Looking for advice

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REDSAM
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/15/2007 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone, I am hoping to get some advice so that I can make good decisions for myself.  I had good results earlier in the year in the heart forum, so I decided to give this a try.  I am 41 close to 42 years old.  My mother was diagnosed with a fast growing malignant breast cancer when she was 40.  By 45 she lost her battle with breast cancer.  Unfortunately when my sister went through a situation where she felt a lump, her surgeon asked her what type of tumor was it that started my mothers journey.  Of course timing is everything and my mothers medical records were destroyed a few months prior to my sisters journey.  And the surgeon was deceased.  So we know nothing. sad   My sister was 28 at that time.  The surgeon she went to, took a invasive conservative approach and removed the lump at biopsy, rather then just sample it and watch.  Turned out to be negative.  He wanted it removed, so that it would not turn into cancer later.  That was 11 years ago.  Here I am today facing something similar.  A lump appeared about a month ago followed by a bruise(for no reason), and I have been watching it since I just had my annual mammo in August with no abnormal findings .  Well it did not go away, so I went to my doctor this week.  She confimed yesterday that she feels a mass.  She said based on her experience it feels fibrocystic in nature.  BUT with my family history she wants it evaluated.  So she had the nurse schedule me right then and there for a diagnostic mammo (Monday 11/19), and an appointment with a surgeon (Tuesday 11/20) for second opionion and anything further. 
 
Oddly enough at this point I am only slightly nervous.  I was relieved that it was not my imagination that something was there.  I will have many questions for the doctor I see on Tuesday.  I would appreciate insight as to questions, and things of that nature.  Is it absurd of me to ask for the lump to be removed if they want to proceed with a biopsy?  My husband's first question is why don't they just biopsy it and just remove it.  Is there any harm in this "extra" precaution versus accepting a wait and watch approach based on my mothers history.  Can something that starts as benign, change to cancer later on?  I have been burned by doctors before with the wait attitude.  I just want to get a feel for protocall.  After all we are now supposed to be our best advocates.  I don't want to look like a looney and say something inappropriate.
 
Thanks in advance.
Sue-Hypothyroid, Abdominal Adhesion Pain, No female parts, no gallbladder. Put a fork in me please!


postal2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 11/15/2007 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome! I am sure others here will weigh in soon. If it were me I would want it OUT. Even without your family history, no mass belongs there. The ONLY way they can tell for sure is by biopsy. I would be (almost) surprised if with your history they said wait and watch. Notice I said "almost." It does happen. Anyway, please do not wait and see no matter what they say. If you have to get another opinion, do so. As far as something starting as benign changing to cancer, I am not sure, but I'll be someone here knows. Please let us know how it goes, and we will be here for you to celebrate or help you, whichever you need. Hang in there and know my prayers are with you that it is benign!!
Gail
  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
 
Elisabeth Kubler Ross


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 11/16/2007 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree, it needs to be removed. It is a simple day surgery and does not even prevent you from working, altho I would advise having it done on a Friday to have the weekend to recover from anesthesia if at all possible. I can't really think of any questions until you know what you are dealing with. I would just advise you to be firm in asking for removal and don't let anyone talk you into waiting and watching.

Can something benign turn into cancer later one? Hmmm does anyone have an answer to that? I had a B9 tumor removed in 87 and in 96 I had a cancerous tumor in the same area. I had copies of the lab results from both so I am sure the first one was benign. Supposedly cancers grow about six or seven years to the size they can be found. So I guess we can draw our own conclusions.

Just stay on top of everything and make decisions you are happy with.

Hugs MK


REDSAM
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/16/2007 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   

 You are awesome.  I thought I had a handle on my emotions, and trying to stay positive.  But now as each day goes by, and I become more anxious and emotional.  Which I know is all normal, and I would be weird if I was not concerned.  I am going to speak my mind. Even if it turns out to be benign appearing, I don't want it there.  I know myself, and I do have issue's with anxiety.  I have two women near and dear to me that dealt with bc, my mom, who lost her battle, and my step mom, who survived.  However her story is exactly my fear.  Something showed up on her annual mammo, and the radiologists just decided to "watch" the area.  She was never informed.  Then suddenly one day, boom, it turned suspicous and they told her they had been watching the spot for two years prior.  (This was before they became strict on these types of results) She was shocked, and it turned out to be malignant.  She is past the 5 year point now, but her situation is burned in my mind.

