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All TopicsForum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) → Topic: How long is too long to wait for surgery?

Topic: How long is too long to wait for surgery?

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Dec 15, 2010 01:58PM, edited Dec 15, 2010 04:04PM by lifeiswonderful

lifeiswonderful wrote:

So far, one 1.5 cm tumor has been found in one breast.  (Still waiting for Breast MRI results.)  It is a grade 3 tumor, which is supposed to be fast-growing and aggressive.

As per the BS, I should be in surgery a month from now.  He assured me it's a slow-growing cancer, but the pathology report says grade 3, and the lump seemed to just "appear" 4 weeks ago.  Plus, I've been reading stories here about grade 3 tumors growing fast within a short time period.  One woman with a grade 3 tumor posted here that she was diagnosed one week and had a lumpectomy the next (unless I misunderstood her post).

 This BS is considered excellent.  I don't want to go to another surgeon. 

Is another month a long time to wait for a grade 3 tumor? 


Diagnosis: 12/8/2010, IDC, 1cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+

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Dec 16, 2010 08:35PM imatthew wrote:

Hi, if it helps my wife had a similar diagnosis - grade 3, poorly differentiated, HER2+.  we got the biopsy results on 7/27/10 and she had her mastectomy/DIEP on 10/15.  The surgeons assured her the wait wouldn't impact her condition.  She could have had the mastectomy by itself 3 weeks earlier but we had to wait because of the need to coordinate with the plastic surgeon.  It was hard for her to wait, but she's glad she did.

On behalf of my wife: Skin-saving Unilateral Mastectomy/immediate DIEP on 10/15/2010. TC 6x3 and Herceptin 52x3 started 12/9/10

Dx 7/26/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 16, 2010 09:07PM InTwoPlaces wrote:

I had lumpectomy about a month after my diagnose, I had to do a lot of test and I was also scared that I waited so long before the surgery.

When I was diagnosed my lumps in my breast was very, very small but by the time I had my surgery they had grown to 1.5 cm. My Dr's said that this was nothing to worry about.

God luck!!

Dx 9/16/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 7/29 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Dec 16, 2010 09:07PM, edited Aug 20, 2013 05:25AM by Faith316

I was dx on Aprll 7, 2008 but didn't have surgery until May 1, 2008.  I think it is pretty common to have to wait several weeks up to a couple of months. I was also grade 3, poorly differentiated, HER2+.

DX 4/08 IDC, ER-, PR-, HER2+, IIB, Grade 3,lumpectomy,2/8 nodes,4 AC,12 wks.Taxol,Herceptin,30 rads. DX IBC 6/09 while still in treatment. Now Stage III. 6 mo. of Xeloda done, still on Tykerb. Uni-mx & another node dissection 2/4/10.

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Dec 16, 2010 09:48PM lago wrote:

My cancer was very fast growing with a large tumor. I was diagnosed in July but had to wait for MRI then scheduling of surgery. My surgery was 6 weeks later (aug 31st). I was told I had my cancer for only 4 years. My tumor was 5.5cm but going in they thought it was 7cm.

Unless you have IBC even fast growing IDC  is not that fast. They would have never waited 6 weeks for me if they thought it would be an issue. 

DONE!! alturl.com/3o9ni • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010

Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 16, 2010 10:02PM lifeiswonderful wrote:

Imatthew, InTwoPlaces, and Faith,

Thank you for your responses.  I received more news today:  As per the Breast MRI, there are two more tumors.  Now they're saying I have three in the same breast, and the one we found first is bigger than originally measured by the U/S four weeks ago:  It's 1.8, not 1.5.  (They keep insisting it doesn't grow that fast, but...)   Another is very tiny (5mm), but the third tumor is almost the same size as the first.

I don't know what they're going to say next.  I just wish they could operate right away.

