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Just Diagnosed, Help with Questions?

cynthia7138 Member Posts: 8
edited January 2022 in Just Diagnosed

Hi everyone,

I'm 56yo woman with never an unusual mammo until December, when they saw microcalcifications in one breast. Biopsied, dx is low-grade ductal carcinoma in situ. Have a consult scheduled with a surgeon on 1/19 for probable lumpectomy. I'm trying to assemble a good list of questions to ask. The doc who did the biopsy and called me with results has emphasized TINY area (he's very enthusiastic about how tiny it is), and says the cells are just on the edge between being not-cancerous and cancerous, but they're calling it DCIS. In hopes that someone here understands this all better than I, here's the comment on the path report:

Microscopic examination of the submitted breast tissue demonstrates several foci of intraductal proliferation of mildly atypical cells which show cribriform and micropapillary architecture. These proliferations, however, are adjacent to and even admixed with areas of apocrine proliferation, making interpretation difficult. Immunohistochemical staining for androgen receptor shows diffuse expression in both the areas of apocrine change and the areas of intraductal proliferation. The atypical intraductal proliferations also show loss of CK 5/6 expression, which, in concert with the number of foci of proliferation and cribriform and micropapillary growth patterns, supports a diagnosis of low-grade ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Any suggestions for questions I should ask? Meanwhile, I'm going to read up on DCIS.


  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
    edited January 2022

    I'd say what it probably means is they won't really know for sure until pathology after surgery, which is in fact, always true.

  • SillyMama
    SillyMama Member Posts: 49
    edited January 2022

    Hi, Cynthia, I'm glad you posted. Don't get too wrapped up trying to read all the words in the path report yourself. It's a detailed description of everything that is observable under the microscope, and your doc has already provided the information in terms a patient can understand. Looking up words like "apocrine" won't really teach you how to interpret the whole report.
    Although we all want a no-evidence-of-disease or cells-look-normal report, the fact that your doc says your cells/biopsy site are only borderline atypical sounds like good news. Take a deep breath and don't read online too much.
    My friends told me to record my in-office conversations with docs so I could l listen to them later. It also helps to take someone with you to the appointments if they let you (but during COVID they might not.) Just go slowly, and ask if something doesn't make sense. It sounds like your doc is good at paraphrasing the med terms.
    (((hugs))) SillyMama