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Topic: Anyone with tumor location above the breast?

Forum: Diagnosed and Waiting for Test Results —

Share with and support others all waiting for test results from CAT scan, PET scan, Oncotype tests, Mammaprint, FISH, IHC, and other diagnostic tests.

Posted on: Jul 16, 2017 06:27AM - edited Jul 16, 2017 06:17PM by Cherry-sw

Cherry-sw wrote:

Hello,

I am a 44 year old mom who recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, surgery is scheduled next week. I had been worrying about my left breast since last year because of the constant pain in it. My doctor sent me for a mammography and ultrasound exam and I was told that everything was fine. By that time the pain was gone. In the end of May I felt a lump and booked a new appointment within two weeks. The lump sits above the breast, lower than the armpit though a bit to the left. During the mammography they had trouble to get this part into the device. During the ultrasound the doctor told me that what they see has to be removed and performed fine needle biopsy. Since I was in shock they arranged me meeting an oncology professor right after the ultrasound. During this meeting she did not commented the site of the tumor but in the paper she stated C905, unspecified. In a week the clinic confirmed that the biopsy results show malign cells but they cannot say anything specific until they remove and analyse the tumor.

I wonder whether there are people who had tumor location similar to mine and how it went later? Was it usual carcinoma or some other types? I am grateful for any information.

I cannot even describe how devastated I am, no one expects such diagnosis at this age and it feels that I do not even remember how the life was before the cancer, because it had totally taken over my life now I feel miserable and just cry and cry meanwhile I am searching the internet. This is how I found this forum, trying to find any case that resembled mine.

I will await your responses, will mean a lot to me since the worries are tearing me down. I blame myself for every glass of wine I ever drunk and every cigarette I occasionally smoke. I am not overweight, do not have any family history and usually exercise at least once a week. But now I also experience pain between my shoulder blades which makes me feel even worse.

Thank you in advance,

Sincerely

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 16, 2017 07:13AM - edited Jul 16, 2017 07:15AM by Sjacobs146

My tumor was located in a similar spot, right breast, toward my armpit. It was found during a routine mammogram, I was really lucky that they caught it. During my screening mammogram, the tech kept redoing my right breast, telling me that there was a skin fold. At the time I was annoyed, and when I got the callback for the follow up mammogram, I wasn't worried at all because I assumed that he tech screwed up with the original mammogram. I was 48 at diagnosis, no family history of BC, breast fed both my children, never smoked.

I do know exactly how you feel. At the time of my diagnosis a good friend was battling Stage 4 BC (she died the following year) so I knew exactly what could happen to me. It's common to blame yourself, BUT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, NOTHING YOU DID CAUSED YOUR CANCER. You're not going to die any time soon, and probably not going to die from BC. The 5 year survival,rate is over 97 percent. There are many good treatments for BC, and more are being developed all the time. This will change your life, but in many ways it can be for the better. As I approach my 3 year cancerversary I have a new perspective on what I see important in life, and I have opened myself to new experiences and new friendships. While I do wish that I had never been diagnosed it does not have to be all bad.

Good luck to you, sending a warm hug your way. You WILL get through this

Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/25/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 16, 2017 08:02AM - edited Jul 16, 2017 06:15PM by Cherry-sw

Hi Sjacobs146,

Thanks a lot for your answer, this forum really gives one a perspective on bc. I see your tumor size was similar to my estimated size I received during the ultrasound exam. My biggest fear is proximity to the chest wall and the overall status, at the moment we do not know anything and therefore I am afraid of everything. I find all the symptoms and face the ignorance from people who are not affected and whose reply is: but this is treatable, you shouldn't worry. Not that we told everybody, trying to keep it within a small circle of family and friends. They all are supportive but this is when i realize I have to fight it on my own and the outcome is still unclear.

It is strange that there are any mammal glands so high up in the breast, mine is not at all within the breast area but my breasts hang a lot too.

I will probably have some questions to ask you after my surgery and the analysis. Thank you for your kind reply.

Sincerely


Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 16, 2017 10:59AM Sjacobs146 wrote:

On the positive side, the lumpectomy didn't affect the overall look of my breast. The incisions are in the crease between breast and arm. I'd be happy to answer any question or concerns you have, or just offer support. Feel free to private message me as well

Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/25/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 17, 2017 02:54AM Cherry-sw wrote:

Hi again,

No one else except the two of us? Is this location so rare? I am so much worried about the surgery, want to ask the right questions after it.

