Confusion about diagnosis

My mum is having a calcification and lump removed this Thursday (from the right breast).  The way she has been messed around is terrible but that is another story.

My question is that they have said that the calcification is pre cancer and the lump they think is not and that this can’t be right as you can’t have one area cancer and the other not, I’m sorry but I don’t understand.  We have gone from being told that she will only have to have the calcification removed to now if she has cancer a full mastectomy.  Can someone please help to explain what they mean?  The cancer nurse hasn’t been helpful and is making me worry even more.  Many thanks. 

Hi Nicola, very sorry to hear your mum is going through this. I assume you mean that she has DCIS which is ducal carcinoma in situ which some doctors call pre cancer, this is what I had but the reason they remove it is because it can lead in months, years or many years to invasive cancer. When I had my mastectomy (because the patches of DCIS were too far apart to do a lumpectomy) in the histology afterwards they found that I also had a 3mm invasive tumour and it sounds as if maybe this is what your mum has too. It will probably depend how far apart the areas are within the breast, whether she can have a lumpectomy or needs a mastectomy. 

It does sound though as if it has been caught at an early stage which is great. I recommend writing down all your questions when you go to appointments so that you can get the answers you need to get a clear picture of what she is dealing with. Good luck to your mum, and you. Nicola xx

Sorry but I wouldn’t want to guess at what they are suggesting. The only thing I would say is that I think they mainly use radiotherapy following a lumpectomy more than a mastectomy but I may be wrong about that. Even if you have not found the BCN to be very helpful I would encourage your mum to contact her team again and try to get some answers. Xx