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Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer

I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. Because my tumor is aggressive and fast growing they flipped the treatment around from doing surgery first and starting chemo instead. I have made my decision from the choices I was giving which basically was double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery. I have decided that that is not an option for me so all I am willing to do is have a lumpectomy. My question is because it has spread to my lymph nose will the surgeon still be willing to do a lumpectomy I believe the size of my tumor at the start with 9 cm I've had eight rounds of chemo and it's only shrunk very little. I called my surgeon to let them know I decided against a double mastectomy and only willing to do a lumpectomy they made me an appointment to talk to her January 2nd. I have so much anxiety it's making me sick to the point where I feel it will kill me before the chemo or cancer does and having to wait a month to get these answers is frustrating to say the least. So if anybody has answers to these questions I would so appreciate it.

Comments

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 509

    Hi converse100,

    I am sorry you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are going through chemo. This is very tough and it is normal to have anxiety. Did you discuss the anxiety with your doctors, and are you taking anything for the anxiety? Does your cancer center have supportive services for cancer patients? I think you should seek help for the anxiety, which is its own problem that causes a lot of suffering and can also cloud your judgment.

    For bigger tumors they do chemo first, hoping the tumor will shrink enough thay they can offer less aggressive surgery, i.e., lumpectomy instead of mastectomy. And also, they want to see at the microscopic level which effect the chemo had in the tumor. You say your tumor shrank very little with chemo, and it is on the bigger side.

    I was in that situation too, my tumor was 3.5 cm (and I had small breasts), I had palpable nodes positive for cancer, and I had chemo first. The imaging before surgery showed the tumor had shrunk, so they gave me the option of mastectomy (only on the cancer side) vs lumpectomy, and I chose mastectomy. I am glad I did because in the end the surgery revealed the tumor didn't shrink at all, and also at the microscopic level it seemed that chemo didn't make much of a dent, so I would have ended with a mastectomy anyway. I found the mastectomy and the recovery from it to be easier than I expected, even with a full node dissection.

    Your cancer is only on one side, right? Why are they then offering you a double mastectomy, if the other side is cancer free?

    Nobody can force you to have a surgery that you don't want to have. But triple negative cancer is very dangerous and you need to ponder your chances of survival with and without surgery. As I understand it, removing all the cancer in the area is very important to improve your chances of survival, since the breast is the "nest" of the disease, so if there is cancer remaining there, it will keep growing.

    Question for you, with all respect for your decision, if you don't mind sharing: why are you not open to consider mastectomy? What are your reasons, fears, considerations? If you tell us, others who have gone through the same will be able to share their experience with you.

    Take care, sister. We are here to support you no matter what you decide.

    LaughingGull