Thank you in advance for any responce


Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 17, 2017 03:29AM Falconer wrote:

cherry- I'm sorry you found yourself here. But this is a wonderful supportive community to help you through this difficult time. The tumor in my left breast was just behind the nipple, so my situation was rather different. It was not seen on the mammo either, but I had bleeding, so my gyn sent more testing. However, this story is about my mom, who, 25 years ago, had a lump high above her right breast. For several years she could feel it, but each mammo she had showed nothing. Finally, a more experienced and persistent tech turned the machine in a different way and sure enough was able to capture an image of the tumor that warranted more testing and showed a malignancy. She counts that tech as one of the people who saved her life. She just celebrated her 76th birthday this month. She did have a lumpectomy chemo and radiation followed by Tamoxifen. Back then, reconstruction was not commonplace so in 25 years her right breast has lost more of its lift than the left, but as she says, "I can live with that." It's a frightening time you're going through. Be sure to ask your dr for support for your mental health as well. Good luck to you. ((Hugs))
Strong is the new strong. Dx at 45. Onco 16. Monthly Lupron shots. Dx 7/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2016, DCIS, Left, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 17, 2017 04:30AM Cherry-sw wrote:

Hi Falconer,

Thanks a lot for your answer and the inspiring story about your mom's recovery. These days I am searching for the stories like this to hold on to. And I realise what a mess I am right now feeling there is no a single drop of happiness left in my body, not even able to think of life I had before. This community is great, I have been reading and learning a lot realising there is a life after the diagnosis but I still find hard time to accept that it happened to me, to us, because the whole family is affected. I wish you and your mom many years ahead free of this desease, warmest hugs

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 17, 2017 11:06AM EastcoastTS wrote:

Cherry:

My tumor was above the nipple -- about 2 inches -- directly above. Noon location. There was a possibility of chest muscle invasion. I chose BMX, and if the chest muscle was involved it would have required rads, but it was not. :) So there's every chance you will not have that issue, too.

Mine was ILC, which usually presents larger on actual path/surgery than in scans. MRI showed 1.2, actual 1.8. I was very small and felt the lump, which I believe it not typical for ILC. So I feel lucky to have found it.

Sorry you are here. BUT -- take a breath and ask questions. No matter how small. BC.org is literally a life-saver, or was for me. This will get better, I can promise you. And I'm new to this as well.

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/27/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 17, 2017 11:57AM - edited Jul 17, 2017 12:16PM by Cherry-sw

Thank you for your reply, EastcoastTS,

Mine is located in the similar spot, maybe 12.10, slightly to the left. My GP was skeptical that there could be any glands but a lump is a lump so she booked my mammogram and ultrasound right away. A week after that my world has crashed. The surgery is scheduled this week and the chest involvement is one of my greatest concerns. I do not live in US, but in Scandinavia, there are national directives how to approach every case of bc, and even if a decision is taken by a conscilium of several doctors, the directives in question are to be followed, which means I cannot opt for anything but have to follow their recommendation. Now I am very new to this and am not sure that it works exactly this way but at the moment the plan is to have a sentinel node removal plus surgery, results analysis in three weeks and radiation during a month. I mean I cannot have a mastectomy or chemo even if I want to and I do not have any idea how it will influence my chances. I did not get much information only an urge to trust them and I do not feel like I do because I trusted the mammogram exam another royal clinic performed in January and they missed my tumor. I believe I red somewhere that LC is not that common and I was wondering whether any ducts can be situated that high above the breast but apparently they can. I am just trying to prepare myself for the upcoming diagnosis which I understand is a meaningless idea, but I cannot think of anything else. Have you done any chemo yet? Really appreciate that you answered my thread, this community is great, I have been reading a lot between my breakdowns. It is so hard to grasp, I never thought it could happen in my age.


Sincerely

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 17, 2017 08:15PM EastcoastTS wrote:

Cherry:

I did not have to have Chemo because the Oncotype test the result indicated no chemo (score of 14). I believe in Europe they more widely use Mammoprint.

Lumpectomy was suggested in my case, and then I would have also had radiation, so this may be an excellent course of treatment. Due to ILC and family history, I chose BMX.

