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Have initial biopsy result but missed doctor call

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Well, first hi to everyone here. I’ve seen a lot of info come in other posts, and I’m hoping for some help/confirmation here. Just got the initial biopsy result back - invasive ductal carcinoma, histologic grade II, tubule formation: 3, nuclear pelomorphism: 2, mitotic activity: 1. No results yest on er, pr and her2. Mass about .7 diameter right breast. Nothing found in lymph nodes via ultrasound. Expecting to have to do surgery and radiation. Everything I read seems to indication still early stage but unsure how long radiation will take? Also, with surgery, how easy is it to keep working out and working? Need some inspiration and reality here.

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  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,952
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    kimpossible,

    I’m sorry you find yourself here. Let me say that we are not doctors and specifically not your doctor. I am not comfortable interpreting your report to the point of staging. That is the doctors job , for which she/he is highly trained . Me? I’m a retired teacher with almost 13 years as a patient but no medical training. So, my uneducated, untrained and unqualified opinion is that it looks to be early stage, but take that with a big grain of salt.

    That being said, you may well be early stage but again, your doctor will determine the stage. You mention surgery but don’t specify what type, nor do you mention the type of work you do. These things are important factors in answering those questions. Additionally , everyone heals and experiences recovery a bit differently. Take care

  • kimpossible64
    kimpossible64 Member Posts: 3
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    Thanks. The doctors during the biopsy said a lumpectomy and radiation are typical of the treatment subject to confirmation around the final biopsy and surgery. I work in software product management at home. Good health insuance. Good vacation amount. Was traveling a lot earlier this year but can clamp down as needed. Really just interested in folks experience with the a lumpectomy and radiation.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,952
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    Thank you! That information will help as those who have had lumpectomies know what type of surgery you might have and relate similar experiences. I did not have a lumpectomy so can’t help you there. As far as limitations with respect to work your doctor will likely provide that info but if your job is not physically taxing, you may be surprised by how quickly you feel like doing a bit of something, i.e. desk work. Take care

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 999
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    Hi @kimpossible64 , I had a lumpectomy and radiation. The recovery from the lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy was not too bad. Other than the first day I did not need pain meds. I had the surgery on Thursday and was back teaching high school math online on Monday (during covid times.) I had 24 sessions of radiation but one of my nodes was positive so my number was on the higher side. I had to travel 100 miles each way but thanks to a hospital hostel, cooperative schedulers and my laptop to teach remotely I managed with two round trip journeys a week. If you need to keep to certain hours because of work they will generally schedule you for whatever time is convenient. At my hospital they run the LINAC machines from 6 AM to 10 PM to fit more people in. If you are over 50 and it is available at your treatment center there is a radiation protocol called Fast Forward where you have just 5 or 6 single day sessions, one a week. People found that very convenient. I had a larger than usual tumor (3.2 cm) but ended out with an excellent cosmetic result thanks to my oncoplastic breast surgeon. Good luck with your treatment plan.

  • kimpossible64
    kimpossible64 Member Posts: 3
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    thank you for sharing your experience!

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 745
    edited June 9
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    I've had two courses of lumpectomy+radiation (one on each side).

    For me, the sentinel node biopsy had a lot longer and more annoying recovery time. I also felt exhausted from the surgery for longer than I thought I would - not sure how much was my body's reaction to the sedation drugs and how much was my body recovering from being cut into.

    That said, I'm a teacher and in each case was able to go back to work after a week. The first time around, I took off for radiation but felt physically well enough to bicycle about 16 miles round trip every day I went for radiation. I think that activity was really good for me physically and emotionally.

    Depending on their personal recovery and their work, people can need more time or less time (e.g. there's a huge difference between a remote desk job and say, commuting by public transit to waitress and carry heavy loads for 8 hour shifts). My doctors also gave me information restrictions on lifting with my affected side (I don't remember specifically), and recommended exercises TO do to lower the risk of lymphedema.

    My radiation was every weekday for 4 weeks each time, 3 weeks of whole breast and one week of booster to the site. But different medical centers and doctors might have different protocols, and age can also be a factor.

    Some things I wish I had understood better at the beginning:

    Your doctor will probably want you to do an MRI of both breasts to check for any other potential sites to biopsy or excise, and depending on the results of all that, a mastectomy could be recommended rather than a lumpectomy.

    Pre-surgical staging is a guess. You won't know your actual final staging and treatment until you get your surgical pathology and oncotype score, which might indicate different radiation treatment and even chemo. The first 2-4 months of a cancer diagnosis and treatment felt like a never-ending waiting game, with more shoes always hanging over my head. But it will end eventually.