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Not sure how I feel

I found a lump a week ago (Feb 16th) in the upper/outer section of the breast. My gut said it is cancer. I told my adultdaughter and husband on Saturday Feb 18th). Saw my PCP on Tuesday (Feb 21st). I went in today (Feb 23rd) for a diagnostic mammogram and then ultrasound. The radiologist said we need to biopsy the lump that I found as well as a smaller lump she found. She can’t be 100% sure but is quite certain it’s cancer. Biopsy is Tuesday (Feb 28th) and surgery can be as early as next Friday (Feb 4th).

How it the type of surgery determined?

This is the report from today. I don’t think there’s anything in here that you all haven’t seen before.

Complete right breast ultrasound including all 4 quadrants and the retroareolar region was performed. Palpable mass is confirmed on clinical exam. Ultrasound in the area of concern at the 10 o'clock position 12 cm from the nipple demonstrates irregular hypoechoic mass measuring 3.3 x 2.7 x 2.4 cm with associated vascularity and evidence of surrounding neovascularity. Intramammary lymph node in the right axillary tail is located 7 mm from the primary mass and demonstrates visible fatty hilum and thin symmetric cortex. The node measures up to 4 x 7 mm and has cortex that is less than 1 mm. Anechoic cyst with thin septation is also in close proximity to the primary mass and measures 4 x 8 mm. These correspond to the 2 circumscribed masses identified mammographically. Ultrasound at the 9 to 10:00 position 8 cm from the nipple in the deeper tissue demonstrates hypoechoic near anechoic mass with surrounding vascularity and possible distortion. The mass measures 4 x 7 by 8 mm. No definite correlate on the mammogram. This mass is located 4 cm from the primary mass.

Ultrasound of the remaining right breast demonstrates significant subareolar duct ectasia but no intraductal mass is apparent. No other suspicious finding. Normal lymph nodes with large fatty hila and thin symmetric cortices are identified in the right axilla.

IMPRESSION:

Right breast 10 o'clock palpable mass is highly suspicious and ultrasound-guided core biopsy is recommended. A 2nd indeterminate mass and possible distortion are at the 9 to 10:00 position and ultrasound-guided core biopsy in this region is also recommended.

BIRADS: 5 - Highly Suggestive of Malignancy-Appropriate Action Should Be Taken

FOLLOWUP: 3 Biopsy

DENSITYCODE: C Heterogeneously dense (51-75%)


I’m not sure if it hasn’t hit me yet because I’m not sure how I feel. People keep saying it’s treatable and I know that’s true but what determines the course of treatment? Is it the biopsy?


Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Kristen


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Comments

  • maggiehopley
    maggiehopley Member Posts: 103

    train track

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    Oh Eric, hoping for the best for your MIL

  • quietgirl
    quietgirl Member Posts: 165

    image

    It’s a long awaited start.

  • Eric, thoughts with you and your DW for mother in law.

    Sandy, I don't have glaucoma, only high eye pressures. Glaucoma dx is once they start seeing some damage...crossing fingers (ha, the watch and wait) that it doesn't happen. This scan notices changes to the 5 micron levels, so if there is any inkling of change, I'll start the drops (and get long eyelashes as a benefit!). As someone else posted, I love hearing about your access to all those wonderful restaurants; not much to choose here, even with it being a tourist destination.

    Not sure what dinner will be yet.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366

    image

  • sweet

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366

    Anne- Thank you for all you have done to help your sisters with MBC. I have your book. And I have attended Webinars where you have been a presenter. You have a gift of knowledge and know how to impart that knowledge to others. Rest now, my friend.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366

    LW422 for the win.Happy

  • I honestly don't know why I return to this place. It helped me so much when I was diagnosed, and now it's just a frustrating waste of time. I suppose I'm the idiot for believing any "update" was going to happen at all.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    I can remember what Orlando was like before the Mouse moved in. A sleepy little town stuck in the middle of orange groves. Not today. Traffic is horrendous. I won't get on the interstate to go there, it's in the top 5 for worst in the country. Mega huge hotels everywhere. And Universal is there too.

    When the Mouse came, they had some special deal for taxes I think. Not sure, don't understand. DuhSantis took it to court, and got a partial win because they approved of the gay community. So now Mousetown is hosting this big deal.

    Thank dog, all of Florida isn't like that. My town of about 40k, is also known as Dogedin, very dog friendly. Yes, we have a lot of tourists, get inland and it's like any town USA. Except we don't get snow, just the occasional hurricane.

    DuhSantis did graduate from my towns high school I’m sorry to say. His parents still live around here. So he has some idea of Disney influence, but Disney came in the early 70s, Ronnie wasn’t even around.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,938

    Mel, I understand what you are saying. I am still learning things as I go.

    I did chop up beans, spinach, beef and cheese with some of the wheat bran and peanut powder. The texture of the beans was more palatable for me but next time, I will not include the ground beef in the chopper. I used garlic pamesan and steak seasoning with salt and used mayo to tie it together.

    Since I am going to the mall again, may pick up some potato chips to add different flavours to meals again by putting them through the chopper or spice grinder.

