Supporting women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer

Having a Core Biopsy

By S

First I was called in to have a magnified mammogram. When I went in the room I noticed a couple of x-rays on the light box. The left one had a blindingly white patch on and I wondered whose it was. Then realised it had to be mine - so that was why I was here. One of the radiographers explained what I was seeing and pointed out another patch just at the bottom, almost out of sight. Apparantly these were calcium deposits. Some are normal but they aren't as dense and the ones pointed out to me looked more oval shaped.

Then the magnified mammogram. The biopsies are computer controlled so they need to get very accurate measurements and they also wanted a close-up of the patch near my nipple.
You have a local anaesthetic for a core biopsy and lie in a strange position with your breast in a clamp. They first take 5 in a pattern where the first is central then 1 each North, South, East and West of it. These are inspected under a microscope to make sure that the sample contains what they want and come back for more based on that.

The easy to see area had 5, the other one had 10.

This isn't the most pleasant experience but it could be worse. The noise makes you jump, but you mustn't move so the noise is demonstrated a few times to get you used to it. Only one punch was outside the anaesthetised area but it really wasn't that bad.

An enormous dressing was put on my breast which was then inspected by a nurse before I got dressed to leave. My breast felt rather sore for a long time and the bruises from the biopsies had only just faded before my mastectomy.