Early Breast Cancer

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Agent14516
Agent14516 Member Posts: 3
edited July 10 in Newly diagnosed
Hi All, I was recalled for mammograms and they did biopsies and was diagnosed on 25th June (of which would have been my mothers birthday).  I have a 10mm lump plus some calcifications around that area. I have seen my surgeon and have asked for a mastectomy rather than remove the lump and calcifications in about four areas of the breast close together. My mother had breast cancer and my husbands first wife passed away from breast cancer.  I keep thinking am I doing the right thing or should I have the breast preserved. Your feedback would be very much welcome.  I'm going to see the Breast Care Nurse next Thursday, 18th July then I'm booked for surgery on 24th July. Today was a challenging day having been booked for surgery, then talking to the nurse. She was amazing. Scary time and emotionally challenging. Thank you everyone and all the best with your journeys.

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  • byo_boy
    byo_boy Member Posts: 27
    edited July 10
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    Hi @Agent14516,

    Although I'm probably not the right person to give you any advice on what's best to do for your situation, I do want to reach out and say hi and welcome. I know how lonely and confusing those first few days can be and just having someone on the group here to talk to was a BIG help for my wife and I.

    I can echo what a lot of other people will probably tell you that this first period of unknowns is the worst - once you've started talking to your team a lot of answers will come your way (maybe too many answers to begin with! Take lots of notes, or have someone go to your appointments with you) and things will start to fall into place for you. Something else that has given us a lot of encouragement is just how much treatment and statistics have improved in recent times. It's amazing how many options you have compared to just 5 - 10 years ago.

    Anyway - I hope you're going OK, please reach out if you ever need to chat and don't be afraid to post here often. My experience is that this is a group of very caring and special people who will have your back 24/7.

    All the best & take care!

    George
  • June1952
    June1952 Member Posts: 1,901
    edited July 11
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    Welcome @Agent14516.  Ditto the comments from @byo_boy above. 
    We have all been diagnosed with BC but we are all so different in the actual diagnosis and treatments offered.  My story is quite old as I approach the 10 year mark and I often wonder how I would be treated now.
    Have you had any discussions around what you would do if the mastectomy is the plan ?  Are you thinking of reconstruction ?
    There are some private groups on here (i.e.  Choosing Breast Construction and Flat Chat - No Breast Reconstruction) which you should join to give you some information for discussion with your medical team.
    I see you are in the eastern side of our lovely cold State so guess you have options for treatment ?
    I will send you a private message so you know how that works if you want to chat more privately with someone.
  • WhiteLight
    WhiteLight Member Posts: 29
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    Hi @Agent14516,

    My situation is different to your, but sending you hugs for this scary time in your life.

    I had a lumpectomy and my surgeon said she didn't want to do mastectomies when there was no need. I can see why you would think a mastectomy with your family history though. I would talk things over with your surgeon, husband and any family as its not an easy choice to make.

    Wishing you all the best whatever you decide.
    Sending hugs.
  • Tri
    Tri Member Posts: 87
    edited July 19
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    Hi @Agent14516 a very tough time for you- maybe you’ve made your decision by now. 
    I ended up having breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy) and I was comfortable with that recommendation from my breast surgeon who weighed up various risk factors. 
    I had chemotherapy prior to surgery and my tumour responded (shrank). I also had radiation therapy. 
    On reflection I would ask your surgeon if you have invasive lobular cancer or invasive ductal cancer. I didn’t know much about ILC when weighing up my options.  I think I would ask now because from my limited understanding ILC can be a bit trickier to see in future tests for recurrence and for some people it may be peace of mind for those with ILC to opt for mastectomy. Having said that I believe there are specialised mammograms (which I have had) that are more sensitive and can help with future monitoring and tests. Just a thought. All the very best. 
  • deekay77
    deekay77 Member Posts: 4 New Member
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    Hi
    i had a lumpectomy and then the pathology came back that my calcifications were DCIS so I had to go back in for a mastectomy. I didn’t have much to take off :-) but again the pathology came back with tiny tumours everywhere. After 12 months I went and had my other side removed too and it was. one of the best things I’ve ever done (I haven’t had a reconstruction) I was 43 at diagnosis and I’m now 47.

    Unfortunately no definitive answer on this for you. As my surgeon said - we can always take more if we need to (and we did). 

    Sending you all the best 🌸


  • GorgyS
    GorgyS Member Posts: 92
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    Hi @Agent14516. I started with a less invasive treatment. I was offered two options: lumpectomy or mastectomy. My lump was over 5 cm and had spread to the lymph nodes. Therefore, I had a lumpectomy and axillary clearance (all lymph nodes removed). The pathology test came back with unclear margins, so I was offered re-excision, after which the margins were clear. After chemotherapy and now going through radiation, I am not questioning whether I made the right decision.  I will always follow my breast surgeon's recommendations; they need to help us make informed decisions. However, it is never an easy decision to make. All the best with your surgery and I hope you will get clear margins. 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,821
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    Wishing you all the best for your surgery tomorrow @Agent14516 ....  I know how relieved I felt afterwards, just knowing the 'beast was gone' ... and hope you feel that same relief xxx

    Jump onto this thread to read up on other areas in the forum, as well as what to take to hospital & also some 'tick sheets' that you can print off, for monitoring your mental and physical health .... sometimes it is easier just giving your specialist the sheet, than talking about it! ;) 
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-new-online-network-members#latest

    take care & all the best xx