Have you had a biopsy, if so what grade is your tumour. I was diax on Dec 15th and still waiting for a date for my op' but as I live in Spain I don't know how it works here & am worried that it is taking so long.
Hope all goes well
Hi Angela, I am feeling just like you. I have been having mamograms for a few years now, there is always a problem with them and i end up going to the breast cancer clinic and they do more tests then tell me its fine. This time my appointment came while I was on the phone to my daughter and I said" oh it's a letter for my mammogram" and we laughed and I said I will have to go back and it will all be fine. And things happened has I predicted except this time it wasn't fine, and like you when they said I had cancer and I would have to have a mastectomy I was numb. The consultant was explaining everything to my daughter and I was in shock, after he said I would have to have a mastectomy and how did I feel about that I said "at least I will weigh less" how stupid is that, then when we had to have a chat to the breast care nurse, my hubby and daughter where with me. She explained what was going to happen next, and she said is there anything you want to ask, my question to her was even more stupid, I said is there any excersises I can do to help" she just looked at me and smiled and said no dear. When we got home my hubby and daughter asked what excersises I could do, because I have a mobilty problem and need to walk with a stick lol But I understand how your feeling, there was loads of things I wish I had asked, but I have found some of the answers I wanted on here by reading the different posts. I shall write every thing down I want to know next time I go to see him, but knowing how stupid I am sometimes, I will probably leave my list of questions behind and take my shopping list lol
Anyway Angela the ladies on here are really supportive, and I am sure we will both be fine.
I am afraid it is such a shock to be told you have breast cancer that everyone finds themselves forgetting what to ask or feeling they should know more than they do. Breast cancer care has a resource pack which is specially for newly diagnosed women. Today the helpline is not operating because of the bad weather but hopefully you should be able to ask for it by emailing them.
It's a shame you got different doctors each time you went to the clinic and that you haven't been able to ask questions about the kind of cancer you have. Most of it is ductal i.e. it starts in the lining of the channels through which milk comes towards the nipple. That makes up about 80% of cases. Some is lobular, i.e. it starts in the lobes of the breast, the milk making bits of the breast. Ductal is more likely to form obvious lumps, lobular can end up more difficult to find as it can lead to thickened areas, or hardened areas.
The treatment is basically the same for both. The cells are looked at and graded - into 3 grades, low, medium and high. High is the most serious, low is the least serious. High grade cells look more abnormal and are more likely to spread. Low grade are less likely to spread and look more like normal cells.
they also take account of the size of your tumour - small tumours less than 2 cm in diameter are less likely to have spread than larger ones.
Another important aspect is whether the cancer grows more due to hormones - oestrogen and progesterone. Cancers that are hormonal are responsive to hormone manipulation e.g. taking tamoxifen. These treatments can be used either instead of or as well as chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is more likely to be offered to women who have lymph node involvement - the lymph nodes in your armpit are tested to see if there's any cancer cells in them. If not, the cancer is less likely to have started to spread.
If you are younger (maybe below 45 or so) and without lymph node involvement you are less likely to be recommended to have chemotherapy.
there's so many variations of cancer, size, grade and age, that each woman has their own cancer treatment plan.
I forgot to mention surgery - this is the most effective part of treatment for early breast cancer, but there's all sorts of combinations of this too. I had partial mastectomy, mastectomy is suggested if they think partial mastectomy isn't possible without the results being too deforming, or if the tumour is too big/near the nipple. Some surgeons offer reconstruction, all women should have the option but there's not enough surgeons around to do it and results do vary, according to the skills and experience of the surgeon and also due to individual variations - smoking makes it more difficult, some people are more prone to infections than others etc.
So there aren't any absolutes or certainties about what will happen. If you read statistics, in general terms most women will survive breast cancer. I found the uncertainty difficult to live with, but I celebrated five years after diagnosis in December 2008
Apart from an inverted nipple which was a bit tender and actually thinking I was wasting
Her time, I went to see the practice nurse who promptly sent me to the local breast clinic.
Then almost unbelievably within the last fortnight I have not only found out I have breast
Cancer from one specialist [no 1] the first week, But also, because specialist [no 1 ] was
Unavailable, yesterday specialist no 2 booked me in for a mastectomy in three weeks
Time. I know the doctors know what they are talking about, but I don’t! And I know they
Ask if you have any questions but how do you asks questions when you are both pole axed
And feel so ignorant you know what to ask? Even when the breast care nurse spoke to me
I honestly didn't know what to say.
She did however give me a booklet called 'treating breast cancer;' which is basically why I
Am here today. While it has scared the living S***t out of me I wish now I has been given it
And some of the other information to go with it last week. Because now as usual .I have a
Million and one questions I would have asked. I don’t even really understand which type
Of cancer I have!! Or if there is a risk of it spreading or even if it is too late now that the
Theatre is booked to ask about other options. I know the breast cancer nurse said she
Would answer any questions but, as usual not having enough money on my mobile and no
Local telephone box how can I?
As I know others will have probably gone through his, can anyone please take the time to
help me ?
Thanks for reading From Angela.