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Jan 6, 2020 06:28AM
Jan 6, 2020 06:29AM
Hi there I'll try to make my long story short.
Yes, I was similar to you. Dense breasts, never told that they can hide cancer. I found the tumor through a random self check after five years of five clear mammos.
Had to demand an u.s because my GP told me (twice) that the lump was just "normal breast tissue"), thank god I listened to my intuition and the advice of my husband and a very good friend. US revealed trouble, so down the rabbit hole I went.
Lumpectomy followed the week after the US.
Pathology report and staging: 2 cm., 6/11 + nodes, Stage II, grade between 1-2, ILC.
Because of + nodes my oncologist said I'd need chemo, so that's what I got. I read a bunch of chemo experiences on these discussion boards and talked to a friend who had chemo and a BMX because of her own BC dx and realized I could do it. She recommended my MO and surgeon too.
After finding out that ILC tends to be multi-focal (found in both breasts) and as we know hides from scans, I made decisions.
I had ACT chemo, and then six weeks of 5 days a week radiation tx.
A year after rads, I had a BMX with immediate reconstruction. I remember my oncologist saying "you don't need to get a BMX since you've had rads and a lumpectomy", which statistically says that survival is the same as no rads and a BMX. HOWEVER, it doesn't address the sneakiness of ILC and tendency to grow for miles without being detected by scans.
I did not want to live my life with the added mistrust of mammos. I had the BMX and the pathology report post-surgery read:
left (bad breast) no involvement, BUT right ("good") breast had mild hyperplasia--atypical ILC cells--that very well could have caused me real problems in the future.
I told my oncologist I wanted everything and the kitchen sink of tx thrown at me, since it might be the only time to do it, and I wanted no regrets if I did have a recurrence later.
As for anti-hormonals, I took tamoxifen for a year till we confirmed that chemo put me in chemo-pause. Then I took Arimidex which had horrible side effects for me, and then switched to Aromasin, which (after like 7 years or so) I'm still tolerating with little side effects.
I hope that helps!
Claire in AZ
9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen/arimidex/aromasin, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "In the midst of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus