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Grade 3, IDC Breast Cancer. ER/PR questions!!
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Grade 3, IDC Breast Cancer. ER/PR questions!!

I just got a report on the ER and PR. This is what it says...

Marker                            Result             Interpretation
ER (1D5)                         80%                Favorable
PR (PgR 636)                  70%                Favorable

Additional Studies Pending: HER2 by FISH

WHAT does this mean? I understand that its Estrogen and Progesterone that they are talking about, I've been reading so much my eyes hurt and I have a headache. And I still don't understand WHAT this means! Is this good or bad? Favorable to me or the cancer? Do I want these numbers to be high or low? I don't know if I should be happy or more scared by these results??????

Thank you.
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12 Comments
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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi again,

First, let me suggest that you add all of your related additional posts to your original thread. That way we will have all your information available, which helps us to better answer your concerns. Also, it becomes an ongoing conversation, where everyone can follow your progress and chip in with relevant information or suggestions. Thanks!

To answer your latest question, Er+/PR+  breast cancers are considered "better" (favorable for you! :-)   ), because they have hormone receptors make them vulnerable to targeted treatments (such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors). They tend to have a better prognosis than  HER2+ or TNBC ( called "triple negative" because they are ER-/PR-/HER2-) breast cancers, which tend to be more aggressive and have a higher rate of spread or recurrence.

So far, you "should be happy with the results" if you want to use that term. The results that are pending will tell you whether your cancer is HER2+ or HER2-.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

Best wishes...
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1367707_tn?1278918023
thank you BB.  I wasn't sure how to do the questions. Some forums want different topics for each question, while others want one thread so (as you stated) its easier to follow a person's progress.

Is there any way for me to merge or link the three topics? Thank you.

Okay.. so I'm gethering that the ER/PR favorable = a "positive" and that's good. And I should be hoping for a HER2 positive or favorable as well? Is this correct?

I am scheduled for a MRI tomorrow at noon. From what I understand so far, I will know more once I know the HER2 and whether or  not there is lymphnode involvedment, then they will be able to stage my cancer,,, is this correct?

I'm sorry if I sound stupid, all of this is so foreign to me, and I just don't understand half of what I read. Why can't they just put everything in laymen's terms? Its like reading greek!!

Thank you again.
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962875_tn?1314213636
To consolidate your two threads that  I've seen and answered into one thread, you would have to  cut and paste (or retype) the first question in this thread  onto the end of your thread about the difference between stage and and grade, then I could cut and paste my answer there as well, and then if you wanted to add just the part of your most recent question from "Okay" forward, I could answer it again there.   But  that would probably  be too much trouble, so it would be fine if you just continue any additional related questions here.

I know it's confusing, but if you think hoping will help, hope for HER- for the remaining  test result.

Once they know whether there is any lymph node involvement, and if so, do scans to find out if any distant mets show up, they will be able to determine your stage. (The tumor grade and ER/PR/HER2 status don't really enter into the stage determination, although of course they do affect the overall prognosis and the specific targeted treatments that will be recommended.)

You don't sound stupid in the least. Until they are going through their first cancer scare, or are suddenly faced with that dx in themselves or a loved one, most women don't very know much about breast cancer-- except that they NEVER WANT TO HAVE IT!

Speaking for  myself, I've learned more about it in the past year than I ever wanted to have to know...  :-(

Hang in there, and we'll help all we can.
bluebutterfly
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1367707_tn?1278918023
Thank you BB!  I spent the day at Cleveland Clinic. Seeing the doctors, and had an MRI and and ultrasound on my left breast. They seem sure it is nothing, but want to be sure since they know I have it in my right breast. I am to get another mamo in 6 mos.

She said I should know the HER2 status next week. They can tell me when I go in for the Pre-Op next week. I am scheduled for the mastectomy on Tues Aug 3. They are also doing a "sentinal" surgery regarding the lymphnodes. So, hopefully, I will know more then.

My prayer is to test HER2- and no lymphnode involvement. I am sooo scared. I still can't believe this is happening to me. I'm young, I have young children,.. I want to watch them grow up, graduate, get married, have kids... I don't want this. I don't understand this.. And it ***** big time. It's total BS.

I hate Cancer. I hate it hate it hate it.

:(
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962875_tn?1314213636
Yes, it struck me how young you are, not only to be dealing with BC, but to have to have a mastectomy.  I hope you have a good support system of family/friends/loved ones to help you go through this.

It is a terrible disease! And 1,000,000 women are diagnosed with it every year!

Fortunately, progress is being made. I came across this item a couple of days ago:

"Breast Cancer Survival Rates Have Doubled Since 1970s
(The Press Association) UPDATED 2010-07-12
The number of women who survive breast cancer for at least 10 years has almost doubled since the 1970's, a new analysis has found, and many other cancers show that level of improvement as well. Less than 40 percent of women with breast cancer diagnosed in the early 1970s lived for ten years, while that number is now 77 percent."

Warm regards,
bluebutterfly
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1367707_tn?1278918023
Forgive me for being negative. But 77% is not comforting. They also told me 90% of lumps were benign.

I'm feeling sorry for myself today, but trying to put on a happy face. The kids are going to visit their grandparents for 9 days. So I have all next week to feel sad and clean my house before God only knows what happens and what I'll feel like after the surgery.

