Newly diagnosed

Last Tuesday I was diagnosed with breast cancer at a specialist Breast Clinic. I had had a recall after my first mamogram. I didn’t take my husband as I didn’t think I needed him! So, I’m not sure if I understood everything said to me and have a few questions someone may be able to answer.
I had an ultrasound and biopsy and was told that the tumour is Stage 2, small and I would need a lumpectomy and probably, radiotherapy. I have been given an appointment to see a consultant at my local hospital next Monday. I would like to know if things can change; for example, can the diagnosis and treatment change and what happens when I see the consultant? Are there more tests? Am I given an operation date? etc etc
I’m finding it difficult to believe what I’ve been told, as in my experience with Doctors, you have to sometimes read between the lines. But I’m probably just being paranoid at the moment. Also it doesn’t help that I had a friend in very similar circumstances who did not survive breast cancer and I can only think of her. I am trying to be positive and tell myself that there is nothing I can do except go through the process but like a lot of the other women who have posted I’m finding it difficult.

I am really sorry you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it really is a raw card to be dealt. I think all hospitals have different ways of dealing with things, and its hard to say much about what your own case will hold. However in my own experience, I had to meet with the breast nurse and the consultant surgeon again after my initial diagnosis to confirm what operation i wanted. They had said i was alright to have a lumpectomy but i had to decide that that is what iwanted too, rather than mastectomy ( which there was no clinincal reason for me to have but whch some women still opt forin that circumstance).

There are 2 different sets of “numbers” that are given out, one related to the “grade” and one relates to the “stage”. I am not sure if you were told it was the stage or the grade that was a 2. The grade means how different to normal cells the cancer cells look and behave, grade 1 being most similar and grade 3 being least similar. The stage is how far the cancer has progressed, i am not sure what the thresholds are between the different stages and if you want to know this then someone will tell you, but i think stage 1 is when it is just confined to your tumour.

You don’t say if they think it has spread to your lymph nodes or not. This affects the stage they label it as.They can get an idea on an ultrasound if the nodes are swollen but can only definitely tell when they have removed one during the operation and then tested it in the lab.You will probably discuss that bit of your operation when you meet your surgeon, they did a procedure called a sentinel node biopsy on me at the same time as they took the lump out

results can change as they are provisional really til you have had your operation. However, they usually stay the same apparently, though my grading went from 2 to 3 when they had the full lump out and tested that. The bits the biopsy had taken out had only contained grade 2 cells , but they grade it at the highest type of cells they find.

Hope this helps a bit, let us know if you have anymore quesyions. We are all in the same boat on this site, shocked scared and devastated, and i wish you all the very very best

Vickie
xxxx

Hi sorry to hear you’ve joined our club. I did the same as you didn’t take any one with me thought I’d be OK, sometimes it’s difficult my husband is self employed and couldn’t always get away for appointments but what I did was write a list of questions and put my mobile phone on record during the appointment so I could go back and listen to the answers. I wouldn’t recommend going onto the internet and searching for things it will just scare you, best thing is to try and keep positive, it seems that everyone is different. I had stage 2 type 2 IBC had a sentinel node biopsy that came back positive have had L breast mastectomy and reconstruction using my abdominal tissue and they took some lymph nodes as well but I haven’t had to have chemo just arimadex (like tamoxafen)but I have met people who didn’t have any cancer cells in their lymph but have had chemo and radiotherapy so do question everything. Good luck Susiesue

HI hautigen22 i know it is hard to think of anything else when you have had loved ones or friends who have lost their fight with bc i also have lost a close relative and friends and so when i was diagnosed it was those i thought about first. I thought bc came all under the same umbrella but you have to remember that every type is different and receptive to different treatments so just because you lost your friend doesn’t mean you have the same type or you wont respond better to treatment .You have to think of all these brave ladies who are living and surviving bc.My treatment did change after operation I was diagnosed with 2.6 cm ER+ve PR +ve HER2 -ve with no nodes involved ( good news) so it was confined to the lump(stage 2) and had a wide excision lumpectomy and then when they tested the lump after surgery it was grade 3 and they thought i only needed radiotherapy .This was changed to chemo and Rads after surgery because they take all your results your age ,grade and stage and Her2 status and Er/PR receptive and there is a national guidelines for oncologists called Adjuvant on-line and it gives the best possible treatment with the best % of non recurrence for your results so everyone is offered the same standardised treatment with best outcomes throughout the country.Hope this helps answer some queastions for you xx julie

Ps i was node negative but they still advised chemo because of my age and grade 3 tumour and also because guidelines advise anything over size of 2cm and mine was 2.6 cms .They said it was my " extra insurance" policy .I was given my operation date when i went for my results of u/s biopsy and mammogramme They discuss all your results with a team of experts at a muti-diciplinary meeting and then after surgery at my post-op review i was given my treatment plan and had a meeting with my breast care nurse who went through and explained everything to me she is fab and a tower of strength xx julie

Hi there,

I was diagnosed in March, had WLE and lumpectomy, my lump was only 12mm but had a couple of nodes involved, lump was a grade 2.

I was told because of my age (45) and extreme family history it would be best for me to have chemo and rads.

I have just had my secound chemo 4 more to go then 15 rads, apart from the fact that my hair is thininng(dreaded that part from the begining) i feel reasonably ok.

I was prepared to try anything to try to keep the dreaded C away,
apart from the hair thing, i have been suprised how well my body has coped with the chemo, (even though i have only had two cycles) i was prepared for it to be alot worse.

Hope all goes well for you,
Take Care Sandrae x x x