36 and terrified

I was diagnosed today - 1.2 cm tumour, invasive, and have to go for an M.I. scan next week - does anyone know what that’s for? - and then surgery the week after. There was a lot of discussion about whether to go for a wide local excision or a mastectomy. I would rather they cut the whole thing off. I feel absolutely devastated.

I am so so sorry to hear the news, obviously you are not sleeping as you are posting early in the morning.
So many of us have been where you are at this moment and its not a nice place to be.
You will have so many thoughts and emotions hitting you that you probably fell completely overwhelmed.
At the moment try to take it step by step. Only get as much information as you need, but do get as much support as you can from wherever you can.
This site is brilliant whever its for information or in the forum area for support from others.
As the day starts you will find more people on the site popping in who will be there for you.
You may want to start a new thread with a different title just so people pick up on it - just a thought.
For now - much love, you will be in my thoughts and prayers today Rosemary. I have a child in the nursery class where I teach with your name so that will be a constant reminder to me.
Magsi x
Just posted the above on another thread where I read your comments.

Don’t make a decision on mastectomy just yet, there is no difference in survival rates for small tumours between mastectomy and less drastic surgery and with a small tumour like yours you are likely to have a reasonable cosmetic result providing you are B cup or above and the tumour isn’t too near the nipple.

Ask to see some pictures of before and after

I didn’t have a mastectomy despite six months of misdiagnosis, a 1.9 cm tumour and pre-invasive cancer and I am still here five years later. Some cancers are slow growing and don’t spread and that’s the kind I seem to have.You need to have treatment tailored to your circumstances as breast cancer is not one condition, it is many depending on the biology of the cells and you don’t want to rush into anything until you know more.


I am so sorry to read your diagnosis and of course you feel devastated. As the others have said, don’t rush into anything yet. I had a WLE in November, and am so thankful that I was able to keep my breast as it has really made the psychological side of this a lot easier for me. If you have a WLE you invariably have to have radiotherapy as well, and for me tomorrow is the last day of that. The time does pass. The shock and distress you must be feeling now are truly awful. Just try to take one day at a time, write everything down you want to ask, gather information and resources. Hopefully you have good support and people around you that will help you through the coming days and weeks. Once you have a treatment plan things tend to become a bit clearer in your mind. We are all here for you, please do ask whatever you want, or just come here to sound off and know that you are amongst friends who truly understand what you are going through. Sarah x

Dear Rosemary

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care forums. I am sure you will continue to get lots of help and advice from the many informed users of this site.

You may find BCC’s resource pack helpful which has been designed for those newly diagnosed. The pack is free of charge as are all our publications. If you would like a copy just follow the link below:

If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence then please give the helpline a call, the staff here are all either breast care nurses or people who have personal experience of breast care issues. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 the lines open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.
I hope this is of some help to you.

Kind regards

Hi Rosemay

I am sorry you have had to join us. There is so much to take in - the fact you have cancer and now you have to make decisions regarding treatment. Like the others have said, you have a small tumour and having a mastectomy is a drastic operation, both physically and psychologically, so consider it carefully. I know at the moment the thought of getting rid of everything is foremost and I think most of us felt like this initially. However, as Mole said, the surivival rates between WLE and mastectomies are the same. You have a small tumour also. I had a WLE and radiotherapy and I too wanted at the beginning to get everything chopped off. For me, I made the right decision and in time you will feel less devastated - honest!

