Told ‘to prepare for a cancer diagnosis’

(27 Posts)
NewPage Fri 24-Jul-20 18:19:35

I had some tests this week and after they were done the surgeon and specialist nurse asked to meet with me in a room. The surgeon said that I needed to prepare myself for a diagnosis of cancer. The nurse then sat with me and gave me her card etc and told me to get in touch at any point if I wanted to talk anything through.
They did a biopsy and results are through next week. They did say it looks early stage.
So I’m slowly going a bit crazy. Worn out, worried, scared and not sure what this all means. If they’ve said it, does that sound like it is pretty much a thing, even though I wait for biopsy?
Would welcome any responses.

OP’s posts: |
Wannabefarmer Fri 24-Jul-20 18:27:31

So sorry to hear that op 💐

My dad was given 6 to 9 months after his cancer diagnosis. He's still here 12 years later.

My friend survived breast cancer and travels all over the world having amazing experiences.

Whatever happens with your results just know that you are in the best possible hands and the cancer care in this country is fantastic.

GrumpyHoonMain Fri 24-Jul-20 18:32:25

What Cancer were you tested for? Some breast and cervical cancers, for example, are technically pre-cancerous changes and can be cured.

Flamingolingo Fri 24-Jul-20 18:33:52

I’d say there is a reasonable chance that it is - they tend to have a good feel for what they’re looking at, although it’s possible they could be wrong. Where was the biopsy taken from?

NewPage Fri 24-Jul-20 18:39:54

Thank you so much for responding. It’s my right breast x

OP’s posts: |
Flamingolingo Fri 24-Jul-20 18:51:11

I’m a regular at the breast clinic (family history) and they always seem pretty confidant when their imaging/examination shows that it’s not, so it stands to reason that they know what cancer feels/looks like. Breast cancer that hasn’t spread is one of the most survivable cancers we have now, so there is likely to be a good prognosis/good treatment options. I hope you have a peaceful week - if you need to call the nurse please do, it’s her job to be there. Try not to overthink things until you know what you’re looking at/have a plan flowers

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 24-Jul-20 18:51:17

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March. I had surgery 3 days later on the day of lockdown and am now nearly half way through active treatment. My position is curative. I wasn't told to prepare for a diagnosis but I was pretty certain that was what was coming when the radiographer said to his assistant "good news, nodes are clear". I did prepare myself for it though. I always thought the worst thing that could happen to me would be a cancer diagnosis and I hadn't been worried about breast particularly as I am the first one in my family history to get it. However, it's turned out to be not the worst thing that has happened to me in my life. The care I have received has been second to none. I have met some lovely ladies on this journey and all are in a similar position to me. It is my right breast too...bloody thing. My boob also looks pretty normal given the surgery I had so I hope this offers you some reassurance. Of course I was scared, I'm a 50 year old single mum to a 9 year old ASD DS, he needs me to be here! However, I am doing fine and hope to put this all behind me before Christmas.

I wish you lots of luck!


Flamingolingo Fri 24-Jul-20 18:51:37

Confident, even grin

ElaineMarieBenes Fri 24-Jul-20 18:53:21

I was you a few weeks ago - and yes the results were positive for me. I’m post surgery now and have an appointment tomorrow for full lymph node results and next steps. I have a lovely doctor and am feeling more positive as she says treatment and long term outlook is good these days.

There is the MN cancer support thread # 75 which you might find helpful - I know I have!

NewPage Fri 24-Jul-20 18:56:17

Thank you flamingo and formidable, your responses have given me some comfort. I’m in my early 40’s with two young kids and the first thing I thought was- I’m going to die, what are my little dds and DH going to do. That then caused tears and asking them if I was going to die. That’s when surgeon said it looked early stage. X

OP’s posts: |
NewPage Fri 24-Jul-20 18:56:52

Thanks ElaineMB

OP’s posts: |
ButteryPuffin Fri 24-Jul-20 19:00:10

Early stage is a good lookout and I know several people who were in that position, treated successfully and have done really well afterwards.

DomDoesWotHeWants Fri 24-Jul-20 19:00:28

4 years after my op. Still doing well. smile

Flamingolingo Fri 24-Jul-20 19:01:27

Early 40s does seem to be a common period for breast cancer to appear (my mother was 44, as was my aunt). I was 18 when my mum was diagnosed, but the shift in when we have children means that it’s increasingly likely that people will have young children at diagnosis. That does make it harder.

You’ll know a bit more when you get information about staging, but they are graded 0/1 to 4 with everything 2 and under being various types of ‘not spread beyond the breast’ and 3 and 4 being lymph nodes and beyond. I think my mum had a stage 3 in 2004 and is still very much alive, and in all that time treatment has been getting better and better.

The good news is it’s being dealt with, it will be removed and treated, and that’s better than not knowing it’s there

BackforGood Fri 24-Jul-20 19:04:59

They wouldn't have told you that unless they were pretty certain, however you need to focus on the fact that Early Stage Breast Cancer is very curable these days. It really isn't a death sentence at all.

Have you got an appointment for getting your action plan of what treatment nd surgery they plan to do, when they have the biopsy results ??

