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Jul 4, 2010 12:23PM
lfc, so sorry to hear of your recent dx! I'm glad you've found us, though.
That's great that you're at MD Anderson - you're in good hands!
Seven months ago, there was an article published about a study of mucinous carcinoma, conducted by researchers at MD Anderson. Here's the link - http://insciences.org/article.php?article_id=7922
The summary of the study is that mucinous carcinoma may not be as "great" as we've thought, and there is a risk of being undertreated. The study found that radiation is important/effective for women who had mucinous tumors. You CAN do a lumpectomy without radiation, in the sense that your body is your body and you have the right to do what you want regardless of the doctors' advice. But personally, I would advise you to do the radiation, if you choose lumpectomy instead of mastectomy. I finished radiation 2 months ago for my mucinous tumor (and DCIS), and I will admit that I totally hated radiation, but I healed well from it and I'm now glad that I did it.
One of the study's authors says, "...it's imperative that...patients receive their treatment based on actual presentation rather than the assumption that this [mucinous carcinoma] is always a favorable disease."
I think it's an important point to consider. There may not be a ton of information about mucinous carcinoma, because it's so rare, but what you can do is get as much information as possible about what, specifically, is going on in YOUR breast/body and make an informed decision that way. What scans have you had so far? e.g. mammogram, ultrasound, MRI?
What procedures have you been through so far? I'm a little confused by you saying you had a biopsy to remove a 2.5 cm tumor - typically, a biospy needle takes a sample of a breast lump to test it and see if it is malignant, and then it is the lumpectomy (or mastectomy) that removes the whole lump. Did you have just the diagnostic/needle biopsy so far, or an excisional biopsy that removed the whole lump and cleared the margins? Do you know anything about your lymph nodes yet?
Once the whole tumor is out, your full pathology report will be available and will give more information about what's going on in your breast and whether your lymph nodes are clear or not. That will help you decide upon which additional treatments you feel you need, taking into consideration the advice of a medical oncologist and possibly radiation oncologist. Ask if the Oncotype dx test is appropriate/helpful in your situation.
My advice would be to start with the lumpectomy (if you haven't yet had it?). Then once that tissue is analyzed and you have your full pathology report with more information, you can spend some time researching your options, talking with your BS and oncologist, etc., to decide whether or not you need and can accept radiation. At that point, you can go for the mastectomy if you choose not to have radiation. Whereas if you go for the mastectomy now, you can't undo that decision. Does that make sense? Ask your surgeon if this plan would work. It's what worked for me - I had the lumpectomy even though I was really resistant to the idea of radiation, because I at least wanted the tumor out ASAP. The margins weren't clear and I had to go in for 2 reexcision surgeries, and I spent several weeks agonizing over the decision of whether to do the reexcisions then move on to radiation, or just get a mastectomy... each time, my BS suggested I go ahead with the reexcision(s), because I could still choose mastectomy later on down the road if I wanted to. But I know all surgeons/hospitals/insurance companies are different, so ask!
11/2009, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-