Mom has bc invasive,75 yrs bad health, need advice

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CindyFH
CindyFH Member Posts: 8
hello, I am new. My mom has a 7 cm tumor, wanted to have mastectomy surgeon told her today they might need to do chemo first to see if it responds. she wants it out ASAP. she has lots of health issues, Coumadin, heart monitor, diabetic, etc. Anyone have similar,ar experience? I say do mast ASAP. any insight would help me!

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  • LoveBabyJesus
    LoveBabyJesus Member Posts: 1,679 Member
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    So sorry about your mom.
    Hi--

    If I was in your shoes, and my mom was that age with health issues I would have the mast. first. Why? Because chemo is so unpredictable. She can do well with it, but chemo can also put her on a situation where she can’t have surgery right away, because of blood count, for example or other issues. That’s my instinct thought, but other sisters might think something else. Is she big-breasted? One other reason to do chemo first is to make sure it shrinks so that they can get clear margins. If there is evidence cells have traveled to other parts of the tissue, then maybe chemo first may be a better idea. She would have to be monitored closely, which I am sure her team of Drs. Will do to be sure its responding, and to make sure she is put at a stage where the surgery will be successful. Again, this is only my thought.

    Wishing you good luck and sending you and your mom positive thoughts and prayers. Hang in there, there are many survivors. We’re always here for you.
  • CindyFH
    CindyFH Member Posts: 8
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    So sorry about your mom.
    Hi--

    If I was in your shoes, and my mom was that age with health issues I would have the mast. first. Why? Because chemo is so unpredictable. She can do well with it, but chemo can also put her on a situation where she can’t have surgery right away, because of blood count, for example or other issues. That’s my instinct thought, but other sisters might think something else. Is she big-breasted? One other reason to do chemo first is to make sure it shrinks so that they can get clear margins. If there is evidence cells have traveled to other parts of the tissue, then maybe chemo first may be a better idea. She would have to be monitored closely, which I am sure her team of Drs. Will do to be sure its responding, and to make sure she is put at a stage where the surgery will be successful. Again, this is only my thought.

    Wishing you good luck and sending you and your mom positive thoughts and prayers. Hang in there, there are many survivors. We’re always here for you.

    Thank you!
    she is fairly big breasted. I sure don't want her health compromised by chemo if it might make it harder to have the surgery. Hmm, good thought! I don't get why they need to let the tomorrow continue to grow while they investigate various chemo treatments. seems weird, almost counter productive.
  • CindyFH
    CindyFH Member Posts: 8
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    So sorry about your mom.
    Hi--

    If I was in your shoes, and my mom was that age with health issues I would have the mast. first. Why? Because chemo is so unpredictable. She can do well with it, but chemo can also put her on a situation where she can’t have surgery right away, because of blood count, for example or other issues. That’s my instinct thought, but other sisters might think something else. Is she big-breasted? One other reason to do chemo first is to make sure it shrinks so that they can get clear margins. If there is evidence cells have traveled to other parts of the tissue, then maybe chemo first may be a better idea. She would have to be monitored closely, which I am sure her team of Drs. Will do to be sure its responding, and to make sure she is put at a stage where the surgery will be successful. Again, this is only my thought.

    Wishing you good luck and sending you and your mom positive thoughts and prayers. Hang in there, there are many survivors. We’re always here for you.

    Lymph involvement?
    another thing, why do they wait on doing lymph biopsy? Why don't they check that first, then if not involved, do the mastectomy, THEN do chemo??
  • CindyFH
    CindyFH Member Posts: 8
    Options

    So sorry about your mom.
    Hi--

    If I was in your shoes, and my mom was that age with health issues I would have the mast. first. Why? Because chemo is so unpredictable. She can do well with it, but chemo can also put her on a situation where she can’t have surgery right away, because of blood count, for example or other issues. That’s my instinct thought, but other sisters might think something else. Is she big-breasted? One other reason to do chemo first is to make sure it shrinks so that they can get clear margins. If there is evidence cells have traveled to other parts of the tissue, then maybe chemo first may be a better idea. She would have to be monitored closely, which I am sure her team of Drs. Will do to be sure its responding, and to make sure she is put at a stage where the surgery will be successful. Again, this is only my thought.

