Questions about breast biopsy and the diagnostic process and timing

Posted by denise66 @denise66, May 21, 2023

I had a mammogram on Thursday. A suspicious mass was found. I go for a biopsy on Tuesday. When the radiologist told you about the mammogram result what did they tell you? It definitely looks like cancer? It is cancer and you need a biopsy? They are worried and it’s very suspicious for cancer?

If you had a biopsy how long for your results? If malignant, how long before you had your lumpectomy?

Thanks so much everyone.

Thanks so much ladies


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01/03/2020 I had an ultrasound and afterwards I asked the doctor if he thought it wasn't cancer or did he
think it might be cancer or was he quite sure it was cancer and he responded that he was quite
sure it was cancer. I was very surprised. I really didn't expect him to answer me.
01/13/2020 Saw a breast surgeon
01/28/2020 Had a lumpectomy
03/23/2020 Started radiation appointments.

I am so sorry that you are going through this.
Hopefully you have a benign lesion. I will be thinking about you.



Thank you so much for responding so quickly!

How are you doing? I hope you are doing well. Did you have all your treatment at Mayo?

I asked the radiologist the same question. She said it is very suspicious for cancer. Said I need a biopsy which is scheduled for Tuesday. When I read the radiology report, she listed me as a Birads 4 which means suspicious. Do you recall your Birads score?


Hi @denise66
Anytime they order a biopsy they are suspicious, but 80% of breast biopsies are benign so I'm hoping you're one of those cases. 🙂

My first biopsy at 27 turned out to be benign. Waiting made me a wreck since I had a 3 year old child at the time. At 54 they saw something suspicious on my mammogram, did an ultrasound and told me I had three different types of masses and scheduled a biopsy. I figured one of them would likely be cancer and one was. The other two were not. No Birads score given.

I don't remember exactly how long after the biopsy before I had surgery, but it wasn't fast (2-3 mo). I had an MRI, genetic testing, consults with other doctors, etc. As much as we would like it to be, it's usually not a rush. I don't live near Mayo. My treatment was through a local breast center and hospital. Biopsy results usually take up to 5 business days. Ask how long for results when you have the biopsy. I think I had my results in about 4.

The waiting game is the hardest part. Praying you'll hear, "It's benign, see you for your mammogram next year."


Thank you so much for responding.

How are you doing? How long ago were you diagnosed?



Hi @denise66
Diagnosed in 2013, stage 1, double mastectomy because I have the BRCA2 mutation. Didn't take hormone therapy due to bad advice so I recommend getting a second opinion on any treatment plan. If I had a do-over, I would take hormone therapy. Was cancer free for 7 years. It came back 3 years ago. I'm on long term BC meds to control it now. Still enjoying life. I'm always an usual case.

Let's just get you through the biopsy first in case you don't even have BC. If you do, then it will help to know your specifics and hear from others with similar findings. Every case is so different that it can be apples and oranges to compare cases without specific findings. I'm praying you'll have good results! 🙂


Hi Katrina,

Thank you so much for sharing. You are a very strong lady. You give me great advice and hope.



It's amazing how times have changed. When I look back my first breast biopsy was when I was 19 (I'm now 70) at that time you signed authorization that if during surgery cancer was found you granted them the OK to perform mastectomy. Imagine being 19 and not knowing if when you woke from surgery whether there was a breast. In the span of about 8 years I had 2 more breast surgery biopsies - thankfully all were benign. Over the years I had lumps that appeared then disappeared, lumps that turned out to be fluid and they were drained. So when my recent lump occurred I wasn't frantic, but concerned because somehow this one felt different. I will admit that during Covid I was remiss and didn't reschedule my mammo appointment after it was OK to reschedule. But since this felt different I impressed that I wanted a mammo and as precaution my dr. also requested an ultrasound at the same time, the results then warranted a biopsy and this was a needle biopsy which was uncomfortable but far less scary then going uninformed into surgery. We've come a long way in the ability to diagnose before prescribing treatment for BC and for that I'm extremely grateful.


I was treated at a rural medical facility so my story is a different one.
I had a lump, thought it was a bad bruise, as that is what it felt like. Then it got bigger so I called a friend who was a really good surgeon. Ordered a mammogram, that I quote said, yes there is something there but nothing to worry about in an otherwise healthy 38 year old.
Needle core biopsy said, nope, nothing there but breast tissue.
Surgeon came to my business and said, something is there and it is big and I don’t like it, let’s cut it out and send it to a lab.😳
Sure enough grade 3, er+, pr-, her2+ Invasive ductal carcinoma.
And the journey began.
You are right @bpknitter53 diagnostics sure have come a long way in the last 18 years, and if what I read is any indication, they will continue to get better and better.
How are you doing with the waiting @denise66 ?


Hi Chris,

I’m very sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine the emotional roller coaster you were on. I’m so very sorry.

How are you doing? How long ago was this?

I’m doing ok. Biopsy is tomorrow at Mayo. I just want to know.

I found a lump in my breast 2 weeks ago. I went yo Herscan a mobile imaging place last Monday. The tech told me I’m found something that does not look like normal breast tissue.

After she told me that I immediately called my doctor who ordered a dx mammo and ultrasound. That was done last Thursday.

I’m really beating myself up over not getting a mammogram for 2 years! My last mammo was in May 2020. It was totally normal. I went for mammograms and breast ultrasounds for 10 straight years! From 2005 to 2015. I moved across country and did not go for a mammo until 2018. Then had another in 2020. I feel like such a fool for not going. I’m 56 years old. I have no bc in my family.

Thank you so much for reaching out.


@bpknitter53 -- that would be horrible to go into surgery with such an unknown! And being only 19 is really just too much. It's also crazy back then that they immediately went to a radical mastectomy without consideration of less invasive options. So glad it was benign at the time.

34 years ago, I had my first MRI, a brain MRI. You can't imagine the pages and pages of warnings, releases, etc. that I had to sign. It made it sound very experimental like my head might explode. I was scared with a young child at home. Then during the long procedure, my head felt soooo hot inside I was really worried about brain damage. It felt like my brain was being squished to one side. Now MRIs are so routine and I've never felt any heat or anything else in another one including more brain MRIs. I'm not sure if they didn't something wrong that day, if they cranked it up higher in those days or if the machines have actually changed. We're very lucky with today's advancements!

@auntieoakley -- scary for you too. Yes, breast diagnostics have come such a long way. Your story also supports why you go to breast centers, cancer centers, etc. where they have the most experience and training. Fun to live in the country, but rural medical care is not top notch (even though we all loved Marcus Welby MD).

@denise66 -- hang in there!

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