Jan. 2011: Left MX w/ TE (Ki67: 60%) 2011: AC x 4, Taxol x 12, Radiation, Tamoxifen, BRCA2+ Dec. 2012: Right prophylactic MX w/ TE, oophorectomy; June 2013: Final exchange; November 2013: Fat grafting

Dx 11/23/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 2/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 16, 2010 10:13PM lifeiswonderful wrote:

Lago,

It's good to hear there's a possibility the tumor(s) could be smaller than they think.  I'm glad they operated on you early enough.

I'm thinking the holidays might be holding things up, to a certain point, right now for those of us who need surgery.  I'm hoping they'll schedule surgery earlier, now that they know there are other tumors.

Jan. 2011: Left MX w/ TE (Ki67: 60%) 2011: AC x 4, Taxol x 12, Radiation, Tamoxifen, BRCA2+ Dec. 2012: Right prophylactic MX w/ TE, oophorectomy; June 2013: Final exchange; November 2013: Fat grafting

Dx 11/23/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 2/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 24, 2010 07:47AM mamaoftwo wrote:

Lifeinwonderful,

How is it going for you?  Did you get a surgery date?

It seems that 4-6 weeks wait from diagnosis to surgery is not that unusual, and there is no way around it most likely except to cancel the reconstruction, as that takes more time and could be the reason why it can't be scheduled any sooner.  If the cancer has been growing for a year or half a year, a few extra weeks may not make a difference. Are you hercepton positive?  That kind of tumor is presumed to be more aggressive than HER- tumors.

I'm in the same boat as you.  Found the lump on Nov 30th, finally got a diagnosis on Dec 15, and surgery will not be until Jan 12 (if the operating room opens up) or Jan 20th, which seems like a lifetime away.

Keep us posted.  My thoughts are with you.

Laura

BMX & DIEP - 1/12/11. Chemo: EC/T done 06/02/11. Rads ended 9/1/11.

Dx 12/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 24, 2010 08:27AM nikola wrote:

Hi,

I felt my lump in January, saw my GP in March and a week later had u/s. Next day I had biopsy and on March 30 I was told I had two cancers. My mastectomy was May 4 and they actually found three cancers. One was 1.3 cm, second was 1.1 cm and third was 0.2 cm. My onc told me not to worry about three cancers, they are not adding them up. As per him they are going with the biggest one. Then, I waited for almost three months for chemo.

Good luck.

Dx 3/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 24, 2010 08:43AM lago wrote:

I was HER+ and had a very, very fast growing tumor. They said it was there for about 4 years. Usually the tell people more like 8-10 years. I still waited for 6 weeks before I had my surgery. It drove me crazy because at that point there was no indication on the MRI or physical exam that it was in my nodes… although my BS thought there might be a micro invasion. I was worried that in 6 weeks it would spread to the nodes… but it didn't.

These things don't grow as fast as we think.

DONE!! alturl.com/3o9ni • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010

Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 24, 2010 06:14PM nikola wrote:

Lago, love Your picture

Dx 3/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 5, 2011 07:45PM, edited Jan 5, 2011 07:53PM by lifeiswonderful

Mamaoftwo, Nikola, Lago,

The ONC convinced me to have the third mass biopsied.  So, I did, and they said it looked like a swollen lymph node in my breast at the 3:00 edge.  (The tumor is at 4:00.)

Well, I just received a call from the BS today saying the lymph node tested positive for BC.  He said the fact that it tested positive means the cancer is in two different parts of my breast.  Also, he pointed out, there's the other smaller mass next to the first one.  He said that indicates the cancer is "more aggressive than we orginally thought."  He's recommending mastectomy (instead of lumpectomy) because he thinks we need to take a more aggressive approach.  But, he said he'll confer with the other oncologists.

Here's what's upsetting me:  At first, the BS said mid-January for surgery.  I called and pleaded for a surgery date before the second biopsy, but his office assured me I wouldn't have to wait long, that they just need the results first.  Now the BS is saying late January / early February.  When I told him I'm worried it will spread, he said BC is slow-growing.

