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What To Expect Surgical Oncology Appointment

tyggerj Member Posts: 13

My cancer was found during routine mammogram, I never felt a lump. I have my first appointment with the surgical oncologist on March 3. I have waited 3 weeks for this appointment as my gyn referred me to Moffitt Cancer center which is an hour away. He wanted me to go see the same doctor that did his mom's breast cancer surgery. This has given me a lot of time to read all these message boards. I have made peace with the fact that I will need some sort of surgery. I am hoping you wonderful ladies can help tell me what I should expect at 1st appointment.

My diagnosis-Left Breast, IDC, Grade 2 2mm linear invasion

Left Breast, DCIS, Grade 2 Solid, Cribriform Pattern

ER/PR + HER - (Fish)

I have extremely dense breast, no mri was done. Should I ask for one?

How soon should I expect to have surgery?

Should I expect the doctor recommend lumpectomy/mastectomy or do they let you decide?

What additional testing will I need to go through prior to surgery?

Thanks for all your help


  • nipab
    nipab Member Posts: 46
    edited March 2022

    So sorry you are on this journey. You should get MRI. It will tell much more than a biopsy or scan would. With Covid, you never know how backed up the hospital's surgery schedule is, I had to wait 4 weeks. But you can push for earlier as you have already waited 3 weeks. The doctor will recommend one surgery or another, but the ultimate decision lies with you.

    I am going for surgery tomorrow, I got EKG, blood work and X-ray done. it took total of 30 minutes for all three. Also, got covid test done.

    All the best wishes and vibes are on your way.

  • tyggerj
    tyggerj Member Posts: 13
    edited March 2022

    nipab-Thank you for the info. Best of luck with your surgery

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 736
    edited March 2022

    I guess the surgeon will probably order an MRI, but I would ask for one if they don't. My surgeon was able to have me go upstairs and get the MRI the same day as our first appointment. They may also have you take genetic testing if you haven't yet.

    Mastectomy vs lumpectomy depends on a lot of factors. In cases (depending on size/location of tumor, or if someone is unwilling to do radiation) mastectomy could be the only recommended option. 2mm is very tiny, which generally makes a recommendation for lumpectomy more likely. When lumpectomy is on the table, you would still have the option for a mastectomy (insurance has to cover it, even if you want to go back and get it years after the lumpectomy and no recurrence). If you end up having a choice, the surgeon should explain all the risks and benefits to you.

    Wait to surgery could be any time after any imaging or testing you're waiting for comes back (unlikely, but sometimes docs have surprise openings) to weeks or a month plus after, especially during COVID. Breast cancer is almost never considered an acute physical emergency, especially if it is hormone positive and HER+ negative like yours.

    Is your tumor 2.2mm or 22mm?

    It sounds like you are in good hands, but considering the wait to your first appointment, I might consider setting up a second opinion now. You can always cancel it if you are happy with the first surgeon, but at least that way you wouldn't (hopefully) have another long wait (which may be fine physically but many find to be extremely grueling psychologically).

    Good luck!

  • flamingocrush281
    flamingocrush281 Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2022

    100% do an MRI!

    The u/S only found my 5mm tumor. It wasn’t until the mri that my 9.7cm lobular carcinoma was found. So a simple lumpectomy became mastectomy and I am now s/p BMX x 11 days. Surgeon told me lobular cancer was flat…. Like a sheet of paper! Would not have been found without the MRI