Fortunately, I have a very large family and group of friends.... my support network is large and loving... They're already working on a schedule, which I hope I wont need.

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1284144_tn?1292185357
Honey, you gotta keep your spirits high and positive!   Breast cancer is one of lifes "hiccups" or "detours" on our personal journey thru life.  You will be fine and you will survive this.   In a few short years, it will be behind you and you will move forward.  Try not to let this disease change who you are or what you live for.  Your experience can only make you a stronger person unless of course you allow it to ruin your life.   Please put a smile upon you face! :)
Check your Inbox, I am sending you a PM.
C
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962875_tn?1314213636
No need to apologize for feeling negative, discouraged, overwhelmed, or even bitter. There is no timetable or "right way" for dealing with such a life-changing diagnosis...

I am just sorry you were given false hope by being told that 90% of lumps are benign.  While it is true that OVERALL 80-85% of biopsies result in benign findings, according to one set of figures, provided in an excellent post by RTRM321 in th following thread: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Breast-Cancer/are-microcalcifications-Amorphous--Heterogeneous/show/1263869?personal_page_id=598124#post_5796454, the results differ for each BI-RADS category, so that for BI-RADS 3, less than 2% are likely to be malignant, for BIRADS 4 the figure increases to 25-50%, and for BIRADS 5, 75-99% will be malignant.

I am glad to hear you have a great support system! But if there are certain things that are easier to discuss  over the Internet with strangers who have "been there, done that," than face-to-face with family or friends, we'll be here for you.

Best wishes,
bluebutterfly
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1367707_tn?1278918023
Thank you BB and RTRM... I am trying to be positive.  At times I am.  My Type A personality takes over, and I just research to become educated and informed and do so from a detached, clinical viewpoint... almost like its someone else and I can be objective. Then, other times, I just fall apart. It's not someone else, it's me.  But I don't want to be one of those miserable people who get sick and make everyone else miserable! I want to be positive, for myself as well as those around me. I don't want to be a "Negative Nellie".

Sooo... I read about the BIRADS (hadn't heard that term before... theres so much to learn!). And that is another thing that is weighing heavy on my mind. They have also found a lump on my left breast. It *was* a BIRAD 2. When they initially did the mammogram on June 22nd. But last Wednesday, July 14th, they did an MRI and an Ultrasound on my left breast.    They didn't tell me what BIRAD it was, just that they want to watch it and check it again in 4-6 mos.

Okay... Now I'm all worried about that. Obviously, my track record is not good. I don't want to have a mastectomy, be in the middle of chemo, and then have them say "Oops... that's cancer too... back to the cutting table".  I don't want to spend the next couple mos worrying about that on top of everything else.

Even tho a BIRAD  2 is *most likley* benign, wouldn't the  statistics in my personal case, warrant a closer look, and a higher likelihood of cancer there as well? Why don't they just take both breasts, and be done with it??? Why drag it out, and have me worried about that one for months and months and months????

Thanks, Anne
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962875_tn?1314213636
In view of  your history, you could certaily insist on a biopsy of the new lump, even though it appears benign.

Many women also consider prophylactic mastectomy of the contralateral breast, sometimes at the same time as the mastectomy of the cancerous breast, either with or without immediate reconstruction, because like you, they don't want to have to worry about going through all of that again.

The type of cancer that is found in your pending results could also be a factor in that decision, if it turns out to be the type that has a higher risk for spread or recurrence...

There is not yet conclusive evidence that taking that step confers a survival advantage all across the BC population, but apparently there is greater likelihood of that being the case in younger women such as yourself.

Here is a related link: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721604

bb
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1367707_tn?1278918023
Thanks BB!  

Well, I read up on it, and to top it off, I just got a letter stating that upon further ..whatever, looking at the MRI and Ultrasound that they want me to come in for MORE testing on my left.

I spent all morning on the phone with them, my surgeon, and my insurance company.

I decided on the bilateral mastectomy.. I think... bilateral means BOTH, right? I can't be dealing with one mastectomy, and then the adjuvent therapy of the right, while worrying/testing of the left.  I don't think I can handle that. I'd just as soon they take them both off and be done with it.

So, that surgery is set for August 11th.

I also have an appt with the Genetic Counselor at 9am tomorrow to discuss in greater detail the BRCA test. I'm leaning towards yes, but not sure yet.

Also, to make matters worse, the incision site on the right breast that I had the excision/lumpectomy/partial mastectomy on, has become infected. So I went to a 24 hr nurse thing yesterday, who told me to go see the surgeon today. So I have that appt at 3:15 today.

Man, I can't catch a break!

I just want all this done and over with. I'm already tired of dealing with it.

Oh, doctor just called!! I am HER2 NEGATIVE! it was 1.3  so that's good. Good, I needed some good news!

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962875_tn?1314213636
Hi Anne,

Glad you got  good news--yay for HER2- !!

Yes, bilateral means both. With the type of personality you've described, I'm sure you'll be much happier going that route...

Here is a link to a thread with LOTS of helpful suggestions by Sue Young55, for preparing for, and going through recovery from, that procedure.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Breast-Cancer/How-can-I--prepare-for-my-bilateral-mastectomy/show/1227057?personal_page_id=1353793#post_5789945

Warm regards,
bb
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