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Topic: Lumpectomy for atypical cells

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Apr 5, 2011 03:27PM

Lifeafter wrote:

I am 40 years old (3/26).  I have a family history of breast cancer on my mother's side (aunts). I had my first mammogram in August 2010.  I was called back a week later to have my right breast re-imaged.  They found a cluster of microcalcifications.  They said I needed to come back in 6 months.  I went back 3 weeks ago and the cluster multiplied.  I had a core needle biopsy done last week.  I was told they found atypical cells and that I would have a lumpectomy.  I told the women in my family and I'm getting the worst possible information.  I need to know facts and what I should be zeroing in on to ask my doctor.  I have an appointment scheduled with obgyn this coming Monday.  I am doing research on my own but there is to much out there and have no idea what I should be concerned with.  A couple of things I know I want to know is...what do the atypical cells mean in conjunction with my family history?  How much tissue do they have to take?  Are they going to be restesting the area they take?  What is my recovery time?  I'm going on vacation in a month.  Should this be scheduled before or after?  I'm reading stuff about different grades images were given.  Should I ask about that?  Does location matter? 

Can someone help guide me?  If I need to be on the freak out path, fine, I can deal with that.  But I don't want to deal with that if I don't have to.  I need a checklist to take with me to my appointment.  Anything that can be provided will be most welcome!

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Apr 5, 2011 03:48PM dlb823 wrote:

mrochon, at this point, you need the expertise of a breast surgeon, rather than an ob/gyn.  Atypical cells are pre-DCIS, and DCIS is pre-invasive breast cancer.  While a lumpectomy may be advisable, the need probably is not urgent.  From what you've told us, you certainly have time to gather more facts and make a more informed decision.

Here's a list of NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers.  This is where you will find experts in breast health (breast surgeons). 

http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/cancer_centers/map-cancer-centers.html

I would strongly suggest a second opinion app't. with a breast surgeon at whichever one is closest to you.  They will be able to give you a much better explanation of your situation, determine if your family history poses an additional risk, and guide you re. the scheduling a lumpectomy, if that's what's recommended.    

Good luck, and glad you've found BCO.   Deanna

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb

Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Apr 5, 2011 03:55PM Lifeafter wrote:

Thank you Deanna!

I have to meet with my obgyn because he needs to refer me to a surgeon.  I have other cancers that run on my mother's side of the family, my mom being one of them.  I really don't want to take any chances and would rather them just go in.  I've read about DCIS but didn't know if that had to do with me.  I will look that up some more.  Thank you for the link, I will check that out and go in with a list of surgeons when I see my doctor.

Michelle

5/5/11 lumpectomy - 5/13/11 PMX - 6/20/11 BMX w/immediate recon 7/27/11 RT TE removed - 10/28/11 RT TE replaced - 2/3/12 oopherectomy/salpingectomy - 7/3/12 major revision, LFT implant - 9/7/12 RT Implant

Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 5, 2011 03:58PM Anne1962 wrote:

mrochon,

I had microcalcifications show up on my last mammogram. I had a stereotactic biopsy done and it showed  atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH). I didn't have a lumpectomy or an excisional biopsy. In fact, my breast surgeon (BS) told me I could go back to regular screening. Others will be along soon to tell you of their experiences with atypical cells. Some do watchfull waiting, some do more testing, and some opt for a prophylactic mastectomy. A lot depends on how you feel and, of course, family history. 

Do you know if you have ALH or ADH?  Sometimes that makes a difference.

Good luck to you. 

Anne

Anne1962

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Apr 5, 2011 04:01PM Lifeafter wrote:

Hi Anne,

I didn't know atypical cells has classifications in themselves.  Good to know, I will be asking.  I'll be adding that to my research/question search.

Thank you!

Michelle

5/5/11 lumpectomy - 5/13/11 PMX - 6/20/11 BMX w/immediate recon 7/27/11 RT TE removed - 10/28/11 RT TE replaced - 2/3/12 oopherectomy/salpingectomy - 7/3/12 major revision, LFT implant - 9/7/12 RT Implant

Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 6, 2011 09:17AM vmudrow wrote:

I too had microcalcificatiaons that started clustering after a couple of years.  Had excisional biopsy, they took a golf ball size piece of tissue.  Wasn't painful, took a few days to feel better.  It came back ALH, I was sent to oncologist who wanted me to start Tamoxifen.  I chose double MX because I didn't want the constant monitoring, biopsies, worry or Tamoxifen, also have strong family history - Huntsman Cancer center figured my risk was 40% of getting breast cancer at some point.  I have been very happy with the whole process and my decision.  Good luck to you!!  Keep us posted.

Hugs, Valerie

valerie, Diagnoised 1/24/2010 with atypical lobular hyperplasia, prophylactic NSM on 5/6/10, strong family history, 40% risk of breast cancer

Surgery 02/01/1992 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 03/01/1996 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 05/06/2000 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 01/23/2010 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 05/06/2010 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Both)