TheFormidableMrsC Fri 24-Jul-20 19:13:27

@NewPage Early stage is good, mine was too. Mine was also contained with no node spread but was Her2+ so I am having to have Herceptin/Chemo. My surgeon described it as having "but a cold" and completely curative. I have taken advantage of the scalp cooling treatment and have kept all my hair except my pubes bizarrely! Still, it's saved me a fortune in waxing! I have tolerated treatment very well with a good diet and a LOT of exercise (which can mitigate the side effects of chemo). I will need to take Tamoxifen for a decade after treatment is finished. I am jumping the gun a bit here really, but just sharing my story. I have a friend who was diagnosed with two types of breast cancer earlier this year, in the same breast. Same age as you with a little boy and a baby. She needed surgery and radio and that was it. She's absolutely fine, low chance of recurrence and has just got on with it. We have been "breast buddies" and that's been hugely helpful. I have another 3 friends with exactly the same diagnosis as me who are 7, 10 and 20 years past treatment respectively. All are absolutely fine.

I would strongly advise against Googling (Surgeon said to me, don't do it, it brings so much unnecessary anxiety) so I have just taken the information I've been given, I ask questions when I need to and just get on with it. As a single mum I have no choice really and no time to dwell. I quite enjoy my treatment time as I can have a snooze and a read and a break! Try and remain positive, the outcomes for breast cancer these day are excellent.

NewPage Fri 24-Jul-20 19:13:28

They said they hope to get results from biopsy back next week. The surgeon is on holiday though so they told me that you follow up appointment will be on 7th.
I asked the specialist nurse if anyone will let me know next week what results say. She said that she checked with surgeon and they will try to call but I still need to attend on 7th, which of course I am going to do.

OP’s posts: |
Redannie118 Fri 24-Jul-20 20:39:13

Hi another breastie here smile like you im mid 40s and was diagnosed in may- my right breast too. I was told almost the same word for word- they can get a really good idea from the ultrasound. When i asked the consultant if there was any chance biopsy could come back negative she said" Well it could- but i would send it back because its wrong". At that point i accepted diagnosis and it was a help to do that- i got my game face on and i was prepared for results the folliwing week. I was grade 3 stage 2, which sounds shocking- but ive only needed a lumpectomy and radiotherapy- i had the kind of cancer that doesnt respond to chemo. Im taking Tamoxifen for the next 5 years at least
Theres loads of support for breast cancer patients and treatment has never been better or more successfull. I found breast cancer now on fb and insta has loads of support and some great little podcasts. Best of luck.

NewPage Fri 24-Jul-20 20:42:55

Thank you. I’m so glad to hear that you are getting the care you need and I hope that you are doing okay. I also appreciate everyone taking the time to respond.
It all still feels very scary, but I have gained hope from your comments and sharing your experiences xx

OP’s posts: |
CazY777 Fri 24-Jul-20 20:43:33

I was in your position a year and a half ago, small early stage lump in my right breast. I think they do have a good idea if it is cancer when they do the ultrasound, but they can't tell you for definite until the biopsy results come back. The waiting to find out is bloody hard, but once the results come back things start happening quickly. I had surgery to remove the lump and 3 of my lymph nodes in my armpit, to check that it hadn't spread, within a month (it would have been 2 weeks but I had to have an MRI scan so they could find out the true size of it as my type of tumor can be difficult to measure on other scans). Then 4 weeks of radiotherapy, which was a right drag to be honest, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm on tamoxifen and having annual mammograms for 5 years. Tamoxifen can give you menopausal symptoms, mine haven't been too bad, a few night sweats, it mostly seems to affect my digestion for some reason!

I'm not saying it hasn't been tough at times - I'm mid 40's with a demanding 5 year old daughter and I'm a carer for my husband - but I got through it and it was nowhere near as bad as I initially thought. My right boob is a bit smaller than it was and I still get the occasional ache in my armpit when I push myself when running, but things are back to normal. I do still get a bit more tired but that could also be my age! It's no longer in the forefront of my mind, though I do check myself regularly.

Take whatever support you can from friends and family, the breast care nurses and the cancer charities can also help - MacMillan give out grants and other financial help, Breast Cancer Care are great for information and support, and if there's a Maggie's Centre near you they can also be a great support. All the best to you flowers

dontdisturbmenow Sat 25-Jul-20 08:20:53

Not breast, but my mum was told exactly the same with a skin mole that the surgeon took out. He said that he had little doubt that it was cancerous.

She waited 2 weeks for the results, which passed so so slow until resignation took over the panic. Then results came back to say no cancer at all.

Either way, I wish you for the best.

Marypoppins19 Wed 29-Jul-20 22:11:32

Just wanted to send you a hug. The waiting is I’m sure, terrible. Hang in there x

Marypoppins19 Tue 04-Aug-20 14:39:20

@NewPage hope you are hanging in there xx

Minxmumma Tue 04-Aug-20 20:50:54

If you were seen in breast clinic the specialists are usually pretty confident in what they see / feel. The waiting sucks, trust me I know.

But this isn't a death sentence, please try not to Google or assume the worst. I've had bc twice and had full recovery, just have rubbish genetics. I was first diagnosed at 38, then again last year. I had a baby inbetween, am fit and feisty.

It can be and is treatable. My surgeon says early BC should be viewed as any other treatable disease and not the harbinger of doom.

You might have a bit of a rough ride depending on the treatment plan but it is doable.
Gentle hugs x

Flossie44 Fri 07-Aug-20 00:35:37

Thinking of you OP. How are you doing?

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