WEll, here I am at stage one. Had a lumpectomy and Dr. said everything looked good, and he got the tests back from the lymphnode and it had microscoptic cancer cells.Also the same breast still has micro-tumers in it because he couldnt reach all the margin.
Now he wants to take off both breasts and do chemo.
I dont know what to do. To tell you the truth, I really dont trust this Dr. Im going to see another one tomorrow but he is part of the same team.
Any ideas...anyone?????? It seems to me that if chemo will work after the breasts are gone, why wont it work on the breasts?
well, here's the thing with breast cancer...it LOVES to spread. It loves to spread to your spine, your bones, your brain, your lungs, you name it. The reason they want to get the margins of the tumour (which in this case means to take off both breasts) is because if the cancer spreads, your life expectancy will be reduced greatly. Chemo is not enough to totally prevent the cancer from spreading if there is a lot of it leftover (I know the doctor told you that there are microscopic cancer cells left, but you have to remember that the entire problem of cancer starts with one tiny cell which can only be seen with a microscope!). So while chemo can't effectively clean up the whole breast tumour, it can kill the last few thousands of cells floating around if the cancer is removed surgically.
I have a feeling that the other doctor you will be talking to will say the exact same thing.
[This message has been edited by projapoti (edited 08-26-2003).]
Sorry to hear about your nodes and margins. projapoti is right -- chemo is only one part of the solution. Ideally, you want to get everything possible through surgery, then follow up with systemic treatment (chemo). I had a very similar experience with my breast cancer: 2 e & p positive tumors and risidual DCIS throughout the breast. I had a mastectomy b/c there was no way to clear a safe margin. I also underwent breast reconstruction and I'm very happy with the result. Talk to you Dr about reconstruction. For it to be done well, your breast surgeon and plastic surgeon need to coordinate treatment, so if you are considering a mastectomy at this point the time to find your plastics Dr is now.
How do you feel about all this? (I was pretty confused and terrified of making the wrong decision.) How are you doing mentally? Do you have support from family/friends?
Thank you for your concern. Yes , I have family in Houston and MD Anderson is the most famous cancer hospital in the world. I have already found out that I can take Tamoxifin along with chemo and should do ok. I just hate to take chemo. The % is that more women die from the treatment than the desease. I also was told that there is no reason to take both breasts if there is no cancer there. Of course we dont know where it will travel to. My cancer is at the microscoptic stage right now and Im 65. So if my longevity is 5 to 10 years then ok. Ill be 70 or 75 and thats a long life.
Question...did you lose your hair? Mine is waist length and Im still a natural blond, no grey, lol, should be grey. Write me soon.....Martha