Good luck with your treatment and everything


Hi Rosemary,

I agree when I was diagnosed in 2003 all I wanted to have done was a mastectomy , in fact I even thought about having both of them off because I have big boobs and
the thought of one big one and none was shocking . I am glad I made the decision to have a wle because now five years down the line it was the right choice I would have been devastated . This is the hard part but you really need to think positive and think about how you will feel in the future . I was 39 at the time and I emigrated to australia 2 years ago something I would not have done if it wasnt for my bc !!!

all my best wishes

Paula xxx

Paula good on you for going to Aus, and I know this story will offer hope to Rosemary, it can be done im another younger woman diagnosed in 2003 and life does go on, not always the same but sometimes better.


sorry that you are hear with us other ladies…

you must be so sad at this time …we can all relate to that feeling.
but stay strong as there is so much the doc and surgens can do now …as you can see from the other ladies…

sal x

HI Rosemary,

Unfortunately - Welcome to this forum - I was diagnosed in last month - and I joined this site soon after. I agree with all of the girls comments above. Make your own decision - if you have the choice which at the moment you do. You will no doubt have the WLE first to remove the tuma and a 1cm margin of clear tissue around the area - from this they will be able to determine what to do next. It is devastating as you say to be given the news - but as you will find out - you are in good company here. The confidence I have gained over the last few weeks has been so very worthwhile. Do keep dipping in and let us know how you are doing - we are all at different stages of the disease and it is comforting to know that you can blast off on anything on this site - or just pop in to say - Hello, I’m still here!!! You will find that you will get strength from the people around you who really do care - I have been overwhelmed with the response from my family and friends and I feel so very lucky to have that. I met a lovely girl 38 when in hospital and we are keeping in touch. Take care Rosemary.

Best wishes



Hi Rosemary.

Your head must be swimming. It’s been 6 months since I was diagnosed and I remember just how overwhelming that first day was.

The ladies are right don’t rush into decisions. I did have a double mastectomy and don’t for a second regret it but I had 2 tumours, 1 in each breast and it was a fast grower so it made sense to me after talking it through with my consultant surgeon.

Please do take notes of things they tell you right now and see if you can take a friend or partner or someone your trust when you meet with people in these next few weeks as it’s really easy to forget things when you’re in shock in the early days.

This is probably one of the hardest parts for you so take it easy. 6 Months in I’m now watching the ladies who were starting treatments finish them when I was first diagnosed and I’ll be there in a few months time. Hold on in there.


Hi Rosemary,

Sorry to hear your news. Just to pick up on your question about the MRI scan. This can give a very detailed scan and pick up on abnormalities that the mammogam/ultrasound may not show. Mammograms are not always effective in younger women (breast tissue too dense I think is the reason). I am 43 and the mammogram showed only a small area of calcification, whereas the MRI found the tumour and pre cancerous areas in both breasts. Sorry, I don’t want to alarm you, but the MRI should give your doctors a fuller picture and then they can advise you on your treatment options. You can be reassured that they know as much as there is to know.

As many people say the diagnosis (waiting and uncertainty) is the worst part of this whole nightmare.

Best Wishes and hang in there.


Hi rosemary,

I was Dx dec 07 aged 34. I too at the time wanted the damn thing off but now i glad i didn’t and as mentioned earlier there is no evidence a mastectomy is better than a WLE.

I too had a MRI on the boob area and that was to determine if it had spread. It also gives the surgeons a better view prior to the op. its a bit noisey but nothing to worry about.

Hope your MRI goes okay.
Take care

Hi Rosemary,

So sorry that you had to join us but this site is a great source of support and information on lots of subjects ( you will be suprised) . You will feel that you are in a living hell at the moment but believe me after a week or two it will start to sink in a little and things will not look as bleak. WLE or Mast is a tricky one and I opted for a WLE. My lump was about the same size as yours and I was 38 but alot depends on the individual case, the size of your boobs are taken into consideration for example. You will be clearer on things after the many appointments you will have in the next few weeks. It might be worth getting something to help you sleep ( telly is rubbish at 4am isnt it ? ) You can do it !!.
Lots of love and big Hugssssss.

Andrea x

Hi Rosemary
Sorry about your news but welcome.As the others have said it is a confusing time and you will get drawn along at a rate of knots,but do ask questions and try to have someone with you as a lot will go over your head.I had a WLE in April and now at end of radiotherapy,It has been a long 8 months but here I am.This is a brilliant site,and no question is a silly one,there is always someone who has been there and can answer.We rant and rave,there are plenty of tears,but there is also laughter.

Keep Strong and you will come through