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Suzzflwr
Suzzflwr Member Posts: 16
edited February 2022 in Just Diagnosed

Hi everyone,

I have lots of questions in my mind. Has anyone diagnosed with IDC, not had surgery, my immediate reaction when I got the diagnosis was, I’m not doing surgery because of Mets. I want to explore all the treatments out there, am I making sense


Comments

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited February 2022
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    What do you mean when you say "I'm not doing surgery because of Mets"?

    Does this mean that you are metastatic? If so, I would recommend you post in the Stage IV forum.


  • Suzzflwr
    Suzzflwr Member Posts: 16
    edited February 2022
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    I’m sorry, I myself was just diagnosed with IDC, grade 2 and DCIS. I met with a surgeon last Friday. I’m just having doubts at 67 years old, of taking my body through all this trama. My sister was 52 and passed away 4 years ago from MPBC, it started the same way mine did, she did BMX and chemo, and rads. She still passed from Stomach cancer.


  • elainetherese
    elainetherese Member Posts: 1,632
    edited February 2022
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    Hmm, but breast cancer and stomach cancer are two different kinds of cancer. Breast cancer is treatable in most cases; other cancers, like pancreatic, have much higher mortality rates. I'm not following your logic here.

    If you want to take a minimalist approach, surgery alone is your best bet because it has the biggest impact on survival rates.

    Still, do you have any details about your particular cancer? ER+? PR+? HER2+? Size? Grade? Different kinds of cancer may call for different treatments. My kind of cancer (triple positive) is aggressive and so I went with chemo. But, my sister-in-law's cancer is Grade 1 (slow-growing) and she's not considered a good candidate for chemo (oncotype score of 17).

  • Suzzflwr
    Suzzflwr Member Posts: 16
    edited February 2022
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    The IDC is grade 2, HER is neg ER+PR+. The size is 1.5 cm. It’s small thank heavens, I know I should be glad to find it when prognosis is good. I guess I am just feeling down about the whole thing. I’m sure I will go with traditional treatments, just wondering about women that haven’t done anything


  • elainetherese
    elainetherese Member Posts: 1,632
    edited February 2022
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    Here is a thread from a member who refused conventional treatments until her cancer spread to her bones. At that point, she was willing to do hormonal therapy to address her mets. She was diagnosed in 2013 and was last heard from in December 2021. So, she lasted at least 7-8 years without conventional treatment.

    https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/121/topics/851202?page=1

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
    edited February 2022
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    I was 68 when I had a lumpectomy and radiation. I've had several other surgeries for different things and this was the easiest. My mother had breast cancer at age 85 and had a lumpectomy and radiation. She drove herself to another town every day for 33 treatments and did fine, and lived to 97, dying of other causes. Just letting you know it's not always scary.

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658
    edited March 2022
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    Suzzflwr:

    I know of a few women who were originally diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and shunned all conventional treatment. They all saw their cancer progress and died from it, most within 2 to 3 years of diagnosis but a few survived longer. When the primary tumor is left in the breast and it's growth is not being supressed by treatment it can turn in to a necrotic, fungating mass and can prove fatal even without metastazing to distant sites. If you have early stage breast cancer you still have an open curative treatment window. I think it would be horrible to forgo conventional treatments and have it close on you.

  • beesie.is.out-of-office
    beesie.is.out-of-office Member Posts: 1,435
    edited February 2022
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    Suzzflwr,

    I'm still not clear on your comment with regard to mets. Are you suggesting that your sister developed mets because she had surgery?

    That's not how it works. If someone has a BMX and then subsequently develops mets, the reason is because the cancer cells had already escaped the breast and moved into the body before the surgery was ever done, almost certainly before the patient ever knew she had breast cancer. It's a bad analogy, but in those situations, a BMX is in effect closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out.

    Most cancers have been in the breast for 3 - 5 years before they become large enough to be detected. The longer that an untreated cancer stays in your breast, (different if you are getting treatment such as chemo first before surgery), the more time the cancer has to shed some cells into the lymphatic system or blood stream, allowing those cells to travel into the body and take hold somewhere else. Surgery doesn't cause mets. Surgery can stop mets from ever happening by removing the cancer from the breast (and then you cross your fingers that a few cells have not already spread).

