Pathology Report

LucieB
LucieB Member Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
This is my first time on the board. Everyone seems very helpful and caring. I just had a lumpectomy on Oct. 17 and have my follow-up with the surgeon this Friday, Oct. 24. I would like to ask him for a copy of the pathology report so I can digest it at my own pace. I'm just wondering if this is common practice to ask for a copy of the report or if doctors are generally reluctant to do this. I know I'm not a doctor and can't interpret it the way my doctor would, but I feel it will have some useful information to help me determine (in consultation with my oncologist) what the next stage should be. Also, early results of the sentinel node biopsy were negative. I'm still awaiting the final results of the pathology report before I break open the champagne on that one. Would appreciate any experiences or feedback from people who were told the sentinel nodes were clear but then found out otherwise. Thanks so much! My e-mail is [email protected].

Comments

  • jake10
    jake10 Member Posts: 202
    Hi, Welcome! Ask for you pathology report. The doctor should have no problems with giving you a copy. Then come to this site and ask lots of questions about it. I read on this site everyone talking about thier pathology and I had never asked for a copy. I did then and felt alot better because I knew that the Her2 and the stages were okay and the estrogen/progesterone test were all done and the Arimidex was the right med for me to be on. So ask away!
    I had preliminay negative nodes and the final report was the same. How big was your tumor? Good Luck, and God Bless! Beth
  • krisrey
    krisrey Member Posts: 194
    Lucie
    I was one of those people. Initial reports came back negative nodes when they took 3. Later that week SURPISE..one node positive (thankfully only one) but it was a shock. then i had to go in and have all my nodes removed which was going to be the 3rd surgury. I will keep my fingers crossed that yours are negative..if you would like to email me, please feel free. I am also new to this forum and have found lots a wonderful people in a very short time.. here is my email [email protected]
  • Sandis
    Sandis Member Posts: 85
    I had two lumpectomies and a mastectomy and asked for and got all pathology reports. They were very helpful to me. I read about treatment options on the web and in various books including Susan Love's breast cancer book and it was comforting to me to know that given my pathology reports my doctors were using appropriate treatment. Its your body and I highly recommending your knowing what's going on. Good luck. sandis
  • Sandis
    Sandis Member Posts: 85
    I had two lumpectomies and a mastectomy and asked for and got all pathology reports. They were very helpful to me. I read about treatment options on the web and in various books including Susan Love's breast cancer book and it was comforting to me to know that given my pathology reports my doctors were using appropriate treatment. Its your body and I highly recommending your knowing what's going on. Good luck. sandis
  • TylersMom1
    TylersMom1 Member Posts: 57
    Hi LucyB,
    Welcome! Yes, ask for your pathology report. I asked for mine and received it along with colored pictures of my tumor; very interesting! I would refer back to the report many times when I was doing research and found it very helpful.
    Good luck with your appointment on the 24th; my prayers will be with you...Cheryl
  • wingingit
    wingingit Member Posts: 48

    Hi LucyB,
    Welcome! Yes, ask for your pathology report. I asked for mine and received it along with colored pictures of my tumor; very interesting! I would refer back to the report many times when I was doing research and found it very helpful.
    Good luck with your appointment on the 24th; my prayers will be with you...Cheryl

    Hi, TylersMom1! I think seeing a picture of your tumor must have been so cool! I think I would have liked to have seen my actual tumor, just sort of stared it down and let it know that it had not defeated me. I realize this sounds strange but I had had almost a year's wait between the time I discovered it and surgery (went through preoperative chemo) and I was so ready to depart company with it!
  • JKAlley
    JKAlley Member Posts: 84
    wingingit said:

    Hi, TylersMom1! I think seeing a picture of your tumor must have been so cool! I think I would have liked to have seen my actual tumor, just sort of stared it down and let it know that it had not defeated me. I realize this sounds strange but I had had almost a year's wait between the time I discovered it and surgery (went through preoperative chemo) and I was so ready to depart company with it!

