Oct 28, 2018 03:27PM NVDobie wrote:
Hope you all doing well.
Has anyone used tomosynthesis (3D mammography) for your follow up Mammograms?
Canadian health care, clinical trials, and life in general in the north.
Posted on: Dec 19, 2011 05:17AM
I'm wondering how many West Coast Gals we currently have on here. It makes it a little easier to compare notes as our health-care is provincial. Would be nice to share tips and such to each other as we wade though the health-care Bureaucracy.
I'm in Richmond BC (a part of the Vancouver Lower Mainland) and the majority of my treatment has been at Vancouver General Hospital and Vancouver Cancer Agency.. with a few small surgical procedures done at UBC and my original Lumpectomy at Richmond General. My GP is also in Richmond. Ive been on the BCO boards since 2007 with a few breaks.
Please pipe in even if only to let us know your here
Posts 2521 - 2550 (2,931 total)
Oct 28, 2018 03:27PM NVDobie wrote:
Hope you all doing well.
Has anyone used tomosynthesis (3D mammography) for your follow up Mammograms?
Oct 29, 2018 09:25AM moth wrote:
NVDobie, is anyone here doing it? My surgeon (who did his surgical oncology fellowship in the US) told me about it and said he thought it was great technology but that it wasn't available here yet. This was around June, I think....
I'm thinking of doing MRIs on top of the gov't paid mammos. My gp said she'd refer me for an mri but I'm guessing msp won't pay for it so I'll pay out of pocket. Worth it for peace of mind. But if the tomosynthesis was available I'd want that as well...
Nov 2, 2018 10:36PM NVDobie wrote:
My research shows Women’s Hospital in vancouver has one since 2017. My radiation oncologist said BC cancer in Vancouver also has one. The way she explained it is that the radiologist will order it if they consider the breast tissue is dense.
One of things the two radiation oncologists I may have said is to go to the same center for breast imaging so they could have comparison. I am debating about that as my original mammogram was done at a private lab who made some mistake so I don’t want to return. Only option would be the Lion’s gate where I had my biopsy, but they will only have ultrasound image history.
What you ladies think?
Nov 2, 2018 10:46PM moth wrote:
That's interesting NVDobie. I'm going to RCH now (though some of my previous mammos were done at MedRay in Coquitlam). I was told that my tissue is dense and the techs there all recommended I ask for MRIs. Nobody mentioned tomo as an option - except my bs who said it's a shame it's not here yet. I'll ask about this next time I see my doctors.
Oh & yes, I was told to keep going to one place as much of the diagnostic benefit comes in being able to compare new & historic scans and when they're done on the same equipment it's easier (plus I think not all the places are sharing the scans with each other).
Nov 3, 2018 04:29PM Walden1 wrote:
Count me in if you are still planning to meet up in Nov
Nov 3, 2018 07:53PM BlueSky1969 wrote:
Nov 3, 2018 09:20PM NVDobie wrote:
on tomosynthesis, my MO was the one mentioned it when I asked him about imaging on Dense breast tissues. I was inquiring about MRI at the time of discussion, he said MRI produce too many false positives.
Only after hearing from him, I started looking into it.
I wonder it is possible that some doc doesn’t mentioned it because the hospital or center they belong to doesn’t have this machine.
Unfortunately some times the medical practitioners are not always the most informed.
BCCA Vancouver pharmacist is still giving out files that was created in 2008. So many patients walk away fearful of soy and phytoestrogens
Nov 4, 2018 04:30PM moth wrote:
Hi GoAway. Welcome to this club - the reason we're all here sucks but the people are lovely so there's that....
The early days are really hard so be gentle with yourself. It gets better. Hang in there. Ask any questions or just vent
Nov 4, 2018 06:35PM akmom wrote:
Hi GoAway and welcome to the club nobody wants to join... You will find lots of information and support here. Warm (virtual) hugs x
Nov 4, 2018 06:48PM BluGene wrote:
The whirlwind has begun as I start to balance life before and after diagnosis. So far, so good, but I’m feeling the pressure a bit as some work trips, and my husband doing night courses has just begun. But...we’ve got this!
I just got a call from the Jim Pattinson hospital. Have any of you been there? I’m going in to discuss treatment, and I have already done a lot of thinking and research and have already chosen double mastectomy, prophylactic on the left.