    If you have a treatable, survivable cancer, not having surgery is about the surest way there is to give yourself the worst possible chance of survival.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,477
    edited February 2022
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    I was diagnosed late in my 65th year and had all the chemo, surgery, and radiation at 66 (I'm 69 now). I had a large tumor that had not visibly spread thank goodness, and it was IDC, grade 2, ER/PR+, HER-. Now I do hormone therapy that is no picnic, but I do it. Going through all of that has not been pleasant in the least, but I did get through it (continue to trudge through the hormone therapy thing), and no treatment had to be reduced or altered, etc. due to my age or not being able to tolerate anything. I've seen some reference on the "Alternative Treatment" thread to people who did not get any conventional treatment and I think they all die, if I remember correctly. Some who refuse any treatment do seem to get some time, but it seems like miserable anxiety riddled time. Also, I had a cousin who got breast cancer in her early 40's and she did not get any conventional treatment. She died within a few short years. It was a real sad thing that seemed like it didn't have to happen.

    Like Beesie, I am wondering what you mean by mets. I have read of the possibility of "seeding", i.e. that surgery can actually "seed" cancer cells in other locations and help them metastasize, but I have no idea how valid that theory really is. I think the general line of thinking, even with that as a possibility, is that you should go ahead with conventional treatment. It's also my understanding that surgery is the main "weapon" if you will, against breast cancer and that while the chemo, radiation, and hormone treatments add some advantages, the main avenue to a "cure" (yeah, right) is surgery. Surgery gives you the best protection available against future problems, not that they won't arise.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,477
    edited February 2022
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    I just wanted to add also that like Alice B said above, my breast surgeries were the easiest and least painful of all the surgeries I've had. I had my tonsils out at 19 (a horrible experience!) and also a lumpectomy for a benign fibroadenoma at the same age (same exact spot that the cancer showed up in all these years later). I also had 2 c-sections that were painful and took some time to recover from. Again, both of the breast surgeries seemed like "a piece of cake" compared to the others. It's the psychological effects and long term never knowing about breast cancer that is hard, not the surgery. (I had a single left sided mastectomy.)

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
    edited February 2022
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    ThreeTree, funny you should say about your tonsilectomy at 19! Mine was when I was almost 19, and for me, too, if was a pretty terrible experience. My lumpectomy was much easier. And as you say, the mental part has been so much harder than any of the physical treatment.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,477
    edited February 2022
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    MountainMia - I've heard that the older you are with a tonsilectomy, the harder it is on you. I understand it's fairly simple for little kids and a nightmare for adults. I had that surgery first, so was expecting something really awful a few months later for the lumpectomy and was shocked at how painless it was. Again, it was they psychological pain of the lumpectomy that caused me trouble.

  • Suzzflwr
    Suzzflwr Member Posts: 16
    edited February 2022
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    Thanks everyone,

    I want to apologize to begin with, I think I was melting down. I thank each and every one that responded and your wonderful comments.
    I normally am a very strong woman, but I guess those three words sent me over the perverbial edge, IT IS CANCER. I read the comments as they came in and realized I was such a fortunate woman to have it found in the early stages.
    The surgeon I have seen is wonderful and called me back yesterday and suggested we just start with getting the cancer out and then make further decisions after that. I am scheduled for March 14 for the lumpectomy and follow it with radiation and then make other decisions as they come along.

    Thanks again

    Su


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946
    edited February 2022
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    Having had other cancers, I've realized there is cancer, CANCER, cancer, CANCER, cancer, CANCER, cancer, CANCER.

    They all feel like CANCER when we first hear about them. If we're lucky, we find out they're plain old cancer.






  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857
    edited February 2022
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    Suzz, no need to apologize. If you can't melt down here, where can you? Also, it isn't a bit unreasonable to ask the question, what happens if I decide not to treat it? You don't know if you don't ask. You asked. That's good. Now you have more information. That's good, too. Whatever comes after this, you can ask the questions.

    BUT I am super happy that you aren't in meltdown mode anymore. It's a lot more comfortable outside of it.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited February 2022
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    Dear Suzz,


    I have a very similar diagnosis to yours. I will have a lumpectomy 03/18. I understand wanting to bury your head and hope it goes away. Us strong women have to stick together tho. Keep your chin up. This site is a great place to help you find answers I have found. Wishing you an easy time with your surgery and good test results. Take care♥️