Topic: Mom just diagnosed stage 3

Forum: Waiting for Test Results — We know, waiting is VERY difficult but we're here for you.

Posted on: Jun 17, 2007 08:52PM

Posted on: Jun 17, 2007 08:52PM

KellyO wrote:


my mom was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I feel like I am not getting all the info b/c I am in Ontario and my mom lives in another province. Here's our story....

the doctors say my mom's tumor was in her chest wall. They initially tried to biopsy her 3 times with inconclusive results. Then they removed the tumor (lumpectomy) and came back with a pathology report inidcating that she was a stage 3, rapid growth breast cancer. She had a full masectomy 2 weeks ago and we are awaiting another pathology report that is supposed to tell us if the cancer spread into her lymphnodes. What we do know is that this tunor was found in January 2007 and was not removed until April. With stage 3, I wonder how fast the cancer spreads?? It doesn't seem good that the tumor was there for 3 mths.. that we know for sure and likely longer.

I can't seem to find alot of info on stage 3 breast cancer with the tumor in the chest wall and what this means. My question is what does this mean and how can the doctors stage it without knowing if it is spread into the lymphnodes?? i see alot of info on TNM staging, where you need to know if the tumor has invaded the tissue, if the lymphnodes are affected and if it is metastasized. We wouldn't know that info yet until the pathology report comes back from her breast... right or wrong??

Can somebody please provide some feedback???

I talked to my family doctor about it.. he doesn't feel this is avery good situation b/c: 1. the location of the tumor, 2. how long it was there before removed, 3. my mom had hogikins cancer 20 yrs prior (so this is secondary cancer) and 4. b/c it is stage 3

i need the reality of what to expect when this pathology report comes back.

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Jun 17, 2007 11:41PM LaGata wrote:

I found a large lump in January of 2005, biopsied on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th, mastectomy on March 22nd, Stage 3C, 18 of 18 nodes were positive. Started chemotherapy May 6th, did a total of 8 sessions with two different chemos. Thirty radiation treatments ending on January 13th 2006 and I'm doing fine. This is also my second cancer. The first was cervical in 1990. Hysterectomy with no follow-up treatments.

However, the invasion into the chest wall is a bit worrysone and also the length of time to get the pathology report back. Have they talked to your mother about treatment options? Or is everything on hold waiting for the report? The report will tell the doctors the "stage", untill they read the report a stage 3 is just a guess, the type, if it's er+ or -, whether there is node involvement, things like that, how fast the cancer cells divide and grow so they will know what the best course of action to take is and all that.

What types of treatments did she have for the Hodgkins?

Is this length of wait time normal in Canada? I've heard some pretty bad tales about medical care in Canada but thought they were just nonsense. Maybe not?

LS _^..^_
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Jun 18, 2007 04:21AM KellyO wrote:

Hi... thks for the response.

My mom had radiation and chemo for Hodgkins. She has been told that she can not have any more radiation due to already having it. She will be starting chemo though once the pathology report comes in. What is "er" and "or"?

Health care is not the greatest here. Your lump was removed very quickly. The part that worries me is the fact that the lump was there for 3 mths beforeit was removed and then another 1 1/2 mths before a masectomy was done. My mother had her masectomy done 2 weeks ago and we were told we would not get the pathology report until June 29th. It is a long wait. I am not sure why that is.

Could they not tell what stage the cancer is in from tests on the tumor they removed??

There won't be any treatment started until the report comes back. And no, it is not normal for this to happen in Canada... usually when a tumor is found to be malignant, a lumpectomy or masectomy is done w/in 4-6 weeks. It would appear she was mis-biopsied and medical staff didn't act quickly enough with regards to the lumpectomy. I guess they couldn't get a good biopsy, since the tumor was embedded in the chest wall, it was difficult to reach.

I am wondering that b/c they have said it is in stage 3 and it was left for so long in her chest wall, if the chances for spreading are good?? What do you think??

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Jun 18, 2007 06:06PM roseg wrote:

Stage 3 is a serious thing, but it is not a reason to go off the deep end.

Your Moms' cancer was likely growing for 8-10 years. A few months wait for surgery/treatment is not the difference between life and death here. There are many Canadian women here who are doing just fine.

She's likely to have heavy-duty treatment, but the prognosis is good. You will have to wait to see how the lymph nodes are, but she's likely to have the same treatment even if none are positive because of the size/location of the tumor.

The number of positive lymph nodes is a prognostic indicator for the future, BUT with treatment the future is quite hopeful. So be hopeful!
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Jun 18, 2007 07:14PM DeannaB wrote:

I agree the time period is not going to affect anything-- I am a stage III and they defeintly said the cancer was there for 5-1o years. Not that you want to wait very much longer-- but the cancer has been there for awhile and the treatment will probably be the same. I am sorry to here her news but chemo is unbelieveable and stay positive--- there is a lot of life left in all of us.

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Jun 18, 2007 07:32PM KellyO wrote:

thanks for the feedback girls!

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Jun 18, 2007 07:33PM KellyO wrote:

thks for the feedback...

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Jun 20, 2007 06:40PM KellyO wrote:

hello girls,

Further to my initial posting, we have now heard that my mom's cat scan showed density spots on her kidney, lung and pelvis. Does anyone have any idea what this means?? We are awaiting yet more tests now... I know you all know what that's like. She will have an x-ray on her pelvis tomorrow, with other tests unknown at this time to follow. I would like any info anyone can offer... please don't sugar coat. I know we are either looking at nothing, or something that is very bad.

Thks to all fellow sisters
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Jun 25, 2007 03:07PM DeannaB wrote:

I can't help you with what that means-- but maybe if you did another post- asking that-- I am sure a lot of people with chime in. Your mom will be in my prayers...

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