Anyone who’s been there...advice? Comments? I’m going on Tuesday. Just had partial mastectomy last Monday - margins close on one side
Nov 4, 2018 07:08PM akmom wrote:
Hi BluGene, are you referring to the Jim Pattison Outpatient Centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital? I had my double mastectomy there in August. I went to the Breast Health Clinic for my stereotactic core biopsies and was referred to Dr. Zih for further action. He is a general surgeon (I opted for no reconstruction so didn't have a plastic surgeon). Previous lumpectomy (6 years ago) was done by Dr. Rhonda Janzen.
They arrange a “mastectomy class” where you will be shown how to manage the drains you will have after your surgery. They give you a couple of very soft little pillows for using in the car (where seat belt touches your chest) or wherever needed. There will be a physiotherapist who will give you a list of post-surgical exercises and measure your fingers and arms (they follow up at intervals after your surgery to make sure they catch any lymphedema that might develop). I was sent home in a kind of stretchy boob tube thing with a front Velcro closing that has a place to pin the drains. I found all the staff at Jim Pattisonkind and caring.
Hope this is helpful info for you. Happy to answer any questions you might have!
Nov 4, 2018 07:14PM Eily333 wrote:
I have been to Jim Pattison...from initial diagnosis, lumpectomy ....i had Dr Janzen, who is very quick in her appointments and can be matter of fact (I guess she sees it all the time) but she’s very pleasant and very good at what she does..so don’t be put off my her speed.
She did my lumpectomy and checking 3 nodes....there was no problem....got very clear margins on a small lump and I had no positive nodes. But I told her I would be back ...as I always said if I got Breast Cancer I would have them off! She said wait and see.
Then I went to the Cancer Agency to discuss treatment. The oncologist will decide whats next..I didn’t need heavy chemo but had Taxol for a short time and then it, as well as Herceptin. Depends on what kind of breast cancer you have. I’m also on medication for my ER/PR + type.
After the first part of chemo I went back to the Surgeon at Jim Pattison and discussed a Double Mastectomey and went ahead with it. Its a very personal decison. Absolutely no one can make it but YOU.
I’m about 5 months since i had it and am glad I did..but then I’m 69 so my breasts hadserved me well. I did not get reconstruction.
Take it easy..don’t jump too far ahead untill you know whats what. Sorry I’m a little long winded in my reply..
Nov 4, 2018 08:58PM moth wrote:
Dr Zih was my surgeon but I had my surgery at Surrey Memorial. Dr Zih works at both SMH & Pattison and I think where he does surgeries depends on the roster and the scheduling space because when I was being originally booked in they had a date for me but no location.
Nov 4, 2018 09:20PM BlueSky1969 wrote:
Hi Go Away (great tag name) & BluGene;
Wish you both the best outcomes. You have to come to the right place. I can't overstate how much these ladies saved me through this terrible process. Lots of good support and info. Would've been so much worse without them.
I had a Mx at Mount St Joe's on May 1st and am skd'd for revision surgery on Nov 26th w a new PS.
Nov 4, 2018 10:00PM NVDobie wrote:
Hi Go Away, BluGene
Welcome. We will be your support along the way. You got this
Nov 5, 2018 08:36AM BluGene wrote:
Thanks for the responses!
Akmom- yes that is the place! I’ve already done all the diagnostics and partial mastectomy here, so I believe I am going for a consult regarding the double mastectomy as I told my surgeon that is definitely the route I want to go, especially if it avoid surgery radiation. Do you know if this clinic discusses such things, or would it be about surgery only? I’m a bit confused as to who I’m supposed to talk to about what at this time.
How long was it from consult to surgery for you? How has your recovery been? Are you considering any reconstruction? A co-worker went through this about 7 years ago and said she was up and ready to go back to work in a mere couple weeks. I’m curious what your abilities were, or when you felt up to your usual light tasks?
Eily- Thanks for sharing your experience! It sounds pretty positive. Funny how we Just “know” things sometimes. I knew I had cancer from the moment I had my last mammo, and the radiologist pointed out a lump I hadn’t noticed. It felt different, and she said my microcalcs have changed since last year and were clustering. I walked out and I knew. Or at least I knew that I was on the path of a new journey. After I did genetic testing a year ago, and found out I have a cancer gene along with extensively family history, I did some research on the different types of cancer, and it actually made me less scared. I knew that because they started screening me and were doing diagnostic screening at an age of 33, that they could find it early if it happened. Then my husband and I had a few conversations with my genetics counsellor, and we came up with a plan. Little did I know then that the timeline would be forced many years early. Although I’m nervous, I’m also at peace with it. And grateful for early detection!
