DCIS question: Does a core needle biopsy break the duct and cause the cancer to spread?

terrifiedme Member Posts: 7

Last Tuesday I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) breast cancer in my left breast.

I have had two core needle biopsies on my left and right breast. I'm still waiting for the results from the biopsy on my right breast.

I have an appointment with the breast surgeon tomorrow (Monday).

I'm worried that the biopsies have damaged the duct wall and caused the cancer to spill out of the duct into the breast.

Does a core needle biopsy break the duct and cause the cancer to spread?

The radiologist who performed the second biopsy was very rough, and he inserted the needle at least six times into my breast (there are six holes/scars in my breast).

I live in Victoria and I'm a public patient. My local hospital is terrible and I don't feel supported by the breast surgeon. She is very unprofessional. I'm afraid that I don't have the same chance of survival as a private patient who can afford to see a breast surgeon of their choice.

I'm terrified that the cancer has spread because of the biopsies.



  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,370
    Talk with your breast surgeon and if at all possible take someone with you. You need to make clear that you are unhappy with the procedures to date. Rough handling by people who should know better is distressing but may not mean you are at greater risk. Cancer cells can spread a number of ways, or not.

    If you are unhappy with your surgeon, talk to
    your GP about how to seek a second opinion. It’s important to your successful treatment that you have confidence in your medical team. Best wishes.
  • alex76
    alex76 Member Posts: 8
    @terrifiedme I was worried about exact same thing. My breast care nurse explained that cancer doesn’t spread like that . Ask your doctor tomorrow and let us know 🤞
  • MrsMorrisey
    MrsMorrisey Member Posts: 78

    DCIS is precancerous cells,so not invasive. . It is considered stage 0 and there is some talk about even if it should be called cancer. 
    Ask what type of biopsy you had. 
    I had the same question, can you spread from a biopsy? It was explained to me that the needle is like a vaccuum and when they click it it takes a small amount of flesh and sucks it up then released onto the slide for pathology. 
    The breast may be a little inflamed from the trauma of it but it’s not usually the case that it would spread. 

  • alex76
    alex76 Member Posts: 8
    @MrsMorrisey you are exactly right 
  • terrifiedme
    terrifiedme Member Posts: 7
    Sorry, I don't know why there are such wide gaps in my post.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,552
    Enjoy your cake and icecream and hopefully you won't need to be here in the future!  Cancer free yippee!
  • terrifiedme
    terrifiedme Member Posts: 7
    Thank you @iserbrown.

    Thank you everyone for your comments and support.
  • MrsMorrisey
    MrsMorrisey Member Posts: 78
    AWESOME!!! BTW get a new GP!! 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,370
    Terrific outcome! Celebrate!
  • terrifiedme
    terrifiedme Member Posts: 7
    The situation has changed. I have read the pathology report and I'm confused about my diagnosis.

    I don't understand why the breast surgeon said that I don't have cancer. From reading the pathology report it sounds like I have cancer.

    It says there is some DCIS, but it also says that there is an encysted carcinoma or a cribriform carcinoma.

    Are they referring to the carcinoma that is in the duct? Or are they referring to another (possibly invasive) carcinoma?

    The pathology report doesn't sound very clear and I'm feeling very confused. 

    Why would the breast surgeon say that I don't have cancer if I have cancer?

    I don't know who to talk to to get clear on this. I have previously been told (by the breast surgeon's receptionist) that I can't talk to her directly because I'm not a private patient. 

    Is that true? And if so who do I talk to if I have questions?

    I'm finding the uncertainty very distressing. It has been very taxing on my mental illness* these past few weeks while I have been waiting for the results. 

    I'm feeling very overwhelmed and right now I'm dissociating. I'm finding it hard to think or write.

    *I have complex trauma and severe depression and anxiety and I get triggered by things.
  • terrifiedme
    terrifiedme Member Posts: 7
    I have sent an email to the breast surgeon saying pretty much what I have said here.
  • GinGin
    GinGin Member Posts: 110
    @terrifiedme, will you consider going to a breast surgeon (private) to explain the results to you (second opinion). You will need to pay for the consultation fees which is about $200 to $300 before Medicare rebate. If you do, arm yourself with all the questions you may have and get a peace of mind.

    Most GP doesn’t know how to read these pathology results. Mine will not even attempt and she was honest with me. She even drafted a few questions she wanted answers before I met my breast surgeon.

    I hope you don’t have cancer. 🤞 
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 555
    Some breast surgeons do not consider DCIS to be cancer.  I hope you can get clear answers from the breast surgeon.  

    Also if you are going through the publuc system you can ask the breast care nurse to come to the next appointment with you to see the breast surgeon.  I hope you can get clarity very soon. Wishing you well.