I truly appreciate the support from all.  I hope I am not offending anyone.  I feel this may be hitting me a little hard because I am currently suffering a relapse of my pain condition.  I sustained nerve damage during my hysterectomy, that requires treatment.  I am waiting for the insurance to approve my second radio frequency nerve ablation.  The first one was done last year, and was 100% successful, and I was able to wean off all pain meds.  Well the pain returned in September, so I went back to my pain doc again to schedule another ablation.  So I am back on dialudid while I wait for insurance.  So alot of my daily energy is zapped trying to cope with pain, and now this.  This will now jump ahead of that priority wise. That is why these places for me are important.  I know there are always warm gentle cyber hugs, and extra prayers never hurt. tongue


Sue-Hypothyroid, Abdominal Adhesion Pain, No female parts, no gallbladder. Put a fork in me please!


coopfesta
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 11/16/2007 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm writing this at the same time you just wrote the above!!!  Thank you for asking us.  This is a great site for questions and venting and feedback and such.  My advice is pretty specific, but I think you'll find it useful. 
 
After the exam, I would say to the surgeon "I don't want any risk that it is or might become cancer because I heard that could happen.  Could you recommend a lumpectomy considering my history?  Is that ok?  I would worry if it was in me and that would interfere with my functioning."  That's your case, and that's the doctor's case for insurance fight if there is one.  "interfering with my functioning"  The golden ticket!!!!!!!The insurance companies are becoming increasingly powerful, but this is the reason that can't be argued.   Believe it or not, that is the line by which we become advocates for ourselves.  This surgeon's response will probably be positive.  Saying another doc said that to your sister might prompt this doc to strengthen an argument against lumpectomy, you never know, because it also might get his or her defenses up.  That happens sometimes when a patient is verbally considering going with another opinion. Hey, many of these guys and gals think they know best (authority, expert role) and nobody likes to be rejected.  Give them a parent/caretaker role instead.  They'll feel good about taking care of you even if the jury's out on the precancerous thing.  There's probably not a consensus about it.  Your goals, and mindset for life will be negatively impacted if you have a cyst or even a benign tumor inside you.  The line I gave you is a good one to use.  Remember, bring a friend or support person with you.  tape record the results.  If he finds cancer, you won't remember a thing he says.  I'll tell you my "wait and see turned express biopsy" sometime.  It could've been a killer!
 
I'm glad you asked!  I'm glad I could help.  Tell us about yourself.  Do you have kids?


"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
Don't knock on Death's Door.  Ring the bell and run.  He hates that.

Ellen


REDSAM
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 11/16/2007 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Ellen, what a wonderful way of putting it.  That pretty much sums it up.  I will use that one.  Thank you.
I am a mother of 2 very active boys, my oldest is almost 12, and my youngest is 6. My family is no stranger to cancer.  My mother and father both lost their battles at young ages, and my only sister had a malignant melanoma removed a few years ago.  So far so good with that, her breast lump was benign as well.  I work full time, and have a thankfully flexible boss.  I am a manager of 3, and have been with my company for 16 years.
I have struggled for many years with various health related issues, that I am almost embarrased to admit what I have been through. I have had atleast two surgeries every year since 2002.  The only exception was in 2006, I made it through that year with nothing. tongue I had to have a hysterectomy when my second son was 9 months old, and as a result have dealt with adhesions, and subsequent complications from that. I now have permanent nerve damage that I am in pain management for.  Finally last year my pm team was able to find the nerve group, and treat them.  I was off all pain meds and pain free, until recently when the nerves regrouped and back came the pain.  I am just waiting on insurance to approve the same procedure so I can be pain free again.
My hubby jokes that I have been post op for 5 years, and pretty much have had almost all my removable organs removed. Heee Heee!  Most of my surgeries have been below the breast to the pelvis.  Except this year when I had my sinuses done.... LOL... I guess if I need to have something with the breast, I have now covered the entire head to wellllll you get it. tongue I have gained most of my knowledge and experience, support and hugs from boards and sites like these.
 
Thank you for the warm welcome!
Sue-Hypothyroid, Abdominal Adhesion Pain, No female parts, no gallbladder. Put a fork in me please!

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