Nov 5, 2018 08:42AM BluGene wrote:
Moth, NVDobie and BlueSky,
Thanks for the encouragement!
Moth - thanks for the heads up on the two hospitals. That could help with any possible confusion ! Looks like your surgery and treatment started a while ago. How are you doing now? How was your radiation treatment? Thanks for sharing!
BlueSky- are you sharing what kind of revision you are getting? The 26th is soon! How did you find the expander from your previous surgery?
Thanks again, all
Nov 5, 2018 09:31AM moth wrote:
Blugene - radiation was easy for me. I was given a choice between mastectomy or lumpectomy + rads (which was recommended by the BS) and I chose the latter.
The 5 months of chemo otoh sucked and my white blood cell counts are still recovering as my bone marrow really did not like chemo. I tried to frame it positively as indicating that chemo was really working on me but who knows.... Radiation was easy compared to chemo. I started back in school while still doing radiation and didn't really feel the fatigue that many people experience. It was just annoying having to drive the extra distance and home, rads, school were a huge inconvenient triangle so I was constantly stuck in traffic somewhere for those weeks. I caught up on lots of podcasts and audio books lol. I'm 7 weeks post rads. My skin is fine, just a bit tanned looking. I have a bit of cording in my arm but the stretches and exercises that the physio prescribed have been making a difference and I've been told this will pass very quickly and it's not really impacting my life at all right now other than I have to do the extra stretches.
I'm not just back to normal life, I'm at normal life +++++! I was diagnosed during final exams in Dec 2017 but I was only taking 2 classes then. Now I'm in school full time in a pretty intense bachelor of science nursing program, and we adopted a second dog in the spring. I like to do training & dog sports so my dog hobbies are time intensive, and I'm increasing the amount of time I exercise in addition to all that. Plus I'm trying to sleep >8h every night and meditate and read and do my creative writing. The house is a mess because cleaning never makes it to the to do list :D
Life is good! The cancer still makes me mad some days - I whine that I don't have time for this!!!! - but I remind myself I don't have time for anger either!
Nov 5, 2018 11:26AM wrenn wrote:
Sorry to see newly diagnosed but glad you found this site and this group. It really helped me in the beginning when I was lost about what was going on.
I had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction and found it pretty easy except for some complications with drain placement and management but that was the fault of the surgeon and unusual. I was surprised at how little pain there was and only needed tylenol for a couple of days. My biggest issue with the cancer diagnosis has been psychological....much anxiety.
I went to a retreat at Callanish and go to the centre in the city for meditation, a writing group, support group and other activities they have and it really has made a difference. You can google Callanish.org to read about it. There is a video of one of the retreats on the site.
There is a support group at The Cancer Society at 545 W.10th (one block east of BCCA) once a month. There is one this Thursday. You can PM me for the leader's email address if you are interested in that.
Keep coming back for information and support and wishing for smooth sailing for you.
Nov 5, 2018 02:41PM akmom wrote:
Hi BluGene, both times I did not see a radiation or medical oncologist until after surgery; they don't really know what is in there for sure until they have the post surgery pathology report. My first experience was lumpectomy and 'only' DCIS was found. Radiation was recommended, I believe due to the grade (2). Then the second time, when DCIS was found on both sides, the surgeon said I would have to have MX for the radiated side for sure. I could have had lumpectomy and rads again on the left, but opted for double MX. And they found invasive cancer on the right side after all, which is why I am now on aromatase inhibitors. You can always ask to speak with an oncologist before making your decision. But it sounds like you are pretty much decided on the double mastectomy, in which case you will get a better idea of appropriate follow up treatment once you have the final pathology.
I do suggest you speak to your surgeon ahead of time about the pros and cons for doing a sentinel or axillary lymph node biopsy at the time of your surgery. Dr. Zih was confident that I had DCIS only and did not do even the sentinel node biopsy. And it's too late now, so I have the worry (albeit slight) about whether the cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue. I know the odds are low, but my friend found a lump on her chest wall that turned out to be breast cancer, 16 years after her double mastectomy. So I know the possibility exists.
Re: timing - biopsy was done July 4, consult with Dr. Zih was July 17, surgery was August 14. It probably could have been even sooner; I told Dr. Zih at the outset that I did not want reconstruction, but he suggested that I consult a plastic surgeon regardless, just to know my options. The PS appointment was made for August 30, but after thinking it over for a week I called back and said to cancel the PS, just go ahead and schedule the mastectomy.
