This is all very new new...

Imnext Member Posts: 3

Hello everyone!  Hey, this is all a very new experience for me and unlike most of you, I'm at the very begining of my jouney.  I went for my yearly mammo and luckily enough they found a small enough stage 1 dc form of bc.  The biopsy came back double positive and there is a very good chance that I won't need chemo just radiation after surgery; however that can't be 100% determined until my surgery.  Here is where I'm in the research stage and not quite sure which is best.  I've had the BRACA testing done and am currently awaiting the results from that to determine which way to go.  What avenue is best, the lumectemy or mastectomy?  My doctor said he would highly suggest if the BRACA tests come back positive that he would highly suggest the mastectomy, otherwise it's my choice.  Now mind you I come from a very large family all of which most of them have passed of one type of cancer or another between the ages of 13-45 although no one has had bc.  Please don't get me wrong I'm very positive and know I will survivie this journey as cancer has taken my family many years ago when there wasn't the technology and strides that we have today.  I will be alone on this journey, but I will win it!!  I would just appreciate any insight from anyone out there as to the advantages or disadvantages of one over the other; or perhaps any questions I should be directing to my doctor to help make my decision the best decision.  Thanks for your help...


  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
    Welcome ...

    Breast cancer - as well as options for treatments -- is something that takes time, research and soul searching. 

    My advise - do a little research, ask your oncologist for information on clinical trails pertaining to breast cancer similar to yours - ask to speak to women treated by him/her -

    If there is a library close to you = you may want to check out, or buy Doctor Susan Love's breast cancer book - valuable information, as well as useful.

    As I like to say,  we do what we have to, in order to do what we want (ChenHeart's coined phase)

    Vicki Sam

  • Lydia1234
    Lydia1234 Member Posts: 8

    You are at the beginning of your journey but you are not alone.  There are many here to support you and there are many more around you.  I started my journey in September this year when my regular mammogram showed DCIS.  After a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy I am now having radiation.  Fortunately my lymph nodes showed no cancer cells and my surgery margins were clear.  I felt alone when this started even though I have great family support.  I have come to find along my journey many women who have been or are going through their own journeys.  All of them are supportive and helpful.  There is great information on the American Cancer Society and Breast Cancer web sites.  It can get overwhelming reading it all.  I found that I had to take breaks or it got to be too much.  There are support groups and social services available so take advantage of the services you need to get support.  Prayers for you along your journey.

  • Puffin2014
    Puffin2014 Member Posts: 531

    Welcome to the club no one wants to join. There are many of us here to go through this journey with you, you won't be alone.

    This first part is so hard, when you're waiting for test results, and don't have a plan. I'd recommend keeping a journal, what was done when, how you're feeling. It helps later to sort through events.

    Knowledge is power. Ask questions, do your research but be careful where you go on the internet - lots of scary and inaccurate web sites. Another website that my onc recommended was and I have found it extremely helpful. Besides having excellent educational articles, their discussion forums are subdivided, so you can follow forums specifically for those who have had mastectomies, chemo, radiation, etc. I started with the lumpectomy forum, then moved to the chemo forum, then the radiation forum, and now am active on the Arimidex forum. Be sure and mark any forum you like as a favorite so it's easy to find again and easy to see when new responses have been added.

    The fact that your biopsy came back double positive is good, it increases the doctor's treatment options. It means that your tumor responds to hormones, so eventually your doctor will be prescribing a medicine that blocks the hormone, which one will depend on whether you're pre or post menopausal.

    Whether you need chemo will depend on a couple things, whether your nodes are positive and if they're able to do an oncotype test on the tumor, which tells how aggressive the tumor is.

    As for the lumpectomy vs mastectomy. If the BRACA comes back positive, like your doctor said, bilateral mastectomy is recommended. If it's negative, my doctor told me survival rates between lumpectomy and mastectomy are about the same, and if you choose lumpectomy then radiation is mandatory.

    Another suggestion I'd have is to ask your Dr if it's OK that you record your appointments with your smart phone/iPod. They cover so much info it's hard to take it all in, and even having a second person with you isn't always the answer. Lew wasn't very good at taking notes. It was several months between my first visit with the radiologist and when I finally started radiation, and it was so helpful to go back and relisten to that first session.

    I'm one year out from treatment, I had lumpectomy, chemo (my tumor was small but oncotype score indicated aggressive) and radiation. It's not a year I'd want to repeat, but it's doable.

  • SharonMI
    SharonMI Member Posts: 8
    Hello, I have IDC stage 1B. I

    Hello, I have IDC stage 1B. I was hoping to go with a lumectomy and radiation. I had the lumectomy. So then waited for my BRACA and ONCODX.My BRACAcame back negative so I was able to keep my breasts. My ONCO test came back with a high score, so I have to do Chemo. I had my port put in last week and start my 1st chemo treatment tomorrow. I am nervous but I know I will get through it. I have family support. I have God and most importantly I have sites like this one to ask questions or just chat with woman that are going the same journey. Yes it's ice to have family to talk to, but unless you have C no one really gets it. So keep coming back and we will all be here for you. We are your family during your journey.


    Hugs, Sharon

  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
    Welcome-Sorry we had to meet

    Welcome-Sorry we had to meet here on this board.


    this a a great groupd with helpful suggestions and support or just to vent to..