new to all of this

rrogers34
rrogers34 Member Posts: 135
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
On November 23rd,I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Cancer in the left breast. I had a mammo in Feb 2009 and it was clear. Went for my annual obgyn visit and he had me lye back and felt a hard movable lump under my left breast. He suggested I have it checked. He referred to me to a Breast Surgical oncologist. She did a FNB and it was fine, they did an ultra sound and it looked fine. They thought it was a fibroidadenoma. Three months later back for a recheck. All seemed the same. November 12th went for another check. FNB done, suspicious this time. Scheduled for a Ultra sound guided core biopsy and it came back Malignant. On November 24th I went for an MRI and it showing something suspicious in my right breast. Had a Ultra sound guided core biopsy on the rt breast on Tuesday. Yesterday I had my Surgical consultation and the plan as of now is, If rt breast is okay, do a lumpectomey, chemo, radiation, sentinal node mapping on left breast. (Assume they will take out whatever is in my right also). If there is cancer in my right, then we do a double mastectomy, chemo. Not sure how I feel about reconstruction. I am 51 and a DDD. I know the survival rate is no different between the Lumpectomy and the Mastecomy, however is the treatment different? Need for more surgeries, more chemo. As of now my surgery is scheduled for 12/9. It will be post-poned if I opt for the reconstruction because I am a smoker and have to be smoke free for at least three weeks. I am down to about one per day. I have faith in Jesus Christ, I beleive in the power of prayer. I am struggeling over the type of sugery to have. What is the difference other than survival rate? Need for additional treatment (Chemo)?, additional surgeries? all of this is going so fast..............

Comments

  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    So much to handle!
    I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis--what a lot to handle all at once! I hope I can help you understand what you're facing a bit better.

    The difference between recurrence rates for lumpectomy with radiation and mastectomy is nonsignificant--such a tiny difference, it really isn't one. However, if you do only lumpectomy with NO radiation, recurrence rates are higher than with mastectomy. Survival rates for lumpectomy with radiation and mastectomy are similar also. The thing that makes a significant difference is the radiation--if you don't do radiation with the lumpectomy, neither recurrence rates nor survival rates are the same or as good as for mastectomy in general.

    The treatments are different because they generally don't need to do radiation with mastectomy, though apparently in a few cases they do. In addition, mastectomy is a more invasive surgery with different benefits AND risks from lumpectomy. Ask your doctor to name ALL of the benefits AND risks of both surgeries. I'd also encourage you to seek at least one second opinion from a doctor in a different hospital, or, if possible, a medical center where research is conducted. Even if you decide to stick with the first doctor, talking with another can give you useful information. Knowledge is Power!

    Also ask for your pathology reports--you need to know what your hormone-receptor statuses are--i.e., are you estrogen-positive (ER+) or negative (ER-)? Progesterone-positive (PgR+) or negative (PgR-)? HER-2/neu positive or negative, and according to what test if you show HER-2/neu positive (FISH is a more accurate test, but IHC is commonly run first)? These are important factors that should be considered as you make your treatment decisions. If you are positive on ER and/or PgR, you'll be a candidate for hormone-blocking treatment, but if you are negative on those, you'll need more aggressive chemo.

    Have they done an Oncotype DX? That provides good info, too, that might affect your decision about surgery and follow-up treatments.

    A good book to help you understand all this stuff: _Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (4th ed.)_.

    Hang in there! We're all rooting for you! Sandy
  • padee6339
    padee6339 Member Posts: 763
    Hello and Welcome RRogers
    I am sorry you had to find us this way. You can be sure you found the right group of angels to help you through your journey. I was diagnosed at the end of September 2008, had a lumpectomy on 10/12/08 followed by 6 rounds of chemo and 36 radiation treatments. I cannot help you with treatment plans, only by what I had. From diagnosis to surgery it seems so fast, actually it goes incredibly fast from beginning to end. I cannot believe I am out of treatment 6 months already. The year went by so fast. We are here to offer you encouragement and support. I am sure someone will be able to send you to the right places to find answers to your questions. And listen to these ladies, they are all smart, bright and lovely people who help each other. Can you talk to your primary care physician? I am sure he will have more answers for you than I have, sometimes I feel so ignorant about my own treatment. I will keep you in my prayers today and on the 9th and know you will choose the option that is right for you.
    God Bless You!
    Pat
  • crselby
    crselby Member Posts: 441

    So much to handle!
    I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis--what a lot to handle all at once! I hope I can help you understand what you're facing a bit better.

