7 week wait for mastectomy

Hello Ladies, ON 15.6.16   I was diagnosed with a grade 1 and grade 2 invasive ductal  cancer on one side, which is 6 cm . AN FNA of lymph node was suspicious but inconclusive. I was told I need a mastectomy as the area is big (and I’m a 34 B ) with possible axillary clearance, followed  with 3 weeks of radiotherapy, possibly chemo.  It was suggested to me today that  I have another biopsy on the suspect lymph node and that I wait till 5th August to have the mastectomy  after my weeks planned holiday. I am finding it really hard to believe that I am being asked  to wait 7 weeks for the opp. DOes this seem odd to other people? The booklet I was given by the breast cancer nurse suggested that NICE guidelines are that treatment starts within 31 days of diagnosis. When I mentioned this to the breast care nurse she told me that I haven’t been diagnosed yet…! …  I’m thinking of getting a second opinion as I don’t want to wait that long. ONce you know you’ve got cancer you just want it gone ASAP. I would really like to hear if anyone has any advice or similar experience

That’s strange that the breast care nurse said that you are not diagnosed when you have been given the details of your tumor. If it was me I would want the operation quicker too, I would make a nuisance of myself and talk to the breast care nurse again and if no joy there try to get a second opinion. I had my operation 3 weeks after diagnosis and that seemed a long time. I am not sure how long other people have had to wait? I was worried that my tumor had grown from biopsy to surgery but they did say they don’t grow that quickly. I am sorry you have had this diagnosis it’s a roller coaster for sure. This forum is such a good place to come to for support and also to know that you are not alone in this journey.xxx Kim 

Hi Sunnyskies, I agree it does seem a long time to wait. I had a similar diagnosis and was adamant from the day of diagnosis that I wanted a mastectomy. My surgeon (who was excellent) wanted to ensure I had considered all options fully.  The operation took place quickly (within 5 weeks of my very first trip to the clinic). It was the surgeon who decided this rather than the bcn. I wanted it gone fast but am not sure a week or two matters so much. If you are going away for your holiday then it may be better to relax for a week (if you can) and then come back to it - I had an uncomfortable few days after the operation.  My experience of my first bcn was not good (I have sinced moved) but the surgeon made things happen so could you go back to the surgeon. Or call the excellent helpline who could help with timescales etc. I remember the early days to be really hard - I had my operation on 14th April and am just about to begin radiotherapy. It does get easier. Best wishes for your treatment when it happens. Jill xxx

Hi, I was diagnosed on 3rd May with lobular cancer, due to it being lobular I needed an MRI to check for any other bits. That was 30th May. Another area suspicious so I got more ultrasound and biopsy if that area. Found to be cancer also. Was told this on Thursday 16th June.
See plastic surgeon next Tuesday to discuss recon options.
I go on holiday on the 1st of July and op will be pencilled in for after that. So I’m a fairly long wait in between diagnosis and masectomy.
I’m not concerned about them growing, plus mine are tiny 11mm and 4mm. However I am worried that the nodes may be clear just now (looked clear on 2xultrasound and 1 MRI), but may become node positive with the wait. However my surgeon said better to take their time and get the right op ie I could have just went and had a lumpectomy and this other bit and perhaps more would have been left if they weren’t so thorough. The node issue she said they can’t tell at what point it hits the nodes. However the radiologist who did my u/s for the second but said that there has never been a single case anywhere where someone is node negative and then has surgery and is node positive say within 3 months. I’m still unclear on this point as when do you take the starting point? They will take it at diagnosis, but that wasn’t my cancer started.
Anyway I’m rambling on about me now! I so want this holiday, I’ve got a wee boy, so that I can then come back and deal with the cancer without thinking, oh I wonder if we’ll get away etc. I have to trust the professionals that they wouldn’t delay if they thought it was detrimental.
Perhaps I am too trusting?

Last year I was diagnosed at beginning of May then waited 7 weeks for a lumpectomy. This was due to mysurgeon being on holiday - I was offered an appointment at 4 weeks with a different surgeon but wanted to wait for mine as he was ‘clinical lead’. I then waited 13 weeks for radiotherapy!! This was due to the Dept being overwhelmed with cases (not just breast cancer). Most ladies on this site are treated within 8-10 weeks post surgery so I have worried all year about ‘delays’. However I was Grade One and hopefully all will be okay. I was also told that higher grade ladies jumped the queue which is fair, but I it’s a pity there are not more resources within the NHS cancer departments to cope with an increasing demand.

It’s so easy to say this as I’m the other side of surgery but go and have your holiday secure in the knowledge you have a treatment plan in place.
It is pointless anyone telling you not to worry as it is our natural response but 7 weeks will fly especially with a holiday in between.
I had a therapeutic mammoplasty as I’m a larger busted lady but originally my response was take both off. I forced myself to sit back and be rational about it looking back I don’t know how I did that but I did.
Once you’ve started your treatment it all snowballs so make time for that sunshine holiday!!! Xx