what does all this mean

HunnyB Member Posts: 10
edited March 2020 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone
Probably like you all, never in a million years did I think I would hear the “c” word  yet here I am! Such a scary place.
I had a lumpectomy last week and removal of sentinel lymph node and after a week of anxiously waiting, today  I received my results over the phone. I am unsure what they mean but am seeing my doctor on Monday. 
From what I took in it is grade 2, stage 1A, er positive pr positive her2 negative clear margin & 0 lymph  nodes. 
Before my surgery the dr said I would probably only need some radiation & not chemotherapy but I always thought chemotherapy was usually given.
I am staying positive but still scared xx


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,247
    edited March 2020
    Sorry to see you here, @HunnyB .... but we'll do our best to help you thru this & give you as much support & info as you need to understand the process.  I hope you are healing well following your lumpectomy.

    My own BC was found 'early', was small, was removed with none found in the nodes - and after a discussion with the Oncologist, it was decided that I wouldn't 'do' chemo - but would have radiation and then Hormone tablets.

    Make sure you ask for copies of EVERY TEST & RESULT that you have done!  Get a big box & file everything in it (it needs to be bigger than a regular file holder due to the size of scans/xrays etc ...  Store your reports there too.

    Chemo is not always used in every case of BC  -  it depends on the pathology result (make sure you grab a copy of that too!)  They will explain to you why it does not apply to you, if you ask.

    Consider recording all your meetings with your health team too - just on your phone, as it is easy to forget what has been said.  Write down any questions that you may have, so you can raise them at your meetings.

    Try not to overthink it all until you have your discussions with all the health team.  Our minds go into overdrive & we often use Dr Google (when we SHOULDN'T - as so much of it is out of date & plain WRONG!)  Treatment is an ever changing and trying to second guess it - can result in a lot of unnecessary stress & pressure!

    If you find yourself stressing out at all .... give the helpline a buzz here, 1800 500 258 - to chat about coping strategies.

    Wishing you all the best for your meetings & ongoing treatment  xx

  • Dory65
    Dory65 Member Posts: 323
    Hi HunnyB,
    Stay positive. Your pathology sounds a bit similar to mine, Grade 2 Stage 2A. Feel free to follow my threads/comments. I did not have chemo. I did the Oncotype DX genomic test. There are other similar tests. Your surgeon may discuss them with you. You will also see a medical oncologist as well as a radiation oncologist. They all have their own opinions. This is a scary time for you, waiting for a treatment plan and going through various tests. Everyone on this forum has been there and knows how you feel. Every BC is individual and unique, so treatment plans do vary. Get hold of copies of your test results for everything. Best wishes. x
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 538
    edited March 2020
    Hi Hunny
    Welcome!  I just want to put your mind at ease a bit.  Firstly, from what you are told about your diagnosis, it is correct that you will not need chemotherapy.  Other members will come along soon to support you through this also.  I am by no means an expert, but from what you share here about your diagnosis you will not need chemotherapy.  Breath and relax as best you can, it is surely a shock no matter whether needing chemo or not.  Keep in touch here and others will support you also.

    Many here have had a similar diagnosis and will help you to keep positive, and accept what is.  It is scary, we all understand and no question or concern is silly, keep asking and reaching out here.

    Wishing you all the best and keep posting, we all understand the isolation a cancer diagnosis brings.  
  • KarynJ
    KarynJ Member Posts: 193
    Hi @HunnyB. My diagnosis was similar but different. Lol confusing I know. Mine was er+ pr+ Her2- no nodes and clear margins. It was also Grade 3 Stage 1. I was offered chemo but there was also not a huge benefit over 10 years so I opted out. I had 20 radiation zaps instead. Depending on your particular situation, lumpectomy and rads is seen as gold standard these days. 
    But it's an individual choice and you'll find many ladies decide to throw everything at it and undergo chemo as well. Best of luck to you.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    My diagnosis was almost exactly the same, the only difference was it was closer to Grade 3 than Grade 2 and my PR+ wasn't too strong. Because of my circumstances (click on my @ name to read my story) my oncologist advised that I have a genomic test. This looks at how likely my cancer was to recur/metastasise. It came back as a clear yes so I had chemotherapy.

    We're all different. Our doctors are all different. Don't go by anybody else. Trust your gut, make sure you trust your team, and take things one day at a time.

