Jul 5, 2007 12:25PM Shirlann wrote:As you might have already figured out, this is a very difficult "grey" area for the medical field. Simply finding out what type of lump your mom has makes sense to me. This is not too invasive and her lump could well be a cyst or one of many other things that breasts grow that are not malignant.
Now the hard part. If the lump does not appear (as best they can tell) to be a cyst or a fibroadenoma, what to do next? A fine needle aspiration is not too bad, and that might give them answers. They can often tell if her lump is a cyst with an ultra sound. This is easy on her too.
Now, if the lump "fails" the ultrasound test, or in other words, it is a solid lump versus a fluid filled cyst, then they normally do a biopsy of some type.
This is where they are conflicted. If they find out it is cancer, is it in your mom's best interests and her families best interests to pursue aggressive treatment at her age? You and the family and her too should have the right to decide this. Treatment can be a simple lumpectomy, or, removal of the actual tumor. Cancer or not, leave it at that. Or, of course, if it is cancer and it has spread to the lymph nodes (a not so easy surgery to remove these) does she and you all want to remove the lymph nodes. Then, normally, chemotherapy is done with radiation treatments to follow.
Now, it may be that just removal of the lump and when the results come back as to her Progesterone, Estrogen status, she can be reasonably treated with hormone therapy. That is Tamoxifen. This is a pill. The girls that take this will be on soon to tell you if it has side effects and how severe they can be.
Putting her through chemo at her age in her condition is the tough one. I am afraid you and her and the family will have to decide.
I am so sorry this has entered your life and we will all pray for a simple cyst that can be found on ultrasound and left alone.
Gentle hugs, Shirlann