Ask lots of questions. On this list and to your doctors.

Good luck and thinking of you.

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/27/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 18, 2017 05:16AM Cherry-sw wrote:

Thank you EastcoastTS,

I will have a lot of questions as soon as I have more information, will try to read more on the subject as well. I have a thin and bony front as well with medium large and saggy breasts. When I foundation the tumour it was still quite flat but now after biopsy it got round and feels like it is getting bigger. 1,5 cm according to ultrasound, biopsy on a node that looked slightly enlardged came negative but it was fine needle and the results cannot be reliable. We have just wait and see. I wish you full recovery, let us stay in touch, hugs.

Sincerely,

Cherr

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 18, 2017 05:33AM Sjacobs146 wrote:

Cherry,

Once your lumpectomy is done, you will know a lot more. The treatment plan is usually put together after that. Even here in the US people don't just choose to have chemo. They can choose not to have it though. In my case, since the tumor was small, medium grade, caught early my doc did not think that I would need chemo. Turns out that I had a positive node, and Oncotype was intermediate, so the docs recommended chemo. I could have chosen not to do it but I decided that I wanted to do all I can to beat the cancer. I suppose I could have pushed for a mastectomy, but since the survival rates are the same for both surgeries, I didn't see the point, and I am rather attached to my breasts.

Cherry, you should update your diagnosis (type, grade, size, hormone status)in your profile, and make it public. Then we will be able to see it in your signature and people can give you more specific info.

Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/25/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 18, 2017 12:59PM - edited Jul 19, 2017 03:42AM by Cherry-sw

Hi Sjacobs146,

I just had a surgery with a sentinel node, according to the surgeon it went well. She initially suggested to go through the nipple and remove the tumor this way avoiding a scar in the breast. The downside of this procedure is higher risk of infection and longer recovery time. I got stressed because I did not know what to choose and told her that the scars are not my biggest concern and that she could make this desicion for me. It does not appear that either the muscle or chest wall were involved but I was så dizzy because of the medications that I am not sure I rememberedeverything correctly, very irritating, now I have to try to talk to her again. She said though I have to stop searching the web because I used so many terms and definitions but still in a newbe way. I will have my treatment plan ready i August. My mom is coming to stay with us for some time and will releave my husband from the dayly household chores. I will absolutely update my diagnosis as soon as I receive one. I dread radiation and will need as much information as I can get. Thank you so much for all your advice, I will stay in touch continuing to ask questions, warmest hugs,

Sincerely,

Cherry

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 18, 2017 02:05PM - edited Jul 18, 2017 02:08PM by mustlovepoodles

my tumor was located very high in the breast, up in the tail of the breast which is almost under your armpit. It was about the size of a cherry, so obviously it had been there awhile. I have regular mammograms but I think that the plates just didn't capture that space. The last mammogram finally caught a shadow, so they did an ultrasound and that's where they found the tumor.

Even so, it was still an early breast cancer. They were able to excise it all with a lumpectomy. When we found out that I had to gene mutations that cause breast cancer, I had a bilateral mastectomy. I did have four rounds of chemo, due to my PR negative status. But no radiation.

My chances of remaining cancer free are pretty high. I don't sit around worrying about whether this could recur. It will either recur or it won't. 100% or 0%. I refuse to waste time and energy worrying about something that has not even happened yet. If it does happen, then I will deal with it pragmatically just as I always have.


Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Jul 18, 2017 04:19PM - edited Jul 19, 2017 03:47AM by Cherry-sw

Hi mustlovepoodles,

Thank you for your reply, your attitude is encouraging, this is where I want to be in then upcoming years and really learn to live in a moment completely enjoying all of them. I was also surprised to hear that there is glandular tissue even so high above the actual breast. But the mammogram departments should know. Now I blame myself I did not googled it up before my appoinment. They still have the devices to get at unusual angles, they managed to get it on a mammogram when I found it. My GP specifically asked for a thorough examination but the doctor performing ultrasound had a look on her face like I am wasting her time. And now I am here. And when one hears that everything is fine you just do not want to question anything, I really should have. I still cannot bring myself to accept it but I do not have any choice, life just got such a turn you understand how fragile it is and even that your age is not always in your favour. I really want to get older now, I was never age-fixated before and now when I think of people shooting all this injections to look younger, I honestly cannot understand it. I so need to be there for my girls, I get hysterical over it. This is something I want to learn how to control because I do not want them to feel sad and be as happy as possible under the circustances even if my heart breaks into pieces. Otherwise this feeling of turning into a sick person and there is not much I cannot do, this is really hard. Thank you for your positive words, I realise what I have to invest my energy into. Warmest hugs and wishes, hope you will always stay healthy and positive to inspire hypochondrics like me. I will stay in touch and will ask a lot of questions as soon as I know more about my condition.

Sincerely,

Cherry

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 18, 2017 05:49PM - edited Jul 18, 2017 05:53PM by EpicSquirrel

My cancer is what i call above the breast also, about in line with my armpit. Directly above the nipple (called "twelve o'clock" but a few inches above the nipple) Found by me and then seen on ultrasound. Never seen on mammo prior.

After the diagnosis, I was sent for bilateral MRI and for another mammo so the surgeon would have a mammo of the biopsy clip. The mammo tech could not get the clip in the photos without my help. She took a couple mammos and then was "I don't see the clip" I showed her where it was (since I could feel the lump) and we had to do a lot of maneuvering to get that tissue in the mammo machine. Awkward,and painful for the photos :(

Mine is the most common breast cancer, IDC, so there are ducts up there!

History of fibrocystic and dense breasts (pain, cysts, aspirations, biopsies). 1.4 cm IDC at age 49 after "benign" flare up earlier this year (2017) Healthy lifestyle, no genetic mutations. Sometimes it is just bad luck. Dx 5/5/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 18, 2017 05:53PM MTwoman wrote:

my presenting lump was about equal with the top of my armpit, but toward my sternum. It was about 1.5 to 2 inches below my clavicle in the inner upper quadrant (but I was still young and my boobs were perky). The didn't seem to have a problem with the mammo (although I had never had one before to compare it with). Mine was DCIS, so there must be ducts up there!

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Jul 19, 2017 12:18AM - edited Jul 19, 2017 02:29AM by Cherry-sw

Hi MTwoman,

Thank you for answering my thread. As much as I am dreadfully that this happened to all of us, this means a lot to me to be able to interaktiv to people who went through the similar thing. I have my family and they keep telling me everything will be fine but they do not have any idea what it feels like when you do not even know anyone with bc. I was so worrying about the tumor location I thought what could be so far away from the brest. Turns out there are a lot of brest tissue above there. You are a 15 years survivor I see, it is so inspiring to hear a story like this, something I desperately need right know. I see you still chose mastectomy, here you have this option only if your proves show a genetical condition and then they remove both the breasts and the ovaries, in this case you may be given this option. I wish you to continue staying free of any desease for the rest of your life. I would like to stay in touch, will have a lot of questions further on.

Sincerely,

Cherr

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 19, 2017 01:04AM - edited Jul 19, 2017 02:32AM by Cherry-sw

Hi EpicSquirre,

Thank you for sharing your story, means a lot to know there are people there with the same location, I was searching the internet like an insane before I decided to post here. We could neither get my tumor between the plates and when we finally did it was only in a horizontal position, to get a frontal picture the technitian used a plastic device that looked like a bottomless spoon plased on the tumor with a long part going between the plates. But I am really upset that it was missed on the ultrasound in January, I do not have any trust for this clinic anymore. They could have found it few months earlier. Then they also were supposed to do a follow up of one completely different area for a very minor thing that looked like a small skin dimple but it was in the place where I once spilled hot water. The same ultrasound doctor told me that my GP had to book a time for me, but since the ultrasound and mammogram did not show anything I did not worried but kept it in my mind that my GP did not contacted me. When I first found the lump and my GP was writing to the hospital I mentioned it to her that she was supposed to schedule me for the follow-up according to what I have been told. She was very surprised to hear that because it was never handled this way before, that it always was a clinic's responsibility to book the following appointments and then she found the message she missed from the clinic in my journal where they also informed her that the procedure was changed. It just saddensme that I was caught in the middle of this bureaucracy and all this time it was just there. I trust my GP, I am though angry with myself that I was not persistant and did not remind her of the follow up. Just reflecting over and over, I know it is meaningless, but cannot help it.

MTwoman, I wish you full recovery, we will stay in touch, I will have a lot of questions later on.