Recovery has been straightforward; only used painkillers the day after the surgery and was diligent about the exercises so my range of motion is good. I am not considering reconstruction; so far I am feeling comfortable going flat. (I did purchase prosthetic breast forms and bras last week. Pharmacare will pay for the prosthetics but depending on your income, there could be a pretty high deductible to be met first. Mine was higher than the cost of the forms, but I can apply to my extended health plan for a partial reimbursement. I am already having second thoughts about buying them as I doubt I will wear them much.)
I didn't have to think about going back to work (retired 2 years ago). Not sure how soon I would have been ready. I think it was about three weeks before I felt like driving, but I probably could have started sooner. Luckily my husband is also retired so was on hand for driving duties (also shopping, cooking, cleaning etc., bless his heart). If I was still working, I think I would have taken at least a month off; even though I would have been physically able to do the actual activity sooner (desk job), I would have found it emotionally exhausting. I am a lot older than you (63) and finding it harder to 'bounce back' to my normal self. For example, I had been walking at least an hour a day prior to surgery but am finding it hard to work myself up to that long of a walk - if I can even get myself out the door at all!
Hope this helps answer some of your questions. Keep posting questions as you think of them; I am more than happy to 'pay back' the great support and information I have received from others on this site :)
Nov 5, 2018 02:47PM akmom wrote:
Meant to add, it's my understanding that sentinel and axillary node biopsies increase the risk of lymphedema. That's why I didn't object when Dr. Zih said there was no need in my case. So it was a trade off between low risk of lymphedema and worry about whether cancer has spread.
Nov 5, 2018 04:17PM Eily333 wrote:
Hi again BluGene....and akmom, wrenn....
I meant to add that Dr Rhonda Janzen, who I had, does surgery at both Jim Pattison and Delta Hospital. I had both Lumpectomy and BMX at Delta..small hosptial..nice new Day Surgery are though. I don’t know how they allocate what Dr you see? Do you know what surgeon you have an appointment for?
As an RN myself (daughter a nurse educator and son in law a Dr)...I like to know how many years they've been doing Breast Surgery. Many of the surgeons are General Surgeons and its good to get an idea of how long they’ve been doing Breast Surgery. For my timeline..i had an appointment with Dr Janzen for my biopsy Nov 7 2017, results Nov 16, Lumpectomy Nov 28......then after the chemo part BMX May 29 2018.
I went on every cancellation list I could . and offered to go to either place for my surgery which sped things up a bit.
I hope you’re not getting too much info now ;-)
Nov 5, 2018 05:00PM DearLife wrote:
BCO LUNCH INVITATION
Dear BCO sisters in BC,
Several people have asked if we could get together and meet in November. I checked with a few people and we have come up with a plan.
We could meet for late lunch at Cactus Club at Broadway and Ash. (Near BCCA Vancouver. I used to meet my friend here when we were having rads together 🙂.) They have vegan options.They can put tables together for ten people, or we can have adjacent booths for up to 14.
Those who are working have asked for this to be on the weekend. Saturday seems the best day and it is quieter in the restaurant that day. It is very close to the Broadway Canada Line station and parking should be easier on the weekend.
I hope you can join us on:
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 24
CACTUS CLUB, BROADWAY AND ASH
Please let me know If you can make it by Wednesday November 7 and I will make the reservation.
I hope you can come. It would be wonderful to meet you in person!
Nov 5, 2018 05:13PM wrenn wrote:
I am going to try to be there on the 24th
Nov 6, 2018 04:36AM marianelizabeth wrote:
I will be there! I hosted potlucks for Vancouver and all over the mainland plus Vancouver Island three years in a row ending a couple of years ago. We moved to Victoria 2017 just in time to be diagnosed with metatastic breast cancer that summer. I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends.
Right now I am enjoying an amazing cruise on the Danube with my husband and two wonderful friends. Having had to give up leading treks and tours in the Himalaya has been very difficult but this tour has really been a bonus.
Nov 6, 2018 09:15AM marianelizabeth wrote:
Are you excited Leanna~~Thought maybe the spelling was the cause.
Nov 6, 2018 10:18AM Ossa wrote:
I will try to change my shift as I am working ar 2:30 that day Would love to see you all again
Nov 6, 2018 10:24AM DearLife wrote:
Yes, we are ON for lunch on: Saturday Nov. 24, 1:00 pm, Cactus Club, Broadway and Ash.
Thanks to all who have replied so far. Six have confirmed since yesterday 😃.
You can send me a PM or just reply on this thread.
Please try and join us, newbies and oldies. It will be great to meet everyone!