I am brand new here. I have been reading a lot on these pages for the last month. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I was told that the two masses i have in the left breast; 1=4.5 cm, 2=2cm; were both malignant. I only had the FNA so they were not able to tell me any other details, so Friday I had a large core biopsy done. I also had blood drawn and a CAT scan. After the scan, the surgeon showed us a third mass in the same breast. He also said that two lymph nodes were swollen. My question is this, if there are three masses and two are definite for malignancy, does that mean that the cancer is probably invasive? I will get my results on Wednesday afternoon. But I can find nothing on the web about more than one mass in the same breast. The doctor said that I would need to definitely have a mastectomy.
We currently live in Japan, but are Americans. When my husband asked the doctor how long before he would do surgery; he said one to two months. This seems like a long time to me, but is it?
I am sorry to hear that you have received a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Several factors, other than the number of tumors within the breast, will be significant. Given the larger size of your tumors, there is little doubt that your cancer is locally invasive. The more important question is whether it has metatisized. One factor is whether the lymph nodes show involvement. (Was core biopsy also done on the swollen lymph nodes?) Another factor is the grade (rating as to the aggressiveness) of your tumors, and their ER/PR/HER2 status. Other tests may also be ordered to determine the stage of your disease.
Based on all of this information, treatment recommendations will be made. For example, sometimes when tumors very large and when there has been spread to the axillary (underarm) lymph nodes, chemo is given before surgery, to try to reduce the tumors before the surgery, and/or to immediately address the spread of malignant cells.
If you will have the mastectomy before any additional treatment, a month's wait from the time of diagnosis is not unusual, but two months is probably on the long side.
You will learn much more about all of this when you see the doctor on Wednesday, and also when you consult an oncologist, if it is the surgeon you will be seeing Wednesday.
All the waiting is very difficult, but is part of the process for nearly everyone. :-(
Post again if you need additional information, or just emotional support, from others who have already gone through all of this.
Thank u for your answer. I know my dr is just being very methodical. They haven't said anything about an oncologist. Not sure if Japan has a different way of routing people. We will ask him on Wednesday. Thank u again for your reply. It is nice to know there are people to listen and help, even when I am far from home.
Is the wait for mastectomy because of the surgeon's schedule or is this a typical time frame for Japan? I personally would not want to wait that long with a 4.5 cm mass without knowing what grade it is. Actually I wouldn't want to wait that long either way.
Get doctors you can really talk to and that really listen to you. Treatment is do-able.
Best wishes to you.
Well, date for my mastectomy is Dec 11. Core needle came back and I have IDC stage IIb, possibly to IIIa after surgery. Grade 3 tumor with ER+, PR-, and HER2+. I actually have 6 masses in my breast. They found several lymph nodes in my neck and a spot on my lung in the CT scan. Will have chemo and radiation after surgery.
Thank you for updating us in regard to the additional information you have learned about your breast cancer diagnosis.
I am sorry the findings were not more favorable, but am glad your have obtained an early date for your surgery.
As I mentioned before, we are here for you if you need additional information, or just emotional support from others who have aleady gone through all of this. It must be particularly difficult to be so far from home at this time.
Please keep us posted on how things are going with you.
Best wishes to you. I know how scared you are right now. Once your surgery is over, they'll make all the plans for your treatment and everything begins. It's not pleasant but it is do-able. When you get to chemo, ask for EMEND. I never got sick during treatment because of that!
You can do this! And you've got all of us here to help in any way we can.
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