Breast Cancer: Stage 3 & 4 Community
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? stage

This is a hypothetical question as I have yet to undergo a biopsy.  I have been referred urgently to a surgeon but as yet have no appt.

I have a history of intraductal papillomas and DCIS with surgery in 2008 and radiation in 2009.

My recent mammogram and US results came back identifying a mass adhering to my chest wall with one lymph node with a thickened cortex.  I have two swollen lymph nodes.  The other one seems fine.

The radiologist has sugested that the leison is probably malignant.  If this is the case, what is the likely staging going to be?  I understand that I need further testing, but if it is cancer, what staging is it likely to be?  I am terrified and don't have access to solutions.  
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Avatar_f_tn
refer to website below for TNM staging info
http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/staging.jsp#tnm
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks.  I've done a lot of internet searching.  I come back with a minimum of stage iiib.
My GP is preparing me for a bad result.  It just seems concerning that the radiologist, surgeon and my GP are expecting the worst.
I've been experiencing a lot of aches and pains so that seems to be reinforcing their pessisism (for me).  I'm feeling cold all the time so that isn't helping.  Is hard to keep positive and keep focused with all that going on.

I read somewhere that chest wall involvement was uncommon and that it often occurred when cancer was wide-spread.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.
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IIIB is Inflamatory BC - you do not have those symptoms
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My breast is swollen, the mass is attached to my chest wall and my axillary lymph nodes are swollen.  I read that these are bad or "grave signs".  I'm terrified.  The radiologist said that he suspects the cells from the lump attached to my chest wall are dangerous.  The lymph node he felt was slightly more promising as it's mobile.

It was reassuring to have the biopsies and be part way into the diagnostic process.  The doctors are scaring me though.  And what is dangerous suppose to mean?

I'm sorry if my panic is hurting you.  How do you cope with the anxiety and uncertainty?  I felt that I had so little time left in the weekend that I ended up chucking my stuff out and giving it away.  I guess my generally severe anxiety can't be helping the situation.  Have just started taking Mirtazapine which the doctor has now increased to 45 mg.  Maybe part of the problem was experiencing new symptoms which were the side-effects from the medication.

You actually sound as though you have it together.
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I feel that your comment is a bit of a slap in the face.  It sounds crazy to tell someone to have a breast exam when they are being confronted with the prospect of losing it.  The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff?
I have the results.  I wanted to know if anybody could tell me what they meant.  Really meant without sugar coating it.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.  Yes, I'll be sure to have a nice day.  I hope you have a great day too.
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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi,

I didn't see your thread until today because normally I just post in the Breast Cancer Community Forum. We have a very active forum, and try to see that questions are answered the same day. (Everyone with BC concerns is welcome to post in that forum, whatever their stage, and even if they don't know if they have BC.)

First, in regard to your question about staging, that  cannot be determined until whatever surgery  is planned has been completed (so the actual size of the tumor is known); it has been determined whether any lymph nodes are involved, and if so how many; and  various scans of the body have been done, to look for the possibility of distant metastases. All of this information is  then  incorporated into the TNM Staging System and the  stage is assigned by the tx team.

In addition to the stage, also very important, in terms of recommended tx and  possible prognosis,  are the type of cancer  found and the grade (on a continuum from Grade1, not very agggressive, to Grade 3, highly aggressive) of the cancer cells.

I am sorry to hear that you are very likely facing a dx of breast cancer.(From from what I can tell, you haven't gotten the pathology report back from your biopsies yet, so haven't had definite confirmation?)

I understand the anxiety you are feeling. A recent study found that a cancer dx can be so distressing that some people attempt suicide after receiving that dx. However, once people get over the initial shock and start focusing on treatment and survival, most handle all of this much better than they ever imagined they could.  

Someone I know well considered rolling into a swimming pool in her wheelchair in the first days after dx, and after getting past that and deciding to give the cancer a good fight, still doubted whether she should renew the journal and magazine subscriptions that were coming due...

I'm happy to say she is alive and well 3 years later.

Hang in there,
bluebutterfly
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962875_tn?1314213636
p.s. To clarify one of the above replies,  all of the stages, including IIIb, can apply to any type of breast cancer, not just Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).

bb
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962875_tn?1314213636
I see now where that you said, "I have my results."

I  thought at first you meant your  mammogram results, but now that I have seen your post regarding reconstruction in the BC Forum, it is apparent you do have a definite dx of BC.

I am sorry that was the outcome, and that I didn't understand that when I posted before...

Regards,
bluebutterfly

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