Moderately to poorly differentiated

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 3/29/2006 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I had my doctor's office fax over my pathology report, and it said I had "invasive and in-situ ductal carcinoma, moderately to poorly differentiated.  In-situ is solid type with lobular extension."
I have since learned that "moderately to poorly differentiated" means that the "poorer" the cells look, the worse the prognosis.  I'm very scared...please give me some success stories of those with similar findings.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 3/29/2006 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   


Please try not to be afraid.  It saps the energy you need to get well.  I did not have the type of cancer you have so I cannot really speak to your situation.  Although, I DID have breast cancer.  It may not feel like it now but you will get well.  Keep researching and in the meanwhile I know someone here has been in your situation and will be able to help.  Get as much information that you can so that you can ask many questions.  Try to stay calm.  You are in my prayers.




Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 3/29/2006 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
My cells were poorly differentiated and I finished chemo 6 years ago (April 11 to be exact!) and have been cancer free since my tumor was removed. It does NOT necessarily mean a worse prognosis, but it can mean the cells are harder to treat or have a greater chance to recur. One thing you have to understand is that we are all individuals. Some people with tiny tumors and low grade cells have positive nodes, and others with huge tumors have negative nodes. Some who should be cured at the time of diagnosis may get a recurrance, and others (yea Jo-Ann!) are given very small odds and the shatter the heck outta those stats.

Stats are just numbers. Everything you read is a tool that the doctors use to try and predict the course of illness and therefore the type of treatment. But no matter what, you are you....and the numbers are not absolute. The stats have value, no doubt, but they are not universal....just a way to try and understand and make sense out of things.

Read a little bit at a time, and if you feel scared, stop for a moment. Don;t make yourself nuts over is easy to do. That is why this week for me was the worst ever...I had some information but more questions than answers. Hang in there and keep coming here....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 857
   Posted 3/29/2006 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Pam- I know you are so scared right now that you can hardly breathe...but we are all here with you.  My pathology report hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought we had 'caught it early', yet i had 5 of 49 lymph nodes positive, and for every item on there, mine had the worst outcome (vascular invasion, high degree of necrosis, etc.).  AND the tumor was 4.5 CM.  my oncologist was upbeat and supportive, but when i really got educated about my cancer, i realized how bad it really was.  it was then that he told me (at my request) that he would put my 5-yr survival chance at 50/50.   i had three kids ages 3, 5 and 6 at the time.  Pam, that was 5 YEARS AGO LAST MONTH!  do NOT let the numbers get you down, they do not tell the whole story.  get educated, learn all you can, get a good onc that supports you, create a treatment plan, and never look back.  you can do it.  it's not easy, there will be hurdles to overcome, but you HAVE to believe you CAN do it.  a strong attitude will carry you a very long way.... sure there will be tears, and doubts, and times of darkness, but you can pull yourself thru this.  it's just a page in the book of your life. (ok, maybe a chapter).

just remember we are all here for you, and as you adjust to the diagnosis, you will feel a strength you never knew you had.




"It's been worth everything I've been through,
 To do what I do"

                       To Do What I Do   -Alan Jackson, 2004

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 3/29/2006 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
There are quite a few amazing stories among the sisters here.  I know yours will be among them.  I really am thinking of you this week.  It's a hard one.  The women who have responded to you are right, though.  Stats may predict, but we just don't know if it's our time or not, and trying to figure out your chances could be, like Candy wrote, a waste of energy that you will need to heal.  She has such a way with words.
Just bask in the support you are getting, and if anyone is somehow making you feel worse, then take care of yourself first and foremost.  Spend some time with a pet or a baby, someone who doesn't expect you to talk.  That may help you just be.
Post tomorrow, ok?
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 3/29/2006 9:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I know that you are hearing a lot right now. I did also at this point. My path report did not even talk about "cells" , but I knew that I was in trouble since it was "intermediate grade" with 5 positive lymph nodes. There's all sorts of "path" items that are reported. The one thing that I do remember is what my DSIL said (he is a plastic surgeon, board cert. general surgeon) and that was that the more aggressive the cancer, the easer it is to kill because it "shows itself" and the chemo therapy, bad as it is, really does work to kill it.

You are going to hear a lot during the next few days and weeks. Remain calm, continue to research, but when it gets too scarey on the internet, do as my daughter told me to do, "Leave that alone". Please be as positive as you can. This is a most important part of your treatment.

Love you, support you, think of you often, and pray for you. We've all been there.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 3/30/2006 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Everyone has already told you we have many great stories here. When I was told it was highly likely that I had cancer, I signed papers to go ahead and do a mastectomy if the test in surgery confirmed cancer. As it turned out it was a low grade cancer and I probably could have been treated with a lumpectomy and radiation. I didn't take time before to learn enough, so now you have that chance. Look at all options. My daughter was diagnosed two years after I was, she took her time and had her mastectomy and reconstruction done all at one time. Then she had chemo. That was seven years ago and she lives a very normal life today. Ask questions, read, talk, learn all you can before you make any decisions. Be sure you feel very comfortable with your doctors. Get copies of reports and keep them, keeping a journal is a great idea, too. We are here for you to vent, scream and even share your happy moments. Hugs MK

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 3/30/2006 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pam! Big hugs to you. You have received some great advice from your sisters here. I think that the most important thing to remember, as someone said, is that no matter what the numbers and percentages say, we are all individuals. There are new treatments that are approved that are making bc a "managable" disease. Many of us participated in clincial trials 5 years ago or longer that have given new treatments. So, keep your focus right now on the positive. Trust me, it is there.
I had 19 of 21 lymph nodes positive. I had the same diagnosis as you but I had much more involvment. In fact, my surgeon told me that I really beat the odds. Well, I have beat them 2x now! There are several things that I feel helped me. Most important was my faith. Next was my sense of humor. I found that laughing was an important part of my healing. My friends and I have a very warped sense of humor. Having a good support system..not only w/ family and friends but also my medical team. I hand picked each one and they all worked together to help me beat this disease. Of course you will have times that you feel that you don't think you can continue. This is normal. Find a support group. Your local ACS or hospital can help. But be sure that you feel the group will be able to help you. Ask your onco or surgeon if they know of anyone that is in your town that you could call and talk to. There is an organization called Reach For Recovery. It is thru ACS.
One other thing. As you research on the internet, remember one thing. Anyone can post and sound like an expert. Be sure that the websites that you visit are legit.
Please continue to come here and post. We will hold your hand and give you lots of cyber hugs. Hey, let us know where you live. You never know, one of us may be your neighbor.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 3/31/2006 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I had two invasive tumors, ductal and lobular, poorly differentiated, and I've been NED (no evidence of disease) for going on twelve years now.  Good luck.
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