Newly Diagnosed

Cherylb Member Posts: 5
Hi All, I was diagnosed on Monday 10.1.22 with early stage breast cancer of the right breast.  Apart from that, that is all I know until I go back and see the surgeon on Monday when he has the results of my Core biopsy.  I am so overwhelmed with it all and not sure on what questions I should ask.


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,258
    Hi @Cherylb
    If it’s possible for someone to accompany you for your consultation, it’s a good idea. You are still getting over the shock and not thinking as clearly as you normally would. You can make a list of questions before hand, to remind you of what you most want to know. The good news is that you have been diagnosed at an early stage. Your surgeon will focus on what his specialisation can do best - remove the cancer, all of it if possible. You will also need a referral to an oncologist, who will advise on any treatment after surgery. In some cases, chemotherapy may be recommended before surgery, to shrink the cancer and limit the surgery required. It’s best though to take things one step at a time - it’s easier to comprehend and get used to a new language, it also allows you to get used to changes and challenges gradually. Lots of people, many of them here, are testament to good medical services and getting on with life post cancer. Very best wishes for next week. But 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,258
    No buts! Typo! 
  • Cherylb
    Cherylb Member Posts: 5
    My results are in and I have ER/PR +, HER2 negative, invasive intermediate grade. I am in for surgery (lumpectomy)on 2/2/2022. It is 3cm and is at 10o’clock. My Dr told me that if I was to have any type of breast cancer then this is the one to have but I am still so scared and emotional. Is it odd that my Dr gave me the choice of a lumpectomy or SMX?
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,028
    Hi there
    initially my breast cancer surgeon talked about a choice of lumpectomy or a mastectomy but when further tests showed my tumour was 5.5 cm he said it would be very likely even if he did a lumpectomy I might need a mastectomy due to the absence of clear margins. Also my cancer was lobular not ductal ( the more common type) so it spreads more like a spider web than a neat  lump.
    I had the mastectomy and ended up having radiotherapy too based on the medical advice I received.
    Most Doctors will aim to save the breast and do as minimal surgery as is necessary but in the end it’s your choice after being fully informed.
    What city/ region are you in - you can add it to your profile and others in your area may be able to give you more targeted advice.
    There is a lot of info on this website at times it can be overwhelming but it’s incredibly useful.
    And remember the upside of breast cancer bring so  prevalent ( one in eight women) is that our medical specialists are totally on top of what is needed for your treatment.
    And no question on here is every too silly.
    We have all been  there one way it’s another.
    Take care.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,253
    @Cherylb - so sorry to see you here, in the club that no-one wants to join .... it is good that you have a date for your surgery and it isn't too long a wait - tho we all want it done 'yesterday'!   Your final pathology report from the surgery will determine your ongoing treatment plan ... 

    Did the surgeon lean more towards the lumpectomy or the SMX?  My surgeon suggested a lumpectomy & I said that if he found it worse 'when he went in' to go ahead and take it all!  Sometimes the tumour size can be bigger when they 'go in'.  (I was lucky & just had the minor surgery.)  Is there BC in your family history?  Have you been checked for the BRCA gene?  That could influence your decision?

    You will also be referred to an Oncologist and/or Radiation oncologist after your surgery, to discuss further treatment options, depending on your pathology results .... 

    Being scared and emotional is totally normal - having a good cry can 'let it out' too .... there is a whole raft of emotions we go thru - anger, even rage, as well ... but if you feel really sad - make sure you chat with your GP (or ring the helpline at the top of the page) to arrange a counselling session to give you coping mechanisms ...

    Always take a trusted friend with you to your appointments & even record them on your phone, to go over later - as it is easy to miss bits at the time, with so much going on.

    Jump onto this page for some links within BCNA (including a post on what to take with you for your surgery) and a list of questions to ask your surgeon/team afterwards.

    Try & keep busy from now until your surgery .... maybe cook up some meals & freeze them .... just get out & do things you love, covid willing!  (I went fishing every day leading up to my surgery! LOL)

    Make sure you accept any help that anyone offers - from walking the dog, to taking the kids to school or even mowing the lawn ..... people feel better if they can 'do things' for you 

    Whack up any questions that you may have ..... there are NO silly questions .....

    take care and all the best with your decision making xx
  • Cherylb
    Cherylb Member Posts: 5
    @arpie - My surgeon left the decision up to me as to whether I had a SMX or Lumpectomy.  He believes my tumour is about 3cm.  I have no breast cancer anywhere in my family but I guess it's gotta start somewhere. :)  My husband is being really supportive but I don't want to burden him with talking about it.  He says it  doesn't bother him and is there if I want to talk.  The hardest part for me is my youngest daughter (she is 20) was at home when I found out and then we had to put her on a plane back to America as she is attending college over there on a scholarship and is so worried.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,253
    That would have been tough and sad on both of you, @Cherylb,  saying good bye at the airport xx

    Like you, I am the first in my family to be diagnosed with any cancers, too.

    You can only go with the decision that you are most comfortable with.  Or you could tell him to go for the lumpectomy - but that if it ends up being bigger than it 'appears' - to go ahead with the SMX and you have both bases covered.  It is a tricky one. xx

    Wishing you all the best for your surgery on Wed xx
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,176
    Hi @Cherylb, I know this is just the worse phase of all this.  I was terrified when diagnosed nearly 2 yrs ago. I cried for 2 weeks and the the roller-coaster of treatment but I am still here.

    These decisions are all so personal. All breast cancers are unique and so too are the treatments. 

    My breast cancer was 2cm, early, no lymph and Her2 negative and hormone positive. It was a grade 3 which is the most aggressive and high return rate. But it was treatable and nearly 2 years down I have no evidence of disease. I chose a lumpectomy and reduction as I was very big breasted. I reduced my other breast a year later so they are similar now. 

    You have to decide what you can live with and what's best for you. You always phone bcna to discuss or even a counsellor.

    Other ladies have given advice which is good. Take each step one day at a time and try not to google as it doesn't help. Breathe deeply and know you will get through this with support from your husband, family and friends. We are all here too. Best wishes to you 💐
  • Cherylb
    Cherylb Member Posts: 5
    Thank you everyone.  Just waiting now for the phone call to let me know what time.  
  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,899
    Dear @Cherylb,

    from jennyss in Western NSW