    Deep breaths! And a big hug from me, K xox
  • Tinks
    Tinks Member Posts: 234
    Hi Hunny, I’m sorry to hear you have had this awful shock. Here’s some decoding of the terms used:

    the grade is the way the cancer cells look under the microscope. The pathologist gives a score of how abnormal the cancer tissue looks, on a point scale from 3-9. Grade 2 is a score of 6 or 7out of nine. It is called intermediate. That means it lies between grade 1 -cancer cells that look more normal and grade 3, cancer cells that look very abnormal.

    Stages 1 and 2 are called ‘early breast cancer’ and in early breast cancer these stages are basically about how big the cancer actually was ( in mm ) and what has gone to the lymph nodes if any. Each of these stages is divided further into a and b - just gives a bit more details.

    ER is the oestrogen hormone receptors if present on the cancer cells, and likewise PR is the progesterone hormone receptors, and HER2 is a gene that makes HER2 protein. All these three are involved in helping cancer cells grow. 

    Clear margins means that there is an adequate amount of normal breast tissue right around the tumour ie that has been completely surgically removed.

    I hope this helps prepare you for your upcoming discussions. Elsewhere on this site you can read more about these terms if you wish to. 

    Lots of positive vibes coming your way. Xx Tinks

  • HunnyB
    HunnyB Member Posts: 10
    Thank you all so much for your replies it is nice to have people who understand what you are going through & to make sense of all this craziness xxx
  • Ahnn
    Ahnn Member Posts: 42
    Best of luck @HunnyB with ongoing treatment.  As the ladies have already said your treatment plan will be tailored for your specific needs.
  • Jwrenn
    Jwrenn Member Posts: 144
    Hi @HunnyB, my diagnosis is pretty much  the same, you were lucky to find out so quickly. I only found out yesterday, I’ve had to wait nearly three weeks for results but maybe that’s the public system. I’m relieved that I don’t need chemo and had been keeping my fingers crossed that it would be the same as I was told back before Christmas at the original diagnosis. 
    Hugs and best wishes for your ongoing  treatment. Xx
  • HunnyB
    HunnyB Member Posts: 10
    Hi @Jwrenn  waiting is the worst & 3 weeks is such a long time. Everything is moving so fast for me. Have my first appointment tomorrow with a radiation oncologist & I’m a little bit scared, for me it’s the fear of the unknown but the alternative is worse! Hugs to you too xx
  • Giovanna_BCNA
    Giovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hello @HunnyB

    Welcome to our online community. Its a great question that you ask regarding chemotherapy.
    Treatment for breast cancer is very much tailored to suit the individual situation.  Whether chemotherapy is required or not is dependent on lots of different factors.  I would encouraged you to check in with your multidisciplinary team at your treating hospital and even have a discussion with a medical oncologist to see if chemotherapy is required or not. 

    Do you have a breast care nurse that you can speak with?   If you have further questions or concerns, dont hesitate to call our helpline to speak with a cancer nurse on 1800 500 258.  Wishing you all the best
  • HunnyB
    HunnyB Member Posts: 10
    Hi Giovanna_BCNA
    Thanks for your reply. My operation was done at a private hospital but my surgeon has referred me to the public hospital for radiation. I had my first appointment today at the hospital & met with a radiotherapy oncologist who has explained what will be happening going forward. Fortunately for me the cancer I had does not require chemotherapy, I will have 15 sessions of radiation which I start just after Easter then will go on medication for 5 years.
    I am feeling so very grateful xx
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 538
    Hi Hunny
    So pleased for you that what you were originally told about not need chemotherapy has turned out to be correct as stated by your doctor.  All the best with the upcoming radiation therapy sessions.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,247
    Great that you don't need chemo @HunnyB (same as me.). I had mine in a public hospital too & they were all just terrific.

    I hope you find the radiation treatments as 'doable' as I did - Just make sure you lather up with lotion at least 3 times a day (but not BEFORE your treatment.)  Also, if you notice any blisters or feel any discomfort, make sure you tell them when you go for your next treatment.  They will asses you a few times during the treatment too.  

    Some people feel quite tired/exhausted as a side effect - I never really had tho, tho I WAS quite emotional on my last treatment, as they had become my 'daily support team' & I had become quite reliant on them.

    take care & all the best xx
  • Jwrenn
    Jwrenn Member Posts: 144
    Hi @HunnyB, that’s great you have a date for radiation. Mine is reverse to you, surgery in public, radiation in a private hospital, hopefully I don’t have to pay anything much. My bc nurse was sent home sick on Tuesday when I saw the surgeon so I wasn’t able to find out through her about waiting times for radiation. I believe they usually let your wound heal for about 4 weeks before they start radiation. 
    Hugs again xx