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Breast biopsy

(9 Posts)
Pollyanna2 Fri 02-Aug-19 08:50:56

Hi everyone - My mum (92) has just had a couple of breast lumps checked out at the hospital. The consultant there said he could give her some tablets (wish I'd asked the name of these now) to help shrink the lumps, but a biopsy may produce a more accurate diagnosis, and therefore possibly more treatment options. However he did say a biopsy may not be possible as she is so thin - the needle may go too near a lung - they wouldn't know until they try. Anyway now she has too decide whether to go ahead with the biopsy or not, given that she would probably not opt for any invasive surgery or anything anyway, given her age and frailty. She asked my advice but I'm not telling her what to do - just trying to go over the options with her. I wondered what experiences anyone on here might have had with breast biopsy, as I've had no experience of it myself.

Caledonai14 Fri 02-Aug-19 11:48:33

Pollyanna2 my mum was naturally thin and it did lead to problems for doctors (especially when they didn't take it into account). Your mum's doctor has tried to give her the choice so she will not feel forced into anything, but your post shows how much you care for her and want to do the right thing since she has asked your advice. I hope other Gransnetters can offer help and advice and I just wanted to send good wishes to you and your mum in the hope that all turns out well, whichever decision you both make. Your love and respect for each other shines through and will be key to this.

EllanVannin Fri 02-Aug-19 12:38:56

The tablets to shrink the lump/s will be hormones and given the age etc I think any consultant would wait and see what the results are when the hormone therapy has finished. I doubt that anything invasive will be necessary.
I hope things go well without any undue discomfort.

Anannymous Fri 02-Aug-19 14:55:32

Hello Pollyanna2 can I suggest that you give Breast Cancer Care a call. I am sure they would be happy to go through things with you. Hope this helps you and your mum.

Diane227 Fri 02-Aug-19 15:03:07

My grandmother was given tablets to shrink the tumours. This worked for her and she lived well into her 90s eventually passing away from something unrelated. I cant comment on the biopsy but
God bless . Hope all goes well.

Nellie098 Fri 02-Aug-19 16:26:08

I had a breast biopsy at 60 and if I was 92 I definitely would not want to have it done. She would probably have to lie on her front for at least 30 minutes while the procedure takes place and sections are taken from the breast. I can't remember it being overly painful but then we tend to forget pain long term. I think you should be told exactly what will happen as I was told nothing really until on the table. The Breast Care nurses at the hospital are usually very helpful. However do not let this put off people who need this done as it may save your life. Let's hope the tablets help and nothing else is necessary.

Pollyanna2 Fri 02-Aug-19 19:01:12

Thanks everyone your input has been very helpful

notanan2 Fri 02-Aug-19 20:24:40

The biopsy would be "guided", probably by ultrasound. They would abandon it if it turned out to be too risky once the needle was in.

But if they did manage to biopsy it, then they could offer "targeted" tablets or maybe trial drugs. Which are more effective for certain (but not all) breast cancers than the general tablets.

If it was me I would let them "try and see" with the expectation that it could be abandoned if it became risky during the process of the biopsy.

If simply attempting (vs completing) the biopsy was too risky, they wouldnt be offering it right?

notanan2 Fri 02-Aug-19 20:26:17

Meant to say that the biopsy would USUALLY/PROBABLY be guided. You would have to confirm