So, the BS said what I have is "more aggressive", but then he said BC is slow-growing.  I'm thinking what I have is fast-growing:  It's negative for HER2, but it's a grade 3 tumor.   The ultrasound measured the tumor as 1.5 cm, and then the Breast MRI measured it as 1.8 cm. two weeks later.  Is that really due to the differences in types of measurement?  I'm not so sure.  The lymph nodes on the mammogram in late Nov. were not swollen, and now one of them is swollen and tested positive.  (I also don't think it's coincidental the BC spread to the lymph node that happens to be right at the spot to which internal bleeding from the first biopsy traveled.)

Earlier today, my family doctor called and said the bloodwork she took was normal - including the blood count - except the globulin was a tiny bit low.  So, I was happy, but now I'm worried all the delay in appointments and surgery is just going to let it spread.  If he doesn't operate until early Feb., that will be 10 weeks after the mammogram showed it was cancer.  Even though I was on top of the situation from the beginning, pushing for early appointments, etc.  This is SO frustrating.

Mamaoftwo, I'm glad to see you're faring better than I am.  Lago and Nikola, I hope you're doing well, too.

Jan. 2011: Left MX w/ TE (Ki67: 60%) 2011: AC x 4, Taxol x 12, Radiation, Tamoxifen, BRCA2+ Dec. 2012: Right prophylactic MX w/ TE, oophorectomy; June 2013: Final exchange; November 2013: Fat grafting

Dx 11/23/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 2/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 07:49AM Luah wrote:

lifeiswonderful: I know how stressful it can be to wait - it's the worst!  From my first mammo to surgery was about 8 weeks and I pushed hard for that or better, gently reminding my BS's assistant of our province's standard of care for cancer surgery (yes I looked it up). 

I was away for a week, and then there was U/S, biopsy (for final diagnosis),several scans and pre-op appointments to get through. That took time. It's true that BC is generally slow growing but a grade 3 with node involvement does suggest an aggressive tumour. Would you be comfortable checking with another BS? 

My BS was excellent and I had/have complete confidence in her.  She did an amazing and thorough job, so I felt like waiting an extra couple of weeks for her probably improved my outcome.  

We've been through some things together/With trunks of memories still to come/Long may you run (Neil Young). Lx, ALND, 4 DD AC &12 weekly Taxol, 31 rads, completed Jul 10

Dx 9/14/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 05:46PM, edited Jan 6, 2011 05:52PM by hymil

Waiting for surgery is just horrible, period.

This will be hard counsel to take, but let them do all the diagnostics and workup, because in the long term, it's the lymph-nodes and or any spread that does the worst damage of BC not the primary tumour. I was told it's very unusual to die from cancer in the breast, it's secondaries in lung. liver, brain or wherever that do for you.

Edit. of course I mean I hope they don't, but it's more important to fight those as well, than just to focus on the primary. That's why we have oncologists as well as surgeons.

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Jan 6, 2011 06:16PM Letlet wrote:

lifeiswonderful I just wanted to tell you that I had a mammo and MRI on the same day and the mammo said I had an area of 7cm in calcifications, the MRI said it was 9cm. There may be a difference in the measurements since they are 2 different types of tests.

Dx 8/27/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 6/23 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 8, 2011 10:14PM lifeiswonderful wrote:

Luah, Hymil, Letlet,

Thank you.  OK, then it does sound like the mammogram and MRI have different measurements.  Ironically, I live around some well-known cancer centers with great reputations.  But, I was referred by my GYN to this lesser-known one, where I was given an appointment with a surgeon who I'm told is "excellent", "exceptional", etc.  I called the cancer center with the big reputation, but they couldn't see me as early.  So, I figured, well, this means I'll have surgery earlier with a good BS.

But, here we are, almost 7 weeks after my mammogram showed cancer, and still no date for surgery.  This week, I tried pleading with my ONC, and I checked again into other breast surgeons.  The earliest available appointment I could find with another BS will be this Thursday at the center with the big reputation.  I was just given the name of another BS, too, but I'll bet they won't be able to operate any earlier.

My ribcage has been hurting for the past two days right under the affected breast.  So, OF COURSE, now I'm thinking it spread to my ribs.  I'm hoping the last biopsy is the reason for the soreness.  But, no one ever ordered a CT or PET scan, so I worry, worry, worry...  A chest x-ray taken a few weeks ago was clear, according to radiology.  I hope that means my ribs are clear. 

