Sister had biopsy today...a few questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 7/17/2009 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Just a few questions....  First time on this board, but almost a three year veteran on the prostate cancer board.
My sister (age 52) had a biopsy today.  Found a suspicious lump and suspicious mamogram and ultrasound.  She's been thru this before and it was benign, but you all know how scary this stuff is.
She gets her results next week.  IF there is a maligancy found, what type of information is included in the biopsy (grading, staging, etc)?.   Are other tests ordered at that time (with my Prostate cancer, they wouldn't talk talk too much about surgery until AFTER a bone scan and CT scan)?  What follow up questions might be helpful? 
We all certainly hope and pray that this is just another "scare", but we do have a strong family history (monther, aunt, grandmother with BC, uncle and myself with PCa).  I just want to get in a little preparation in case the news is bad.  In my own cancer joorney I found that 1) knowledge is power, and 2) the brothers and sisters-in-arms we have found on HealingWell are a true Godsend.
All suggestions...and prayers...welcomed!  Thanks!
Age 49 - pre-surgery PSA 39 (at age 45)
Open Radical Prostatectomy 6/9/2006
Pathological Stage T3a, Positive Surgical Margin
Gleason 3+4
PSA rose to .24 in November of 2006
6 month hormone therapy initiated December 1. 2006
36 sessions of IMRT Ended Feb 1, 2007
PSA as of May 25, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of November 29, 2007 undetectable
PSA as of May 14, 2008 undetectable
PSA as of November 25, 2008 undetectable
PSA as of May 22, 2009 undetectable

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 7/17/2009 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. My brother is a five year prostate cancer survivor...I was dxed with breast cancer several years before his diagnosis. Also a strong family history of cancer here. So I know where you are coming from.

First, we'll hope for the best for your sister! But if the biopsy shows cancer, there is a good chance that a lot of testing will have been done on the specimen, since it will be a week later when she gets results. They can tell if it is ductal, lobular, etc, whether or not there are clean margins on the specimen, tumor grade, hormone receptor positive or negative status, and so on. As far as staging goes, it is much like prostate cancer. They will look at tumor size, lymphatic involvement, and possible metastatic involvement to determine staging. Tests ordered vary somewhat from doctor to doctor, but the organs they focus on when looking for mets are usually bones, lungs, liver, and sometimes brain. There's usually a chest x-ray or CT and bone scan, as well as blood work, as a minimum.

In the meantime, we'll be hoping for benign results for your sister, and good news from you next week.

"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

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