    Wishing you good luck and sending you and your mom positive thoughts and prayers. Hang in there, there are many survivors. We’re always here for you.

    Lymph involvement?
    another thing, why do they wait on doing lymph biopsy? Why don't they check that first, then if not involved, do the mastectomy, THEN do chemo??
  • LoveBabyJesus
    LoveBabyJesus Member Posts: 1,679 Member
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    CindyFH said:

    Lymph involvement?
    another thing, why do they wait on doing lymph biopsy? Why don't they check that first, then if not involved, do the mastectomy, THEN do chemo??

    Good point as well Cindy!
    If there are no nodes involved then the chemo could wait. But they usually find out after surgery, even if biopsy says there isn't, there is still a chance there might be. Please keep us posted on your decision.
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
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    mine was done to shrink tumor
    I had a 6cm and 3cm tumor and had chemo first. If I hadn't there would not have been enough skin left to close after the mastectomy. I would have needed skin grafting. After surgery I found I still had 2 lymph nodes with cancer but my diagnosis was changed from stage 3a to stage 2. This was in 2003. I was healthy otherwise tho. You might ask the doc about her other health issues and how chemo would affect that. They did give me a different chemo after surgery of Taxotere and before surgery was A/C. But a lot of the ladies have both. I was a lot younger than your mom. I was 52. Ask the doc cause he knows your mom's health otherwise. If you really don't like what you are hearing then there is always a second opinion. Good luck.
  • MellieMc
    MellieMc Member Posts: 35
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    Sorry about your mom.
    My mom's friend 72 had a mastectomy, but I don't know what size the tumor was. She recovered well from it.

    I'm sorry you and your mom are going through this. Is your mom able to stop taking coumidin before surgery? I've found this journey to be odd and I have to listen to the ones who are more experienced and knowledgeable. 2nd opinions are ok to ask for also.
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
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    CindyFH said:

    Lymph involvement?
    another thing, why do they wait on doing lymph biopsy? Why don't they check that first, then if not involved, do the mastectomy, THEN do chemo??

    I am so sorry to hear about
    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. Positive thoughts and prayers for her.


    Hugs, Angie
  • CindyFH
    CindyFH Member Posts: 8
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    Marcia527 said:

    mine was done to shrink tumor
    I had a 6cm and 3cm tumor and had chemo first. If I hadn't there would not have been enough skin left to close after the mastectomy. I would have needed skin grafting. After surgery I found I still had 2 lymph nodes with cancer but my diagnosis was changed from stage 3a to stage 2. This was in 2003. I was healthy otherwise tho. You might ask the doc about her other health issues and how chemo would affect that. They did give me a different chemo after surgery of Taxotere and before surgery was A/C. But a lot of the ladies have both. I was a lot younger than your mom. I was 52. Ask the doc cause he knows your mom's health otherwise. If you really don't like what you are hearing then there is always a second opinion. Good luck.

    Shrink tumor question
    thanks Marcia. Was shrinking the tumor/skin graft avoidance the reason they did your chemo first?
    this surgeon told mom that if they do mastectomy then do chemo, they won't know which chemo to use and wants to see if it will work on her cancer. but, what if they have her on chemo and the foesn't work, then what? try a different one? And all the while the cancer is sitting there spreading?
    I love thenideanof the second opinion.
  • CindyFH
    CindyFH Member Posts: 8
    Options
    Marcia527 said:

    mine was done to shrink tumor
    I had a 6cm and 3cm tumor and had chemo first. If I hadn't there would not have been enough skin left to close after the mastectomy. I would have needed skin grafting. After surgery I found I still had 2 lymph nodes with cancer but my diagnosis was changed from stage 3a to stage 2. This was in 2003. I was healthy otherwise tho. You might ask the doc about her other health issues and how chemo would affect that. They did give me a different chemo after surgery of Taxotere and before surgery was A/C. But a lot of the ladies have both. I was a lot younger than your mom. I was 52. Ask the doc cause he knows your mom's health otherwise. If you really don't like what you are hearing then there is always a second opinion. Good luck.

