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Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
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Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

My 63 year old Mom just got diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, well-differentiated, low nuclear grade, 1.2 cm.  She had a stereo-tactic biopsy done to get this diagnosis after a mamogram (mammogram) showed an abnormality.  Could you please explain what this diagnosis means and what her next step should be.  What are her treatment options?  How can she find out if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and what grade it is?  Should she get a full masectomy or lumpectomy?  Will she need chemo and/or radiation?  What type of doctor should she see next...a surgeon or oncologist?

Sorry for all the questions, but her family physician has not been cooperative in getting me this information.

Thanks,
Fu
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Dear Fu:  Depending on your mother's breast size and preference, she may have the option for either lumpectomy with radiation or mastectomy.  In either case, her lymph nodes should be examined at the time of surgery through an axillary node dissection.  Depending on the results of the surgery, as well as the type of surgery she has, will determine the stage, need for radiation, and possible need for chemotherapy.  Until there is more information, it is difficult to say.  Right now, your mother needs a breast surgeon.
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