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triple neg breast cancer

pokrydi's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2011

I am new to this had a lumpectomy done 1/14 and 21 lymph nods taken out 3 positive. I am going in 2/8 for a port to be put in for 8 sessions of chemo followed by 6 1/2 weeks of radiation and so confused do I want to have more margin taken out or do I just want to have a mastectomy.

Posts: 402
Joined: Nov 2010

It is a very personal decision...I was newly married (first time for me and I'm 57) just 4 months before diagnosis. I wanted to be healthy as soon as possible. I had 2 lumpectomies--the second one to get clean margins--8/10. I started 6 rounds of chemo (Taxotere/Cytoxan for the first 4 and Taxol/Cytoxan for the last 2 because my ankles swelled) which I completed on 1/7/11. I went for the radiation "mapping" yesterday and plan to start my 6.5 weeks of radiation on 2/7/11.

My diagnosis was Stage 1C (1.5 cm), medium grade, 0/4 nodes, TNB. The breast that had cancer was the larger of the two so after the lumpectomies, I'm just about even now.
I was told by my surgeon (and my onc confirmed in my case)that the survival rate was no better with mastectomy than lumpectomy with radiation (and because I'm TN, I had chemo too). I'm guessing that the healing process is easier (compared to my cousin-in-law's experience who had a double mastectomy and then reconstruction) and I worked the entire time except for 1.5 weeks after the first surgery, 1 week after the second and 2 days each cycle of chemo.

I would talk with your surgeon and oncologist about your choices and if necessary seek a second opinion. I have friends that opted for a mastectomy so that they didn't need chemo or radiation, but as a TN, those are the only treatments available, so you may need to have them anyway.

I know that many warrior sisters will be able to tell you about their experiences.

Good luck.

pokrydi's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2011

thanks for the info it's so hard to comprehend this is even happening to me still and so many people have their comments of course I talked with the radiologist yesterday and will talk with plastic surgeon fri so that by tues I will be able to tell the doc more margin or not while she is in there to put a port into me.

dyaneb123's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: May 2009

Hmmm. I only had one positive node but my margins were't clear after the lumpectomy and my surgeon decided I needed the mastectomy from that and then chemo and rads. If you had clean margins, you may not need the mastectomy.

pokrydi's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2011

having a port put in tues doc would like to go in and get more margin thought process re mastectomy is fear of coming back kind of my decision at this time did you have reconstruction same time?

jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 874
Joined: Jun 2010

I am one more with TNBC. I am somewhat unusual in that no cancer was EVER found in my breast tissue. I did, however, have cancerous cells in the lymph nodes under my right arm. An extremely sophisticated and expensive blood test($3500) called the Tissue of Origin test determined that the malignancy began in my breast and not somewhere else. I had an axillary dissection that showed 2 of 22 positive lymph nodes. I then had a mastectomy. After the general surgeon was done with the mastectomy the plastic/reconstructive surgeon stepped in and placed a tissue expander behind my chest muscle. The next step was putting the port in. That was done 2 weeks later in an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia. It was a very short procedure and I am very happy I did it. About 3 months after my chemo was over I had the port removed. That was done in my surgeon's office with only local anesthesia. I even drove myself home afterward.

After a breast cancer diagnosis I think we all get an education we wish we never needed. This Sat. 2/5 will mark 1 year since my mastectomy. What a year it has been.

Posts: 137
Joined: May 2010

King of depends on you. My lumpectomy left my tiny A cup with a big dent. My choice was to get rads after chemo or a mastectomy. I went with a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I figured the rads would just make me look worse (which would make me feel worse). So there you have my $0.02.

linpsu's picture
Posts: 747
Joined: Mar 2010

I too am triple negative. I first had a lumpectomy, but the margins weren't clean, so I had to have a mastectomy, followed by reconstruction. No chemo or rads at that time. Then 2 years later (last Feb.), I had a recurrence under the mastectomy scar. This time, I had chemo first (4 A/C, 4 Taxol), then surgery to remove the implant plus more tissue and 14 nodes (1 positive), then 28 rads. This is a great site to learn about what others have experienced. Obviously, we are all different, but we are all willing to share what our own course of treatment has been. Hugs to you! Linda

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