    Hi Lucie and welcome. My surgeon would come in with two copies of the pathology report, one for me, and one for her. Then we would sit and go over everything, she is awesome. She told me to start a folder and keep copies of everything in it, I still refer back at times. Get copies of everything! She also sugested that I keep a pocket calender in my purse and keep track of every treatment, every test etc., that has also been a big help. My Dr will be fliping through my huge file trying to figure out when a test was done last, I whip out my calender and can tell him in seconds. Good luck, and God bless, Judy
  • LucieB
    LucieB Member Posts: 12
    jake10 said:

    Hi, Welcome! Ask for you pathology report. The doctor should have no problems with giving you a copy. Then come to this site and ask lots of questions about it. I read on this site everyone talking about thier pathology and I had never asked for a copy. I did then and felt alot better because I knew that the Her2 and the stages were okay and the estrogen/progesterone test were all done and the Arimidex was the right med for me to be on. So ask away!
    I had preliminay negative nodes and the final report was the same. How big was your tumor? Good Luck, and God Bless! Beth

    Thanks to everyone (Beth, Kristen, Sandis, Cheryl& Judy, hope I haven't missed anyone!) -- who took the time to respond to my questions about the pathology report and the lypmph nodes. Someone asked how big the tumor was: My doctor guesstimated 1/2 inch which I believe is a little over a centimeter. They also removed three sentinel nodes. I presume I'll find out more tomorrow when I get the final report. Thanks for the well wishes and the excellent advice! Lucie
  • epgnyc
    epgnyc Member Posts: 137
    Hi, Lucie. Definitely get a copy of your report....you'll find yourself referring to it many times over the following months. Like you I had a preliminarily clear report from my sentinel node biopsy (they took two) and they were all clear in the final report as well. Hooray! Hope you get the same news.
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hello LucieB!

    Yes, get copies of all reports and everything else you'd like to keep on file. Your doctor is obliged to give you a copy of everything, regardless of what he/she may think. Path reports can seem a tangle to unravel at first but you will become well versed quickly. Get a good bc book as most have easy to understand guides for interpreting the TNM, S-phase, etc. of path reports. This gives you a really good understanding of your tumor properties overall and is also helpful in planning treatment(s). Gives you a better knowledge in communiating with your team of doctor's. As another resource, www.nci.nih.gov website has a really good section on this as well.

    I had the Sentinel Node procedure. At surgery, the ordinary node tests showed everything negative, so no further nodes were taken. The final report, utilizing the specialized tests, found a few micro cells in one of the 3 nodes taken at surgery. My surgeon and I talked extensively about the risks of lymphedema and other complications if more nodes were removed vs. the 'chances" of any further cells being found. (I was clinically node negative) Since the cells found were "on the fence", medically, I chose not to have further node surgery. We reviewed everything together, carefully, and I made my decision and have not looked back. I got additional post surgical opinions and all considered it the same. Had the cells been in more than one node, a greater number of cells or if they'd been mature cells, then I'd have had more removed, without question. Since I was strongly Her2/neu and would be having chemo, it wasn't a huge factor.

    This is something I've wondered about since and have discussed with my surgeon on occasion: Women who have surgery without the sentinel procedure, how do the pathologists know for certain that the nodes taken are really clean? Without the further, more involved testing which is done in the sentinel procedure, I mean? How often do they miss the micro cells, through ordinary testing, as in my own case? How much does it matter, medically? The initial, usual tests, didn't show mine at all. Why do they not use the same testing on ALL nodes, as they use for the sentinel node testing? As with so much else, it seems to come down to costs at this point in time.

    Best wishes for treatment. Just take your time and get additional opinions if you feel uncertain about anything at any point. Hoping that your final path report will be encouraging!

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • cinder
    cinder Member Posts: 50
    Hi Lucie,
    Welcome to the site, you'll meet a lot of wonderful and very helping people here, I have. I never knew tha I could ask for all of these reports when I first was diagnosed with my cancer. My son was only 16 years old at that time, he is now 27 and a paramedic. I get copies of everything, bloodwork and all, bring it home to him and he explains it to me in my language.
    Best of luck to you and my prayers are with you.
    Cinder