A lot of panicking

My mum was diagnosed with DCIS yesterday and is now awaiting a mastectomy. The doctors and nurses seemed very positive and I know there’s a lot that can be done to help her, but I can’t shake the idea that this is the beginning of the end. She’s only sixty but she has a lot of unrelated health problems that have left her very frail. I’m really worried that invasive cancer cells will be found during the surgery and her condition will just decline. I don’t want to burden her with my panicking but I can’t get it out of my head, especially as my dad died ten years ago from liver cancer. Can anyone offer some reassurance?

Hello susanmay

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Best wishes
June, moderator

It is normal to panic, especially as you feel powerless to control the outcome. And bearing in mind that you lost your Dad not so long ago, you are going to imagine something similiar happening to your Mum.
However, you must remind yourself that DCIS is completly curable if removed. If there are areas of invasion they will be very small if they were not detected on the mammogram or ultrasound, and they will have been removed along with the DCIS.
Most importantly, breast cancer is not automatically a death sentence especially if it caught early, which seems to be the case with your mother.
I hope your mother’s surgery goes well.

Hi Susanmay,
so sorry to read of your Mum’s diagnosis, as you say she is still young. I think your fear is quite natural and normal on hearing such news.

As you get to hear from folk on this forum you will discover we are of all ages and stages in life, and that everyone’s story is as unique as they are, and yet there are threads that unite us.

The hospital will be very busy now organising the tests that will help them determine the best treatment plan for your Mum - and the next few weeks will probably be very hectic and quite anxious. Once you are through the horror of waiting and wondering and have a treatment plan it will be more copable.

Treatment these days is really excellent and they will do everything they can for you Mum. Try not to dwell on the fears you have - easy to say I know - but instead find little moments of delight in each day. Most likely your mum will come through this really well and after her treatment have many years of great quality life.

There are plenty of daughters on here, so I am sure you’ll find friends who can empathise with you. In the mean time, a big hug from a 40-something who’s just a year on from diagnosis and come through chemo, surgery and rads… your Mum will get through this, and so will you.

Your Mum is blessed to have your love and support



So sorry about your mum. Being diagnosed with cancer is a blow for everyone, especially those with other health problems.

With all the diagnostic methods they have nowadays doctors are pretty good in assessing just how far a cancer has develloped. and at each step of the way will tell you what they think they are dealing with. In the old days they kept a blank face and did not want to worry you. Now as soon as they have some indication they share the information with you. So If they had any real worries of it spreading they would have shared them with your mother. Do you know what they said about her nodes?? that is a good indication of what they think is happening. Have they given her any indication at all about treatment?

I am 64 with DCIS. I had a lumpectomy and during the operations they looked at the nodes and it had not spread. A mastectomy is a bigger operation, but it might mean she does not need radiotherapy. And so many of us are lucky and do not need chemo therapy. If she does need radiotherapy then it is time consuming and some people get tired and some have sore skin for a short time, but the vast majority sail through it. Its the daily hospital visit thats the problem.

So how is your mum taking it? She is lucky having a daughter so concerned about her. Theres lots of things you can do to help. Has she got the excercises yet?? I think it is important not to let the operation mean that you loose use of the arm and get back to the stage you were befoe it. So I started them weeks before the op, to see how well i could do them and that gave me something to aim for afterwards. Also it was my thought that getting those muscles into good shape would mean they were healthy and would heal better. And you are supposed to start them on day one after the op and I thought i was more likely to do them if I already knew them. You can download them from this site, or if you ring they can send you a booklet and a dvd.

you can encourage her to rest and be kind to herself, it is so tempting once you are diagnosed to try to carry on as normal . but if she is not sleeping at night she should be encouraged to have a rest during the day.

if you have that sort of relationship you can take her out for a girly day, or something else non cancer related. If she wants you to you can help her plan how the house is going to run whilst she recovers.(meals, washing etc)

Does she have a partner? how are they coping? They might appreciate a chat too.

Anyway you have done the right thing finding this site. Now you can stop googling and come on here for accurate up to date UK information from people who are experiencing diagnosis and treatment

I was originally diagnosed with DCIS but although they did find a bit of invasive it was very small and hadn’t spread.
The oncologist has said that I have a 89% chance of still being here in 10 years and chemo was just a precaution.
Try not to panic, if your mother does have dcis then ity is 100% curable and unlikely (according to my doctors) to return.