I recently had a lumpectomy and the doctor was not pleased with the pathology report he received back; he basically said in doctor speak that they didn't get it all. I have "had" invasive ductal carcinoma and the duct, lobe and surrounding tissue were removed during my lumpectomy but the doctor ordered an MRI with contrast after he read the pathology report. He also increased my radiation therapy to 6 times a week from 4 as originally planed for the next 6 weeks.
Should I be concerned about the MRI results and what should I be expecting? I can't find anything online regarding remaining cells, reports, detection or anything so I have no clue what to expect or what the next steps are going to be. Should I be getting another doctor involved since this one obviously didn't fix me the first go round? Is there a good number I should be hoping for on this MRI report (like under 100) or is this a percentage thing I am completely in the dark when it comes to this one? I am only 30 with no history of breast cancer in my family and fighting this one all on my own so any help from the group would be appreciated.
'Should I be getting another doctor involved since this one obviously didn't fix me the first go round?'
I assume you are dealing with a surgeon, who did the lumpectomy, and a radiolost who is overseeing your radiation treatment, and is also the one who decided to increase the frequesncy of your radiation therapy after he saw the surgeon's report? And maybe also an oncologist?
Usually all of the involved docs discuss a patient's case together?
I am not sure what the answer is but one option would probably be to do a mastectomy on the affected breast, and you may want to ask about that. I am not clear on why the radiation has been increased as a way of corrected an incomple surgery that has not eliminated all affected areas in your breast. You should also inquire about chemotherapy, and perhaps, if you feel you cannot trust the surgeon, find another to at least get a second opinion/
'Is there a good number I should be hoping for on this MRI report (like under 100) or is this a percentage thing I am completely in the dark when it comes to this one? '
I am not aware of MRI results being measured in the form of percentage, or numbers.
I understand that tumor markers, derived from a blood test, are counted in numbers, and followed up to see if your condition has improved , gotten worse, or remained stable over time. The most commonly tumor marker for bc progress, and I forgot the name this moment, is one where the optimal value is less than 30, but the changes can only be compared over time with your own numbers and not those of others. (The lab should also be the same for all your tests)
Yes I have a team of doctors an oncologist, surgeon, etc. The oncologist has decided to increase my radiation therapy after getting back my pathology report the margins of what they removed were not clean hence the concern and the MRI. It is not a tumor any longer just random cancer cells the surgery was only a week ago so they are hoping to avoid a masectomy by using radiation. I plan to talk to the doctor about Chemo when I go in tomorrow and see if that is an option.
At the MRI they injected me with a specialized dye with some sort of nanoparticles (I can't recall the name now) that adhere to cancer cells so they would "light up" on the MRI but I am not sure what I should expect when I go in tomorrow. Is there a number like there are 100 cancer cells and then when they do it again in 3 weeks they can say there are 30 cancer cells so they know they are doing the right thing and making progress? Does anyone know?
I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis of IDC, Valerie. Unfortunately, sometimes a surgeon may not get clean margins and a second surgery is necessary. It doesn't mean
your surgeon is a bad surgeon, but if you feel more comfortable with another one, that certainly is your choice. Sometimes a breast specialist may be a better option than a general surgeon, but not always. It's really a matter of your trust in your doctor, but they're human and sometimes things can just happen during surgery.
Like Kat said, MRIs results are not given in numbers. They are just a more specific screening tool like mammograms. They're better at screening dense breasts, so that may be why your doctor ordered it. I also agree with Kat that you probably should ask for a team meeting with all your doctors and then meet with one to ask all your questions and get the answers you need.
I wish you all the best and hope for succesful treatment for you. I also hope you can find some support so you don't to go through this journey alone.
Sending you a big hug ( ),
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