Loop incision surgery and radiation therapy

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SydneyJo
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 7/28/2010 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, I usually post on the RA and CD forum but have come here for advice on my mothers op next week - 5th Aug.
Just a quick summary of whats happening -
My mother had a routine mammogram and it showed something shadowy but very small (they thought it could have been a vein). She was referred to a Breast assessmenr clinic in a major Sydney hospital (brand new facility - everything you need in the one place) where they took another mammogram and this time an ultrasound. The ultasound found that the shadow was a 4mm lump and they biopsied it that day. The biopsy came back with cancer cells, so they have booked her in for what I think they call a loop incision and she is having some dye put through to see if any lymph areas are affected. She is really lucky to have caught such a small lump so quickly but she is extremely scared as both her mother and sister died from breast camcer.
My question is (and we have asked all the Dr.s about this without a good enough answer) is radiation therapy necessary if all the cancer is completely removed? She has delayed answering them about having rad, therapy until she see's the Dr. post-op on the 18th Aug. To me radiation therapy, doesnt seem necessary if given the all clear - its like taking a pain killer before you get a headache.
Any advice is much appreciated.
thanks for reading this.
Jo
 
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis


harrington49
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 7/31/2010 5:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jo

I am also in Australia. In 2000 I had a lump, had the biopsy and it was cancerous, I had a left mammogram but did not need to have radiation or chemo because they had got all of the residual cancer and also took the lymph nodes under the arm. The surgeon told me the lump had been there for 6 years but luckily for me it had not travelled. I have not had any further problems and have just reached my 10 year anniversay.

I wish your mother all the best and I agree with her not to make her mind up yet and don't be bullied into it. Take the advice of the surgeon and be guided by what he says.

I hope your mother has a speedy recovery.
Kind Regards
Harrington49

barkyboys
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Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/31/2010 8:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I guess my first question would be how old is your mother? Typically, radiation is recommended following a lumpectomy. Obviously, surgeons can't be sure that they got every cancer cell removed, so the radiation is to take care of any stray cells that may have been missed in the surgery. For early stage cancers, there are new rad treatments that are much easier, such as MammoSite brachytherapy, which I think is very exciting (you can "google" it, if you want more info). Radiation following a lumpectomy is not quite like taking a pain killer before you get a headache. Your mom has breast cancer. Breast cancer has no cure. And it can be deadly. Look at the family history. Under the same circumstances, I would not only encourage, I would insist my mom have the radiation. Better safe than sorry.

Best of luck to your mom. I wish her well!

Hugs...
BEV

SydneyJo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 8/1/2010 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for your replies and well wishes for my mother.
Harrington -  Thank you for sharing your experience, Im glad you are doing so well after 10 years! Very inspiring - thank you :-)
 
Bev - Im sorry that came off as very flippant about the painkillers, they were actually my mothers words and I told her that I think that this is more serious than that. My mother is 66. Thank you for mentioning the type of radiation treatment available, have noted this down to see what they will offer her.
Thank you both for shedding light on this for me.
Take care to you both
Jo
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

harrington49
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 8/1/2010 11:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jo

Sorry, when I read my post again, I meant to say left mastectomy, just put it down to old age I guess. lol.
Kind Regards


Harrington 49

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 8/2/2010 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, there is a difference between mastectomy and lumpectomy, as far as recommendations for radiation are concerned. Harrington had a mastectomy. With lumpectomy, radiation is almost always recommended. Jo, I didn't think you were being flippant. I remember when I was diagnosed, my best friend said she wished it were her instead of me, she was old, she didn't need her boobs anymore, and on and on. Well, a couple of years later, she, too, was dx'ed with breast cancer, and someone we both knew said about the same thing to her. She was mad as a wet hen! I reminded her that she had said the same thing to me... she said, "Yeah, but back then I thought they just cut off your breast and that was the end of it. I didn't realize you could actually die from it!" That seems to be a common misconception. Unfortunately, my friend was one of those who lost the battle with this disease. I have a cousin who was dx'ed a couple of years ago. Her doctor has told her that she is "cured." When we have doctors out there pronouncing cures when facts say there isn't a cure... You look a tLaw1015's post. Her mom was 15 years seemingly cancer-free, and now has mets. There's a dose of reality for anyone who thinks they are cured, I guess.

Again, best of luck to your mom. And let us know how things go for her!

Hugs..
BEV

SydneyJo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 8/3/2010 12:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Harrington - lol, I make mistakes like that all the time.
Bev - thanks for your story about your friend, I think I have been guilty on a number of occasions of saying things like you friend said and having them said to myself by well-meaning friends.
Will let you know how my mother goes with her op on Thurs.
Thanks again for all your help and kind words - what lovely people there are on the BC forum :)
Jo
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

SydneyJo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 8/10/2010 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Update on my mother;
Her op went well and they removed the cancer and 2 lymph nodes. I was surprised that she has had no pain only mild tenderness she says.
Back to see the specialist on the 18th August for follow-up and organising radiation therapy.
Thanks again for all your help during this time and Im sure I will be back with more questions regarding my mothers health.
Thanks and take care
Jo
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 8/18/2010 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Glad the surgery went well. Let us know what the radiation onc says.

Hugs...
BEV

Superbigmac
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/28/2010 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree wholeheartedly with barkyboys comments. Good advice! I know several people who had a lumpectomy and refused radiation and had a recurrence after 2 years. Surgeons may not tell you this, but there is also a theoretical risk of local seeding with core needle biopsies and surgical excisions, and radiation will kill off any remaining cells. While there are exceptions (some non-invasive cancers (DCIS) and age), most lumpectomy patients will need radiation. Seeing that your mother had a sentinel node biopsy, it seems like she had either invasive cancer or high grade DCIS; so she probably will need radiation, unless she is advanced in age or generally unhealthy.
Radiation can be pretty brutal and tiring, but is worth it in the end. The other option would be mastectomy without radiation.

Since she only had 2 lymph nodes removed, I'm assuming they were negative. This is great news and shows great overall prognosis.

Good luck.

Post Edited (Superbigmac) : 8/28/2010 10:56:56 PM (GMT-6)

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