    I am thinking for lunch or dinner, I may try some cheese shreds in pancake mix and cook them in the sandwich maker. We'll see. Could also put some precooked oatmeal in as well or possibly make a pancake out of that.


  • sarahnh
    sarahnh Member Posts: 105

    ((((Petite))) Thinking of you! Love the cat, what a wonderful way to remember your DH and give you something to physically hold. Where did you get it? If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love the contact information. I am sure others would too. I am pretty sure I will be in your shoes in the not too distant future.

    I get my glasses at my eye doctor's office. I don't know how long he will stay in practice, he cut his hours to mornings only a number of years ago. Stepping into his office in a quaint little town near my home, I feel as if I am back in the 60's. His receptionist/secretary still uses a typewriter. His skills however, are very much up to date. His rates are very reasonable, glasses are not expensive. I know I should probably switch to a more modern practice, but haven't been brave enough to make the switch yet. My sister used to use same eye doctor as do most of my former co-workers because he accepted our insurance. She switched to another practice when she retired. My husband and I have back to back appointments in June. Could be our last with him.

    The sun is shinning, looking forward to getting a lot accomplished today. Just came back from getting gas in the car and some other errands. Hope everyone has a great day!


  • thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions!

    I had the biopsy today on 2 masses that are close together. It was an US assisted biopsy. The smaller mass is looking more like a cyst but the larger one does look cancerous. This radiologist agrees with the first radiologist that it’s highly likely cancerous.

    I will probably have the results electronically on Thursday. I’m not sure if I’ll look at them without my dr. I have an appointment on Friday with my PCP to discuss the results. I also have consultation appointment on Monday with the surgeon and oncology team at my local breast center to discuss a treatment plan.

    Depending on the results I may call an NCI facility for a second opinion. There are 2 a few hours away in NC that I can go in person as well as Dana Farber to see if they do a remote appointments.

    I’m scared. The biopsy just made this real. My family is on the east coast and I’m in VA with my daughter and husband. I feel like I need my mom. 😞

    thank you for listening.

    Kristen

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366

    If it does come back as cancer and you think Duke Medical Center is a place you would be interested in my oncologist is lovely and my surgeon fantastic. I can give you that information if you think traveling to them is worthwhile.

    I know how frightened you are and I wish there was something any of us could say to alleviate it. But things are moving quick and you're going to know your answer very soon. It reads like you're in excellent hands.

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    Hi again. So My Chart was updated but this is all it says….

    The pathology report from Dr. Heitz describes grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma at the 10 o'clock location.

    I know this isn’t good but why is that all it says?

    I have my appointment with the surgeon tomorrow.

    K

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    thank you Kaynotrealname! I’ll let you know if I decide to get to Duke.

  • jh40
    jh40 Member Posts: 140

    Hi Kristen - I was exactly where you are in May of last year. The scariest part is the waiting, as anyone on here can attest. It's very difficult and surreal, a very out of body experience that seems at times like you're watching someone else go through all of it. I'm still in treatment so it feels like that to this day at times. Best advice I got from many kind people on here is to take it one step at a time.

    Invasive Ductal is the most common breast cancer, meaning it originated in the milk duct and then spreads beyond it, hence invasive. Grade 3 describes the mitotic rate (how fast the cells are dividing) as well the percentage of cells in the tumor that appear to be normal or abnormal

    Grade 3 is fast growing and the cells are mostly abnormal, and while this sounds terrifying, the good side is that chemotherapy is usually very effective on this type of cancer, as it targets cells with rapid turnover.

    It may be that the rest of the biopsy results aren't yet available but they soon will be I'd guess.

    This is very difficult and I know how you feel. We all have been where you are. It's so hard to wrap your head around but one thing I was told - and that remains true! - is that it will get easier as more information comes available and you start to get into your treatment options.

    Hopefully you have a good support system, even if it's small. They'll be invaluable to you during this rollercoaster. But you will get through it. We are all so much stronger than we know, and we are never alone. This forum has been an incredible resource of community and information. We are all here with you.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    I’m sorry. That’s about the same information I got on the phone call when I got my initial biopsy results. I didn’t get the full picture of my cancer’s profile until I saw the surgeon a few days later. At least your appointment is tomorrow, I had to wait 5 days and it was excruciating.

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    thank you!

    I’m trying hard to stick to the facts and right now what I read is that is treatable until something says it isn’t.

    It’s a definite out of body experience and I think that’s why I’m able to stick to the facts and not get emotional about it.

    I have a great support system. I am blessed ❤️

    I’ll have more information tomorrow. I’m just praying it didn’t spread. Right now that’s my prayer to God. I can handle this journey but please Lord let me live.

