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Topic: Ductal excision scheduled -what should I expect?

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried —

Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time. PLEASE DO NOT POST PICTURES OF YOUR SYMPTOMS. Comparing notes, symptoms, or characteristics is not helpful here, as only medical professionals can accurately evaluate and assess your individual situation.

Posted on: Nov 13, 2011 01:34PM

Christyne wrote:

This has all been kind of a whirlwind. Last month I noticed a discharge from my left breast before leaving for a trip. Immediately upon my return, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor. I went in the next day, they took samples of the discharge, and immediately sent me for a diagnostic mammogram. From there they decided I needed an ultrasound. I was finally told that they didn't notice anything overly unusual. There was a dilation of the ducts, but it was seen in both breasts, so it should be nothing to worry about. They gave me a sheet of paper with "probably benign" checked, and sent me on my way. The next week, my doctor's office called to inform me that they found abnormal cells in the discharge and needed to refer me to a breast specialist. I called for an appointment, but the earliest available was another week away. Ugh.
So in the meantime, I checked the Internet. everything I found came back to DCIS. Not the best news, but certainly not a death sentence. The appointment time came and the surgeon never specifically mentioned DCIS, but recommended a ductal excision. I agreed. Whatever it is, the abnormal cells do not belong in my body and do not need time to make themselves at home. The surgery is scheduled for Thursday.
I was told to take a week off work, but that it would be outpatient surgery. I live alone. What can I expec after? How long till I will have results after the surgery? How much pain will I be in? I am a canine officer. Will I be able to work my dog when I go back? She never said anything about follow up treatments. Does this mean that I won't need radiation?
I know these are a lot of questions. I just want to have some idea what I'm in for...

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Nov 13, 2011 07:05PM - edited Nov 13, 2011 07:20PM by VSM

Welcome Christyne!  Sorry you are having to go through all this--I have had atypical cells in my discharge too--an excision was recommended and then not...I'm in the "watchful waiting" stage...It's good you are going ahead and getting it done--the peace of mind is worth it.  I've attached a site that explains a little about the procedure.  


This procedure comes first so they can find out what's in there--what they find will influence what steps are next. Atypical cells means that the "cells are changing"--it does not mean the cells have already changed to cancer--in some cases they never change to cancer, but the duct excision is the next step to get the stuff out.  I'm also attaching a couple of other links I found helpful.



Others will be along soon--you can also type "duct excision" in the search engine at the top of this page and it will bring up other posts on the subject. 

We're here--keep us informed.


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Nov 14, 2011 10:31AM SarahsMom wrote:

Hi Christyne! I am at a conference on a break right now, so not much time. I had the EXACT same thing as you - cells abnormal - but it was not DCIS.  Try not to over-google (if that isn't a word, it should be! :-)  I will be back later to post more just wanted to reach out while I could and say that I felt much better getting "whatever" it was out and moving on.  You can also send me a private message anytime if you'd like. Hugs and catch up again later!

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Nov 14, 2011 12:38PM Christyne wrote:

Thanks!!! I know better than to spend too much time looking for info, it's so easy to get caught up in the hype of it all!!!! And then you get kinda freaked out... I'm glad I found this site.

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Nov 15, 2011 09:15PM Dottysgirl wrote:

Hi Christyne. Welcome! I am having this surgery on Tuesday. I have the same issues but in both breasts and my lymph nodes in my left breast are swollen. BS is removing the "bad" duct from each breast. Doc said it could be a papilomma or cancer but either way its coming out and we will discuss gameplan once its out and I get results from the lab. Carpediem1965 has alot of good info that helped me out and stay calm, Ive been having tests since august ;( so I understand the worryband not knowing. I think im in a place now where I just feel like it is what it is u know. You will be ok. Keep us posted and I truly hope your surgery goes well. Many hugs to you!!!!!!

Thank you for listening to me......:) Dx
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Nov 15, 2011 10:35PM Teachermom wrote:

Hi everyone, I am new here and have had a Ductal excision last week. In July I noticed discharge from my left breast which was bloody. I ended up going to get a mammogram which lead to a biopsy and pathology results. The surgery was not bad as far as surgeries go. My pain and discomfort has been minimal which is surprising. I am home recovering for a couple of weeks. I go back to see the surgeon on Monday and I'm hoping that I will have good results from the pathology report. I am still worried about any results that I may hear. I too have read alot of things on the internet and was very scary. Not knowing is scarier than anything. My experience with this has taken 4 months which is good for the area I live in. Does anyone have any reputable sites that could help me? I need info on Atypical Ductal Hyplasia(not sure of the spelling)

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Nov 16, 2011 01:50PM SarahsMom wrote:

Hi Christyne! I am finally done with my conference and I wanted to check on you. 

When they tested the fluid, I had an abnormal amount of neutrophils.  Here is some great info! These indicate that something is wrong and inflammatory cells are rushing to the site -  this could be due to a bacteriological infection or certain types of cancer.  When you are injured and the area swells, those are neutrocites that have left bone marrow and raced to the scene. So I knew something was wrong and I wanted it taken care of, thus the ductal excision! My duct was a mess and I had two papillomas, not one as previously thought. 


I had my surgery on Thursday morning, came home a slept for most of the day. Went for a nice walk in the evening, slept ok at night and just took it easy on Friday. I was feeling much better by the weekend. I was wrapped in an ace bandage around my body for compression. I followed the doctor's orders to a tee and have a very small scar and any dimpling or dent was filled in about 6 months later thanks to fat and gravity! ;-) 

Please let me know what they tell you, having been down this road, read and researched it to my wits end, I would be happy to be a sounding board for you. 

Teachermom, so glad your surgery went well. There is a lot about ADH on the board, as well as a dedicated thread out here somewhere, I believe! Try not to self diagnose, "it is what it is", so just just keep busy and stay positive.

Hugs to both of you ladies!!! 

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Nov 16, 2011 02:09PM cinnamonsmiles wrote:

Teachermom, you can actually look at this website for cancer information. Here is a link from breastcancer.org that has  nice explanation of the cell mutation to cancer: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/dcis/diagnosis.jsp

The American Cancer Society also has a good website. You could also call them and ask them to email you the information you are looking for.

I had a rather larger lump. When I got the results from my vacuumed assisted biopsy, I was told I had ADH, but because the lump was so large, the dr. did not trust that there wasn't actual cancer lurking somewhere in there. Since she could not "sample" the whole lump, I had a lumpectomy which came back positive for DCIS.

Good luck to you all here. Let us know how you are doing.

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Nov 17, 2011 01:14PM Christyne wrote:

Surgery went well. Got home a while ago. Not too groggy. A bit of discomfort (more from the stitches, I think), but not unbearable. Of course, that could be from the Percocet...;-)
I should have the results next week, assuming that the holiday doesn't interfere.
Thanks for the support. I'll keep you posted!

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Nov 17, 2011 02:38PM VSM wrote:

So glad it went well today!!

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