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Breast Cancer - a question for any who knows ...

(8 Posts)
Snowstorm Thu 02-Aug-07 17:19:44

My mother has a small lump in one of her breasts which was detected when she had a routine mammogram. She had to go back for another mammogram to double check it. She then had to be cut open last week so that they could remove some of the tissue (or something like that) and she's scheduled to go and get the results next Thursday. Today she was telephoned by the hospital and was asked to return tomorrow morning because they needed to re-scan the rest of her right breast just to double check it ...

...I was doing okay, worry-wise, until she just told me that she's got to return tomorrow for a 'routine' re-check of her breast as that sounds anything other than routine to me. Fortunately I am not too familiar with cancer but I'd thought that if she wasn't contacted by anyone medical between having the biopsy and the meeting with the doctor/consultant/whatever, then that was probably okay but if she was then that didn't look good.

It's a difficult question but ... has anyone been through this and, if so, do you think I'm right?

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 02-Aug-07 17:44:19

No experience, though my mum did have breast cancer (and is fine now) so I know what a worry it is.

So bumping for you

lalaa Thu 02-Aug-07 17:57:00

I've been through this - personally, rather than my mother.

It's very difficult to call whether this is truly routine or not - it sounds as though they messed up the first time and the scan was unclear in places. At my hospital, after the mammogram, the radiographer takes the scan away to check to make sure that it's clear and the whole breast is on it then she comes back and either does it again or says you are fine to go. It sounds as though they were so focussed on the lump, they didn't look at the breast as a whole.

It also sounds as though they've done a core biopsy, so you will know for certain one way or another next Thurs. It's doesn't sound cut and dried - with me they told me up front that although they had to wait for the results of the biopsy to be sure, they were pretty certain that I should prepare myself for the worst case scenario. In my experience, it doesn't mean anything if they do or don't call you back early - or if they just leave it until the routine appointment. Biopsies take a week to turn around and that's just how it is.

Unfortunately, there is no second guessing and you do just have to wait. For me that initial wait for confirmation was about the worst time so you have my sympathies.

PutThatInYourPipeandSmokeIt Thu 02-Aug-07 18:00:57

My mum had breast cancer too and is absolutely
fine now. There may have been something on the mammogram that's not quite clear and the head poncho has requested an extra look. It could be nothing. My mum was told exactly what they were thinking at all stages, so if it was 'non-routine' my mum would have been told exactly and honestly why they were getting her back in. Mum ended up having 2 ops and it really was all ok. I know it's worrying and the word cancer conjoures up all sorts of horridness doesn't it? They are terribly fabulous at catching things early though and that makes a HUGE difference to the outcome. Big hugs

callmeovercautious Thu 02-Aug-07 18:01:18

My Mum has just been through this and although it was cancer it seems she will be fine long term.
It may well be that they want to take another look to be on the safe side. I won't tell you not to worry because I know you can't help but do just that!

DM had a lumpectomy for a "lump" the Dr thought was a hormonal cancer in a milk duct. They found it during a mamogram, she had not felt a lump or been ill at all. It was Cancer and they were going to do radiation on top of the lumpectomy. She was called back to rescan her breast after they biopsied the lump and decided that there were precancerous looking cells in other ducts. This was before her next appointment too. The lymph glands they tested were clear so no spreading.

She had 2 options. 1 - have the radiotherapy as orig planned and keep going back for mammograms to see if any more had turned nasty. OR 2 - Have a mastecomy.

I am sure there was more to it than my simple explanation but basically she decided to go for the mastectomy so she could be sure it was all gone. She told me she would rather only have one boob than miss seeing my DD grow up!

The op was 3 weeks ago and she has just gone back to work (ok so she has a bean bag in her bra at the minute but they will make her a proper "boobie" once she is healed).

These cancers are very common in menopausal women and her treatment has been very quick and first rate. The prognosis is now very good and she is expected to be well from now on although she will have to take tamoxifen for 5 years. This is what mamograms are for. Assuming your DM had not felt a lump or been unwell then if it is cancer then at least they have caught it very early.

Best of luck to your DM and your family. x

Snowstorm Thu 02-Aug-07 18:21:03

I can't thank you all enough for your replies. I'm still worried but you've calmed me down and stopped me feeling like I was going to be sick.

Thank you.

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 02-Aug-07 18:34:35

<<manly pat on the back>>

T'would not be natural not to be worried

callmeovercautious Thu 02-Aug-07 18:40:35

Thats OK snowstorm - you wouldn't believe how many women have been through this until you start talking about it. Although very common it also has a high level of successful treatment so keep thinking positive!

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