy itself. As is usually the case, its never as bad as we think it will be.

Hugs,
Anne
 
#15
Hey Anne,

Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. The one year anniversary of my diagnosis is the end of this week. I can completely identify with the surreal feeling you are having, I also never thought I'd be dealing with a serious disease. I just want to offer my support and let you know that although getting through the treatments made for a rough year last year, my life is pretty much back to normal. I'm happy to answer questions if I can. I also found breastcancer.org to be a pretty good resource. Remember, the numbers are in your favor - 5-year survival rates for early stage breast cancer are over 90%.
 
#16
Thank you, Lily. I feel like I'm at least past the denial and shock and tears phase and now into, let's get this fixed phase. Granted, I realize I still don't have a treatment plan yet and I've got a long road ahead of me, but I'm trying to take each step at a time. Yesterday I had my breast MRI, chest x-ray, labs and EKG. Now we'll wait and see what those results review. I appreciate your support, it means alot.
 

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