    Shrink tumor question
    thanks Marcia. Was shrinking the tumor/skin graft avoidance the reason they did your chemo first?
    this surgeon told mom that if they do mastectomy then do chemo, they won't know which chemo to use and wants to see if it will work on her cancer. but, what if they have her on chemo and the foesn't work, then what? try a different one? And all the while the cancer is sitting there spreading?
    I love thenideanof the second opinion.
  • CindyFH
    CindyFH Member Posts: 8
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    MellieMc said:

    Sorry about your mom.
    My mom's friend 72 had a mastectomy, but I don't know what size the tumor was. She recovered well from it.

    I'm sorry you and your mom are going through this. Is your mom able to stop taking coumidin before surgery? I've found this journey to be odd and I have to listen to the ones who are more experienced and knowledgeable. 2nd opinions are ok to ask for also.

    Coumadin
    Yep, she can top taking it b4 surgery. The radiation guy said he might knockout her pacemaker though if she needed radiation, so we would like to avoid that!
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    Options
    CindyFH said:

    Shrink tumor question
    thanks Marcia. Was shrinking the tumor/skin graft avoidance the reason they did your chemo first?
    this surgeon told mom that if they do mastectomy then do chemo, they won't know which chemo to use and wants to see if it will work on her cancer. but, what if they have her on chemo and the foesn't work, then what? try a different one? And all the while the cancer is sitting there spreading?
    I love thenideanof the second opinion.

    for my treatment
    Shrinking the tumor so we could avoid skin graft was the main reason. But he did mention it would also kill floating cancer cells elsewhere in my body. But my cancer might have been a different kind then your moms. I have heard other ladies post that they tried chemo first to see how it worked on their cancer. If the tumor grew they knew it didn't work and tried something else (I think that is what they said happened, it's been a long time). I did get a second opinion myself but not for this reason. My first surgeon didn't know how to proceed with me cause I was a difficult case. My tumor didn't show on the mammogram or ultrasound. She had only been in practice a year. If your mom isn't sure then a second opinion might ease her mind. Ask lots of these questions you have to the surgeon. Everybody is the same in some ways but we are all different also.
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
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    MellieMc said:

    Sorry about your mom.
    My mom's friend 72 had a mastectomy, but I don't know what size the tumor was. She recovered well from it.

    I'm sorry you and your mom are going through this. Is your mom able to stop taking coumidin before surgery? I've found this journey to be odd and I have to listen to the ones who are more experienced and knowledgeable. 2nd opinions are ok to ask for also.

    I am sorry about your Mom's
    I am sorry about your Mom's health. She certainly has a lot of health issues besides bc now, which I know must make it more difficult.

    We're here to help however we can. Positive thoughts and lots of prayers for her!


    Hugs, Diane
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    Marcia527 said:

    for my treatment
    Shrinking the tumor so we could avoid skin graft was the main reason. But he did mention it would also kill floating cancer cells elsewhere in my body. But my cancer might have been a different kind then your moms. I have heard other ladies post that they tried chemo first to see how it worked on their cancer. If the tumor grew they knew it didn't work and tried something else (I think that is what they said happened, it's been a long time). I did get a second opinion myself but not for this reason. My first surgeon didn't know how to proceed with me cause I was a difficult case. My tumor didn't show on the mammogram or ultrasound. She had only been in practice a year. If your mom isn't sure then a second opinion might ease her mind. Ask lots of these questions you have to the surgeon. Everybody is the same in some ways but we are all different also.

    Very sorry to read about
    Very sorry to read about your Mother. Chemo is used sometimes prior to surgery to shrink a tumor. What exactly did her oncologist and surgeon say? You need to have faith in them, and, if you don't, you might want to get a 2nd opinion.

    Good luck,

    Leeza