I can't help from being in a state of panic right now.  As you said, waiting is horrible.

Jan. 2011: Left MX w/ TE (Ki67: 60%) 2011: AC x 4, Taxol x 12, Radiation, Tamoxifen, BRCA2+ Dec. 2012: Right prophylactic MX w/ TE, oophorectomy; June 2013: Final exchange; November 2013: Fat grafting

Dx 11/23/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 2/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 9, 2011 04:59PM Luah wrote:

lifeiswonderful:  I completely understand your fears and worries.  I was convinced I was going to die as I went through scans prior to surgery.  I promise, you will definitely feel more positve  once you have a treatment plan in place.  Did you have a bone scan done?  Abdominal ultrasound?  Those were 2 tests I got along with a chest Xray. You might want to call your onc and let him/her know about the rib pain... perhaps they can expedite things.    

We've been through some things together/With trunks of memories still to come/Long may you run (Neil Young). Lx, ALND, 4 DD AC &12 weekly Taxol, 31 rads, completed Jul 10

Dx 9/14/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2011 12:37PM myesan22 wrote:

lago, Did they say how they determined how long you've had the cancer?

Dx 5/28/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 27, 2011 10:36PM, edited Jan 27, 2011 10:37PM by lifeiswonderful

Luah, I'm at least glad now that surgery has been completed.  (I ended up going with another surgeon who set up a surgery date right away.)  I had unilateral MX on left breast with TE on Jan. 20.  One drain is still in place.

I'm really regretting the TE.  It feels like I have a rock in my chest.  I'm going to ask about removal in the Reconstruction section.  (It seems all I ever do these days is complain, complain, complain...  But, having BC just STINKS!  And I haven't even started treatment yet.)

Jan. 2011: Left MX w/ TE (Ki67: 60%) 2011: AC x 4, Taxol x 12, Radiation, Tamoxifen, BRCA2+ Dec. 2012: Right prophylactic MX w/ TE, oophorectomy; June 2013: Final exchange; November 2013: Fat grafting

Dx 11/23/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 2/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 5, 2011 09:29PM BioAdoptMom3 wrote:

I am new to this as I was just diagnosed as well, also with a grade 3 tumor, probably stage 1 or possibly early 2 according to my BS (that is the only pathology I have so far).  At any rate, even though it is grade 3, the fastest growing, he has assured me that breast cancer in general is one of the slower growing cancers.  I was diagnosed on 1/13 and because I now have to have another core biopsy on Monday on the other breast and the surgeon is going to be out of town the following week, my surgery isn't until at least the week after that, so still a little quicker than yours, but based on what we are being told, you should be OK to wait that length of time.  Good luck to you and lots of prayers!

Nancy

Nancy

Dx 1/13/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 11, 2011 10:27PM sheuber wrote:

Hi there - I was diagnosed with grade 3 as well and was scheduled for a lumpectomy 10 days later.  I started chemo 2 months after a lumpectomy (which was the longest the oncologist would give me). I was trying to freeze my eggs before the chemo got to them so I wanted the extra time. Because the grading was so high, he said I could not wait any longer. Good luck to all you ladies who are just starting out - I hope your journey goes by fast and is not to hard on you! 

Dx 6/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 11, 2011 10:35PM imbell wrote:

I was diagnosed on May, had lumpectomy on June 9, then 4 tx of chemo and then double mx in Jauary of the following year. My tumor also came on fast and I could feel it before the mammogram. I wanted my double mx right away but the oncologist insisted on the chemo. Frankly at that point I did not know what difference it made. I had gone for 9 nears without a mammogram

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 5/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 11, 2011 10:40PM bcincolorado wrote:

I have a dear friend who was diagnosed about a year before I was and still has not had her surgery.  She knows she'll need a mx, but isn't ready to do that right now at this point in her life.  She is monitored well and on meds to help keep it from spreading.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-