Thanks for posting.
It sounds as though you and your wife have had a lot of complex information to deal with since her diagnosis of breast cancer, so it’s not surprising that you feel some of this seems to be conflicting.
As you are already aware there are many factors taken into consideration before your wife’s treatment team decide upon the final staging. The TNM staging system you refer to is the most common way to stage breast cancer in the UK.
It isn’t possible for us to comment on individual pathology results but where DCIS and invasive breast cancer are found together, the pathology report will usually give their combined size. However, as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive breast cancer it is not included in the measurement used for staging the size of the breast cancer. You can read about this and the other information given in the pathology report in our booklet Understanding your pathology results.
Although you acknowledge that this wouldn’t make any difference to the treatment your wife is receiving, it’s clearly having an impact on the way you both feel about her future prognosis. You may wish to consider discussing this with your breast care nurse or surgeon so that they can help clarify this for you.
Nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back (recurrence) and you and your wife are not alone in being anxious about this. The uncertainty and fear of breast cancer returning is very real.
Many people are surprised at how emotional they feel when their treatment finishes. Adapting to life after treatment can be difficult and often the need for information and support continues.
You and your wife may be interested in our resources that are particularly for those who have come to the end of their main hospital treatment. These are known as our Moving forward services and include our Moving Forward book and Moving Forward courses.
Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can be helpful and our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers who are trained to provide support to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and include partners of those who’ve had a breast cancer diagnosis.
You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0345 077 1893 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, so they can then match you to your volunteer.
Do call our helpline to talk this through more or ask any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).
If you would prefer one of our nurses to call you. To do this, please complete this form ticking the box agreeing to a call back.
Our usual opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday.
Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
Breast Care Nurse
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