Sincerely,

Cherry

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 19, 2017 02:22AM - edited Jul 19, 2017 05:12AM by Cherry-sw

To all ladies who answered my post

Are you satisfied with how yoursurgical scars look like?

I met my surgeon right before the surgery when I was a complete mess and trembling like a leaf. I thought that an insicion in the upper part was my only option. At that point my only concern was to get rid of the tumor and that the surgery would go successfully. The surgeon started to talk of another option to go through the nipple and up and remove the tumor this way for a better cosmetic results. She mentioned that the surgery through the nipple might take longer though and that there was larger risk for infection but that she was willing to do it in order to avoid a scar so high upp in the chest. Since it was right before the surgery I panicked and told her I did not know what to do, that the scar was the only thing they mentioned to me before and she soothed me down and said that she will do an insicion up there. I felt like this option has never been presented to me, I never had a chance to reconcider so I am not sure that I made the right choice. Today I finally got a courage to look how the operation area looks like. There is a bandage and the affected breast is now higher compared to the other one, the nipples are not on the same level and I wonder how it would hav looked like if the removal would have been done the other way. The surgeon has also mentioned that the scar will be affected by the radiation, there may be som swelling or callosity If I translate it right.

My question is if anyones surgery was performed through the nipple If you had a brest preservan surgery, If not how do your scars look now after some time. It seems I have to do radiation, this is common for everybody with a breast preservant surgery here.

I will await your replies, thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Cherry


Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 22, 2017 05:17PM MountainLife wrote:

Hi Cherry-sw,
It's been a hectic week for me. Gyno visit on Tuesday; mammogram, ultrasound, chat with the radiologist who scared me to death, met with a surgeon (who scared me further) who did another ultrasound, this time doing a biopsy of two places - all this on Wednesday; and received the diagnosis of Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma on Friday. I feel like I'm in a daze and cannot believe this is happening. I meet with an oncologist on this coming Tuesday, will be scheduled for a PET scan, and I'm having a port put in on Thursday. That seems so crazy to even type that, but this is really happening to me and I'm in shock. To answer your question about location, my two problem areas were cysts that turned awful and to cancer in parts of them. One looked like it completely collapsed on ultrasound during the biopsy, but the pathology said the fluid contained cancer. The other one looked worse, border very irregular, and of course, more cancer. I can still feel part of the one, and it's located at about the 2 o'clock position on my upper outer breast. My surgeon said I needed chemo first to shrink it all because in her words without it, she didn't know if she could close me up. Awesome. So I'm sitting here typing this with a painful breast thinking every pain I'm feeling is this stupid cancer spreading everywhere. I know it's probably more likely my biopsy sites hurting, but my mind is all over the place. After the chemo, she said the next step would be a mastectomy and I could keep my right breast as removing it didn't really benefit anything - but, if I wanted it removed she would do it. Well heck yes, if one let me down, why couldn't it happen to the other at some point. Which brings me to my question, if she is worried about closing the skin, wonder if she could remove the other one and use that skin to close the area. It might not have the best cosmetic result, but at this point not having breasts is the least of my worries. Does anyone else feel this way? These breasts are more trouble than they're worth? I'm 46, I have no kids and at this age it's unlikely I ever will. Oh, I also have a couple of red spots that developed on my breast that turned out to be IDC too, so she didn't even mention a word about any type of reconstruction because there will be no skin left there. So, the other ladies that have answered about location, was there ever a concern about closing your surgery site?

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Jul 23, 2017 06:11AM - edited Jul 23, 2017 11:56AM by Cherry-sw

Hi MountainLife,

I am very sorry that it happened to you and to all of us, I fully understand how you feel, this is very new to me too. I just had my surgery this week and do not know much about my tumour yet. I am not in US either but i Europe and we have waiting times here that are exhausting. I think it is good that your doctors decided upon the chemo prior the removal, they are trying to shrink it and secure that they can extract it with clear margins. Your breast aches because of the biopsy, it got stuck with a needle and some inflammation might have occured. I have also been told that this is a general misconception to think that tumors are not painful, they may cause some pain because they are there where they are not supposed to be and your body is trying to fight them as well. I know I sound completely unprofessional but this is what I have been told by a nurse. And then of course you are thinking of it all the time. I have not been offered a mastectomy, just a surgery, here they advocate for breast preserving surgery If possible. To answer your question about the significance of the breast, I completely agree with you, the life without the breast is still a life only without the breast. You can find several threads here about living flat where people discuss all pro and cons for a choice of refusing a reconstructive surgery. For me having a nice breast is now longer a priority, I am so scared that I cannot think clear anymore. Of what I understod there was no problem to close the site during the surgery, but since the incision is over the tumour instead of going through the nipple, I will have a scar above the breast which is ok at this point, it is already done. The ladies who answered to me did not mentioned i either. You should post your question about it and the skin graft possibility in the surgery section, ther are a lot of people with experience who will answer to you and you can pose further questions. And please do not underestimate the psycological help, I will meet a hospital councelor next week, I need to learn how to cope with the desease because so far I am not doing good. I wish you a successful treatement and all the best, lots of hugs from Scandinavia. You can do it, we all can, we simply have no other choice but to try everything we can and hopefully it gets better.

Sincerely

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 23, 2017 02:41PM EpicSquirrel wrote:

The scar is very visible on my breast and doesn't always hide under bra/bikini since it is so high up and wide (though all my shirts do cover it) It also is a little indented, since so much tissue was taken out and my breasts were small to begin with. And it was hard to look at in the beginning, such a change, always drawing my attention, a stark reminder of what happened/was happening.

But honestly I don't mind it at all now. This surgery saved my life. I even asked my surgeon if i should have mastectomy instead. I told her to try to get good margins. I'm happy to live with this scar

History of fibrocystic and dense breasts (pain, cysts, aspirations, biopsies). 1.4 cm IDC at age 49 after "benign" flare up earlier this year (2017) Healthy lifestyle, no genetic mutations. Sometimes it is just bad luck. Dx 5/5/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 23, 2017 04:03PM WinningSoFar wrote:

I am almost 6 years from my stage IV IBC diagnosis. I am so happy to be here and feeling pretty good. I have some mobility problems now but they are not connected to cancer. I have a good number of scars and I don't care one bit. Sometimes, I wonder about that--my lack of caring about all the scars. But I just don't care.

Presently 1 lesion at T-7 vertebrae Dx 7/1999, ILC/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/1/1999 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 7/30/1999 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 7/1/2000 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 9/26/2011, IBC, Right, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Targeted Therapy 10/31/2011 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 11/5/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 5/5/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/14/2013 External: Bone Chemotherapy 3/1/2014 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 12/11/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 24, 2017 10:44AM MTwoman wrote:

MountainLife, I am so sorry about your recent diagnosis, but would like to welcome you here to BCO. It sounds like everything is moving pretty quickly, and the beginning stages can be pretty overwhelming. Finding out scary information bit by bit, and having to learn an entire new language. There are so many knowledgeable women here to help you. If you'll consider filling in as much of your diagnosis information as you know, on your profile and making it public, we will have a much better idea of how to help. Sending you warm thoughts and gentle ((hugs))

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Jul 24, 2017 01:39PM Sjacobs146 wrote:

I guess I don't worry too much about the scars either. They can only be seen if I lift my arm up and you look at my armpit (which hopefully no one does). My skin there is also discolored because of the radiation boosts, but it's been fading over time.

Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/25/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 24, 2017 03:03PM Cherry-sw wrote:

Hi Sjacobs146,

I run into some really scary threads about the radiation therapy. So far I only know that I will be having it, here they always do it in case of lumpectomy.How did you experienced your treatment? Any long term side effects?

Sincerely,

Cherry

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 24, 2017 08:15PM - edited Jul 24, 2017 08:17PM by Sjacobs146

Radiation was pretty easy after chemo. My hospital is close to my office, so I did the treatments during lunch. The whole thing takes ten minutes. About 3 weeks in, my skin started getting red right at the edge of my bra line where my incisions were but my doc was right on top of it. I had to put Aquafor and bandage the affected area for the rest of the treatments. At my hospital they have a lot of safety protocols with the radiation to make sure that no mistakes are made. After I finished treatments, my breast felt very firm, but two years later, it's almost back to normal. My skin healed very quickly after. I am lucky that my tumor was in my right breast, so no issues with my heart. I found the radiation fascinating. In my next life, I will be a radiation oncologist. So much math and physics involved. They have to determine the optimal angle for the beams so that they get the tissue they want without affecting other areas. The best part isn't that all of my underarm hair is completely gone on that side, so no more shaving, lol. As far as long term side effects, I'm only two and a half years out of treatment, so who knows what will happen in the future

Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/25/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 25, 2017 03:25AM - edited Jul 25, 2017 03:26AM by Cherry-sw

Hi Sjacobs146,

My tumor is on the left side and I am worried of all possible things both short and long term. I amright now worried of everything, I am losing weight, I am scared and feel that I cannot change anything. I have to find some survival strategy but any effort feels so meaningless, like here I am trying and nothing is up to me anyway. I will read more on radiation and try tofind some calm and strength. Thank you for your reply.

Sincerely,

Cherry

Dx 6/28/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 7/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 8/21/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/21/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Jul 25, 2017 08:15PM - edited Jul 25, 2017 08:16PM by mustlovepoodles

Cherry, my lumpectomy scar looked great, even though it was about 4" long. Unfortunately, my BMX scars looked pretty terrible. I lost a lot of tissue to necrosis and the recovery was long and arduous. It's been about a year & a half and the scars look a lot better now. Not pretty, but at least they aren't angry red now.

I wanted to speak to your comments about my positive attitude and tell you how I found my strength: This is not my first rodeo.

My youngest son was born with severe global developmental delays. He was medically fragile, had feeding problems, and in every way remained like a newborn baby for over a year. DS was found to be blind and deaf. Needless to say, we were frantic to find answers and he needed full support all the time--we couldn't leave him with anyone. He had over 200 blood tests, to no avail. Our geneticist finally told us that whatever it was, it probably was bad; he told me to take my son home and love him as long as we could. He wasn't expected to live long.

I was utterly devastated. I mean, so much that I was almost paralyzed. I couldn't take care of my children. All I could do was lie in the bed with my son and cry. Other people stepped in a brought food, took my kids to activities, and did my laundry. And I just cried and cried.

And then, six weeks later the geneticist called. It seems that one test came back that made the diagnosis--an extremely rare chromosome disorder that normally causes babies to die in utero or shortly after birth. DS was already 2. The doctor said that although DS would never walk or talk or in any way take care of himself, his health seemed unaffected--in other words, his main requirements would be educational and supportive care. I was stunned. Here I had just WASTED 6 weeks of my children's lives laying in deep depression, mourning events that would never happen. In other words, I borrowed trouble.

Even though the diagnosis was pretty bleak, it snapped me out of my depression and set my feet on firm ground. My motto became, "Whatever it takes!" I would do absolutely anything to help my boy overcome. I pushed him hard in PT, OT, and Speech therapy. I dragged him around on my back, saying, "You gotta walk, son. I can't carry you forever." I found ways to trick him into eating from a spoon. I was like a woman on fire! My other kids thought I was horrible, because I sometimes made him cry. And you know what? Most of those dire predictions didn't come true. DS learned to feed himself, learned to walk, swim, and ride a horse. DS turned out to have some vision and only mild hearing deficits. He went on to win blue ribbons in Special Olympics and horse competitions. He even learned to camp!

Today, my son is 22, a grown man 6'3". Of the approximately 150 children worldwide who have his particular disability, he is the only adult who is still walking. He has a happy, fulfilled life, living in a group home and attending a special needs program for adults. What if I had given in to that depression? what if I had not pushed him so hard? How different would his life have been? And what would my other children have learned from it--that when the going gets tough, the tough wimp out? NO! Not on my watch!

Whatever it takes, a motto that has served me well for over 20 years.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Jul 25, 2017 10:50PM - edited Jul 25, 2017 10:57PM by Sjacobs146

Cherry, you are at the most difficult point of the breast cancer process. You don't know what is going to happen, you're reading about all the terrible things that could happen, and you are afraid that they're all going to happen. I spent that time looking at photos of mastectomy scars. I didn't get a lot of sleep. It's a very normal reaction. If you really feel that your emotions and anxiety are getting out of control, speak to your doctor about anti-anxiety meds. They have helped many women.

Sometimes the treatment options are like the lesser of two evils. Certain chemo meds can actually cause leukemia, Tamoxifen can cause uterine cancer, radiation can damage heart and lungs. You have to make the best decisions you can based on the information that you have, then you have to go forward and never look back. No regrets.

Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/23/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/25/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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