    ❤️ Kristen

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    hi melbo

    thank you! my biopsy was on Tuesday so getting even a small amount of info is a blessing. I’m am definitely glad my appointment is tomorrow.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366

    I'm sorry, Kristen. The news always sucks when it comes back cancerous. I will let you know though that I also had a grade 3 lump at the 10:00 position in my right breast. It was hormone positive treated as HER2 negative (I'm actually low but at an early stage they don't have treatment specifically for a low HER2 tumor). Anyway ended up doing a double mastectomy and despite the size of 32ml it was not in my lymph nodes. Onco score came back intermediate so I did do chemo but it was only four sessions. It sucked but it was doable and now I'm almost seven weeks out from a DIEP and doing fine. In the early days we all feel we're on our last legs. I imagine most people diagnosed with cancer feel that way. But the vast majority of us are wrong. Anyway hold on because these next few weeks will be tough as information continues to roll in but it will get better once you have all the answers because then you'll go your plan and that always brings some comfort. Thinking of you....

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    thank you for sharing your experience with me! It made me feel better.

    I had my consultation with the surgeon today.

    In a nutshell I'm going to be just fine!

    My next step is genetic testing because I'm opting for a lumpectomy and I have 2 aunts who had BC. One aunt passed from it

    If all stays as we think right now the plan is

    Lumpectomy, Radiation, Chemo

    It looks to be a common diagnosis and I feel better now.

    Bumpy roads may lie ahead but I'm ready to fight


    Kristen

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366

    Good! They will be bumpy but like us all you will get through and cope. And yes it reads thus far like garden variety breast cancer. They'll treat it the standard way and everything will probably be like clockwork (granted the clock doesn't run smoothly in this world :) Good luck on your genetic testing. My mom and her sister both had ovarian and I had breast. You'd think they'd find a genetic cause. But nope. We have a gene, not one that causes ovarian cancer or even my type of breast cancer that they know of yet, but I didn't get that gene so it has no relation to me. Sometimes cancer is just shit luck.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 846

    Hi Kristen, I’m sorry you ended up with IDC but it is a common diagnosis; your stats match mine. Because I was diagnosed at an older age I was able to skip chemo. I had a lumpectomy with an excellent cosmetic result in spite of the 3.2 cm sized tumor. I’m glad you are getting genetic testing done since there is family history. The results might change your surgery plans but treatment, while not fun, is doable. There is always someone here who has gone through something similar and can answer questions. I hope things work out well.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    for those who will be doing chemo I always recommend reading through one or two of the chemo forums here to get an idea of what you might expect. No two people react the exact same way, but if you can find one where there were one or two regular posters who were getting the same treatment it might help you figure what you could expect. It also helps for finding out what worked for other people when they had some random, weird side effect or how they handled certain things.

    Good luck

  • scar1888
    scar1888 Member Posts: 23

    Kristin,

    I've not been on here in a while but do want to share that as of Oct 24 I was a 25 year breast cancer and it was stage 3B! I know EXACTLY how you feel and know you've heard this a few times. It still doesn't help much I know.

    It is a 'different lifestyle' becaue you'll do everything you can to stay healthy, physically and emotionally. We all do this anyway but going through this trial adds a whole new dimension to life.

    Any thoughts or questions? We're here to support you. Oh, btw I was 42 as well!

    Be in touch. Again, not been on here in a good while but will check in to check on you.

    Linda

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    thank you again to all for sharing and sending well wishes!

    The genetic consultation scheduled for the 15th was canceled because the company decided to forgo the consultation and they got me in yesterday for the bloodwork! 7-10 days hopefully for the results.

    I’d like to keep my DDD girls but will be more than happy to part with them if I do indeed have the gene.

    I will continue to update my journey here. I will start reading new threads to get more information needed for my journey.

    Kristen

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    new update! I don’t have any bc genes so that’s great news!

    I thought I’d be all set opting for a lumpectomy because it’s an easier surgery but now idk. If I have a double mastectomy with reconstruction I won’t need radiation but I have to double check on the chemo.

    I already struggle with mental health issues and I’m not sure if taking a shorter route with this journey would be better for my mental health.

    I guess I have more to think about than I thought.


  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 846
    edited March 2023

    Hi Kristen, Great news that you don't have any bc genes! Since you are triple negative you will probably have to do chemo. Mastectomy vs lumpectomy is a very personal decision. I am very happy with the cosmetic results of my lumpectomy (with a 3.2 cm tumor) but others prefer to have mastectomy with reconstruction for various reasons. Radiation can take 3 to 6 weeks but reconstruction is a longer haul. Both routes can work out well but there can be problems with either, too. Do some research and think about it. Good luck with your decision.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 366
    edited March 2023

    If you are triple negative chemo is pretty much a must unless the tumor is very small. I had a double mastectomy although my nodes were clear and my cancer was only on my right side. My reasoning was that I didn't want to go through the anxiety of the more frequent scans after surgery, I no longer particularly liked my breasts both physically and mentally, and a mastectomy gave me a little more chance of avoiding a local recurrence. Not enough to where it mattered much but I did like the idea of avoiding radiation with it also. But it's very much a personal preference and will not affect your long term survival rates. It's whatever you decide you can live with best. I am happy that my original DDD's very dense not proportional breasts are gone replaced by proportional, symmetrical enough, solely fatty boobs. The flat stomach I have now is a nice bonus, too. But the recovery was tough.