    The difference between recurrence rates for lumpectomy with radiation and mastectomy is nonsignificant--such a tiny difference, it really isn't one. However, if you do only lumpectomy with NO radiation, recurrence rates are higher than with mastectomy. Survival rates for lumpectomy with radiation and mastectomy are similar also. The thing that makes a significant difference is the radiation--if you don't do radiation with the lumpectomy, neither recurrence rates nor survival rates are the same or as good as for mastectomy in general.

    The treatments are different because they generally don't need to do radiation with mastectomy, though apparently in a few cases they do. In addition, mastectomy is a more invasive surgery with different benefits AND risks from lumpectomy. Ask your doctor to name ALL of the benefits AND risks of both surgeries. I'd also encourage you to seek at least one second opinion from a doctor in a different hospital, or, if possible, a medical center where research is conducted. Even if you decide to stick with the first doctor, talking with another can give you useful information. Knowledge is Power!

    Also ask for your pathology reports--you need to know what your hormone-receptor statuses are--i.e., are you estrogen-positive (ER+) or negative (ER-)? Progesterone-positive (PgR+) or negative (PgR-)? HER-2/neu positive or negative, and according to what test if you show HER-2/neu positive (FISH is a more accurate test, but IHC is commonly run first)? These are important factors that should be considered as you make your treatment decisions. If you are positive on ER and/or PgR, you'll be a candidate for hormone-blocking treatment, but if you are negative on those, you'll need more aggressive chemo.

    Have they done an Oncotype DX? That provides good info, too, that might affect your decision about surgery and follow-up treatments.

    A good book to help you understand all this stuff: _Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (4th ed.)_.

    Hang in there! We're all rooting for you! Sandy

    options for you
    Hi there.

    Good advice there, from Lady Parvati. If you have to have cancer, and I wish you (and all the rest of us) didn't have to, then I hope you can go forward with as much true and good information as possible.

    Since we are in similar boats I will share my experience with you. In June I was diagnosed with DCIS (non-invasive, so no chemo needed). The results of the MRI showed 'iffy' spots in the other breast. If they had been malignent, I would have opted for a double mastectomy, but not without a lot of angst. As it turned out, the MRI biopsies showed I had only the one spot in one breast. So I had a lumpectomy. But because recurrance rates hinge on having clear margins after the surgery or not, I asked my surgeon to take as big a cavity as she liked. You see, I am a DDD too.

    My scar is about 3.5 inches long and almost unnoticeable. However, the CAT scan done during radiation planning showed the cavity to be 10mm across (almost 5 inches). You may wonder how my bc breast looks, now, after brachytherapy (5 days) radiation. I must honestly say that the bc breast is a little smaller than the other. It always was the smaller of my two 'girls' but is even more so now. However, I wear the same bras as before the surgery and any difference in size is only noticeable when I am naked. There is no change in shape except for a small 'dip' in the area of the scar. But my breasts are so loose (I'm 58) that my husband can barely see it.

    This is a horrible time for you, I'm sure, being surprised by this happening to you, and now, having to make all kinds of decisions about how doctors will treat your body. It's not easy but you will get through it. You are not alone. This is a great place to ask questions, since you have an audience of readers who have 'done it all' in one form or another. Plesae post again and let us know what's going on!
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Rrogers, just wanted to
    Rrogers, just wanted to welcome you to the group. I'm sorry you are here but you have come to the right place for support and answers to your questions. I don't have any additional information to offer but know that we will be here for you every step of the way. This is an amazing group of very supportive, caring, knowledgeable and just plain wonderful women. Take care and keep us posted.
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
    MyTurnNow said:

    Rrogers, just wanted to
    Rrogers, just wanted to welcome you to the group. I'm sorry you are here but you have come to the right place for support and answers to your questions. I don't have any additional information to offer but know that we will be here for you every step of the way. This is an amazing group of very supportive, caring, knowledgeable and just plain wonderful women. Take care and keep us posted.

    Hi
    Hi and Welcome, though sorry you are here for bc. I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatments. I felt lucky that my tumor was small enough that I could. I don't think I could have handled a mastectomy. As far as I know, the survival and the recurrence rate is the same with a lumpectomy followed by radiation as it is with a mastectomy. Even with a mastectomy, they can never get all of your breast tissue. Good luck to you!

    Angie
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
    MyTurnNow said:

    Rrogers, just wanted to
    Rrogers, just wanted to welcome you to the group. I'm sorry you are here but you have come to the right place for support and answers to your questions. I don't have any additional information to offer but know that we will be here for you every step of the way. This is an amazing group of very supportive, caring, knowledgeable and just plain wonderful women. Take care and keep us posted.

    I want to welcome you to the
    I want to welcome you to the site Rrogers. This is the place noone wants to come to, but, when you do, you will receive so much support and advice from the brave bc survivors. Wishing you good luck!

    Hugs, Diane ♥