My wife is 41. Last week, the radiologist found a lump under her right breast. It was biopsied and today she was told the lump was cancerous. The lump was about 1 mm. Obviously our heads are spinning, mostly on fears of what is going to happen -- not immediately but long term as our children are still quite young (7 & 11).
She has had exams annually since she was 35 as her mother had breast cancer post menopause and there was never a sign. However last year they made her take pictures several times because they thought there may have been something, but my wife was considerably heavier then. Could the lump have been present then? Or, if this is a new lump, than does that mean it is aggressive?Things we intend to ask next week (she is having her files sent to Sloan Kettering from our suburban doctors) but really what we want to know now, considering our children are so young: what is the general prognosis for a 41 year old finding a 1 mm lump? Is the goodness of catching this early outweighed by it occurring at such a young age? What can we expect short term and long term?
Try not to jump to dire conclusions until all the facts are in, okay? 1 mm is a very small lump, and your wife's breast cancer may even be considered "curable" at this stage. With early detection and improved treatments, there are many very long-term survivors of BC.
A lump detected through imaging from one annual mammogram to the next is not necessarily aggressive by any means. [New malignant lumps that are palpable (able to be felt) only several months after a normal mammogram are the ones that have a higher likelihood of being very aggressive.]
There is not sufficient information to answer your other questions. A lot depends on whether there is any spread to the lymph nodes, what type of cancer she has, whether it is just "in situ" or invasive, how aggressive its cells are (on a scale from Grade 1, not very aggressive, to Grade 3, very aggressive), the ER/PR/HER2 statuses, etc. All of this probably means little to you at this point.
I know it is very difficult to wait, but it's probably best to try to stay busy, not let your imaginations run away with you, and get your information directly from the doctor next week.
Best wishes to both you and your wife,
I just wanted to add that I'm so sorry to hear about your wife's cancer diagnosis. While it's not good news, it's great that she has such a loving and supportive husband to help her through this. As bb said, a 1cm. tumor
is pretty small, and hopefully, it's found early enough for her treatment to be successful. From what I understand, the odds are very much in her
favor. She'll get excellent treatment at Sloan-Kettering and her doctors should be able to answer all your question as far as is medically possible.
Try to stay positive and take one step at a time as this is better for both you and your wife. We understand your fears, and that's perfectly normal, but you need to try not to let those fears rule your lives. Please let us know how your wife is doing or if you have questions after your doctor visit, if you wish. If you just want to vent or need some emotional support, we're here for you. We're wishing you and your wife all the best in your journey.
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