90% sure its cancer

hi all
finally went to breast clinic today after six weeks of waiting.the doc says he is 90% sure i have cancer but i don’t know which one.he won’t commit himself until he has seen the results of core biopsy but the cancer care nurse says when i go friday i will have the date for mascetomy.yikes.i was wondering if anyone can give me details of what to expect,when i will go in,how long will i be in and how long off work.my symptons are breast thickening(2 masses…one 4.2 cm) inverted nipple,prominent blood vessel and swollen areola.any help would be gratefully appreciated.
regards karen

Hi Karen,

I am sorry that you have had to join us but you will find the forum an excellent source of information and support.
I didn’t have a mastectomy so can’t help you with what to expect in terms of time in hospital etc.
I suggest that you get some tops that button up and some of those vest tops that have a supportive shelf.

I am sure that you will receive some more informative replies soon.

Good luck,
Kat x

Hi Karen

Waiting is agony!

I too had an inverted nipple with a prominent blood vessel and because of this I had to have a masectomy due to the position. It all happen quick; no mucking about which I found good as there was no time to think. Everybody has a different expericence with BC but for me having a masectomy was good as I wanted rid; I welcomed anything to safe guard myself!

Coming on here is really a good thing; as kate said you can get loads of good advice, support and information.

Please let us know how you got on Karen.

Thinking of you for Friday.

Sam B

Hi Karen

Wow what a long wait you have had, its a real postcode lottery.

I had a mastectomy 8 weeks ago. How the operation is done differs according to whether you have a reconstruction or not. I didn’t, there are other threads you may wish to read that tell you about reconstruction.

When I was in hospital I was seen by the surgeon/consultant who marked the area to be ‘worked on’ the procedure was well explained. After surgery I woke with a drain in the ribs leading to the scar line. This was on my side about 4 inches lower than the scar line. I also had a lymph node clearance so there was a scar under the arm too. The scar line ran from my one time cleavage to under the arm in a horizontal line. It was well dressed. The drain was a round plastic receptacle with a rubber squeezy ball on top. You will be shown how to use it. This drain is left in place for about a week but you are allowed home sooner if the liquid in your drain becomes less than 40ml. I am not so sure about those with a reconstruction.

Pain is easily controlled, in fact my portacath has been much more painful.
The only thing to watch once the drain comes out is a build up of fluid or infection, this doesn’t always happen but it is not uncommon. This too is easily remedied. All will be explained by the nurse. I have been lucky the mastectomy had gone well, its the after treatment, chemo, portacath etc that has been less effective. But that’s another story.

Good luck
Take care

Carol

many thanks for your comments…i guess i will know more today and will let you know.regards to all
karen

Hi Karen

If there is anything you would like to discuss with our helpline nurses before or after your appointment please feel free to call on 0808 800 6000. The helpline is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm, the staff here can offer you support, information and a ‘listening ear’ which can be a real help when you are faced with the worry of a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Best wishes

Lucy
Moderator
Breast Cancer Care

Hi Karen

Sorry for the wait you are having - Carol is right I think, it is something of a postcode lottery. I was dx on 1st November and had mastectomy on 13th Nov with all lymphs removed. My op was on the Tuesday night, felt a bit groggy and queasy on wednesday morning but that was easily remedied with anti-sickness injections. Wednesday afternoon they were telling me to go for a shower!
I had 2 drain lines in, one from ribs the other for armpit area. The rib one came out after 2 days, the other after 5. In my health board you have to be draining less than 50ml of fluid to be allowed home.
The scar itself sounds pretty much like carol’s - running from previous cleavage site in a straight line to underarm.
I have to say I didn’t have a lot of pain - apart from immediately post op the only painkiller I had was paracetamol. Everyone will be different though.
I was in for 5 days, allowed home on the sunday following op. Took normal pj’s (vest top and botttoms) into hospital, and a light sports bra.

With regard to how long you will be off work - how longs a piece of string lol? - my GP wanted to make my sick note for the end of my full treatment, chemo rads etc which would have meant I was signed off till next July!!! I asked her just to do it for a fortnight lol and I’ll see how I get on (ever the optimist!) - I have a desk job I should add, working for the NHS.

I hope everything goes ok for you - please keep us posted

Margaret x

Karen

No doubt you have more information now and I hope that your consultation today has made you feel better - if you know what I mean. I was in the same situation as you having been told they were 90% sure after first consult.

I had a large tumour (12cm) and he chemo pre op shrinking it slightly to 10cm. Then my mastectomy and anc (in June) which to be honest is not a bad operation. I must admit that I was so terrified that I had passed out before they gave me the anaesthetic (pathetic) anyway - it is not painful and I was home after 3 days with my drains removed (a painless excercise). Within 4 weeks the discomfort is minor and whilst I still have some numbness after around 9 weeks I had no discomfort at all - the numbness can be a nuisance as recently I went to a packed pub and had no idea when I was bumping into people… that might have been down to the red wine, but I will blame the numbness - the arm thing is worse than the breast. Also if you have to be aspirated post op - do not worry - it is completely painless - in fact it is usually a relief.

I guess you will know soon what happens after the op, but you do not have to decide until you get your post op chat, what you do about work during further treatment… just remember to take all treatment in bite size chunks - do not look at it as a whole, think operation then make decisions, treatment (rads or whatever) then more decisions. you will not be expected to tell them today how you will be in 5-6 weeks time, nobody else off sick would so don’t worry about it!

I really hope you have had your questions answered - if not, there are an awful lot of knowledgeable people on here and the helpline are great for practical help.

Wishing you all the best - whatever happens you will cope because you have to - and we all still have great, happy, fun days - it is just something we have to bear inbetween.