There was a quiet little voice inside my head warning me against having a biopsy. When the day came to sign the consent, I asked the radiologist if it wouldn't be more prudent to have the surgeon excise the entire mass rather than breaching an otherwise encapsulated tumor. Wouldn't that potentially turn a non-invasive carcinoma into one that is invasive? She gave me a nasty look and a terse response, "That is bad medicine. You don't want a surgeon mucking around in there without knowing what he is dealing with. Besides, your tumor is already invasive."
Already invasive? That isn't what I was previously told. Really?
Back into the fog. I couldn't think. I could barely breathe. Heart rate increased. Blood pressure shot through the roof. And the clock was ticking. She wasn't about to let me keep her waiting any longer. So she performed the first biopsy. Anesthetic didn't work, so she reprimanded me for not holding perfectly still. She never got the second biopsy. When the third and largest mass was biopsied, the tumor was essentially split in half by the procedure. Tension was released like the snap of a thick rubber band. Half of the tissue actually shifted toward my underarm. My fears were actualized. An intact tumor was ruptured by the core biopsy and cancer cells were likely released into the surrounding tissue. I broke my own resolution and went home to see what Dr. Google had to say about it. Sure enough, the research I found confirmed my suspicions. The John Wayne Cancer Institute offered this bit of information for my consideration.
Now I felt that there was no turning back from surgery.
Lesson learned: Again, follow your gut instincts. Don't be bullied by condescending doctors.