Hi. I did a search for Ductal Carcinoma and one of the hits was a letter
from Jayna. I don't see anything else. Is there a web site I can go to?
I would really like to find a lot more information about surgery,
therapy and all alternatives.
I know I am at the beginning of a long hard journey but I would like to
give a little background which may help you point me in the right
direction. I am 31 years old and back in August I found a lump. I spoke
to my sister and a friend about it and both said wait a week or two to
see if it would go away. I was a week away from my period so I waited.
It did not go away. I called the OB/GYN and got an appointment for
October 12th. I did not tell them about the lump, I guess I still
figured it would go away. After I made the appointment I spoke to my
mother, a breast cancer survivor twice. I told her the position of the
lump and we both agreed that it was strange and would probably be
Let me explain. My mother had breast cancer on the left side 11 years
ago and had a mastectomy and the second mastectomy was 5 years later (6
years ago). She said that each time she could feel the lump on the side
of the breast, she would feel it against her arm. My lump was
"subareolar". I could place my palm flat on the areola and feel the
lump. It felt about the size of a peach pit. It didn't hurt to the
touch but I would feel pain occasionally.
Anyway, I got the appointment mixed up for the OB/GYN and went to the
office on Oct 5th. The Dr. was nice enough to fit me in to do a breast
exam. She was also able to aspirate and send the sample off to a lab. I
got the impression she did not think it was serious but because of my
history she gave me a prescription for a diagnostic mammogram. I went
back to the Dr. for the rest of the exam on the 12th. She did get the
results back and told me that it was not cancerous or precancerous, but
there were A-Typical and reactive ductal cells. I was told that I should
see a surgeon because the A-Typical cells are not normal and that the
lump should probably be removed. I made the appointment with the surgeon
on Oct 16. She examined the lump and said that it was mobile and didn't
think it would be anything to worry about but she wanted to remove it.
She also said that if it did turn out to be something more (cancer) the
position of the lump was not good. The surgery was scheduled for the
next Monday, Oct 23rd. Now I start to think what is going on. If
everyone keeps telling me this is probably nothing why are we in such a
rush? Anyway, I went for the mammogram on Friday, Oct 20th and completed
my pre-op testing. My surgery was scheduled for 4:15 pm on Monday and
about 1:00 I get a call from the OB/GYN. She just received the results
from the mammogram and was concerned, she asked if I had seen the surgeon
yet. I told her I was scheduled for surgery that afternoon, and I wanted
to know what she saw on the report. She faxed it to me. The report said
"scattered fibroglndular densities", "benign-appearing irregular
densities with indistinct margins in both breasts". Impression: "ACR
CATEGORY 4 SUSPICIOUS ABNORMALITY", Recommendation: "Surgical
Consultation". Not what I wanted to see right before surgery. Luckily
the surgeon (a woman) gave me a prescription for 1 valume. I took it!
My mother got to the hospital before surgery and I showed her the report.
Neither one of us could understand the jargon but it didn't look like
"nothing" anymore. We asked the surgeon before surgery and she said that
category 4 was just "suspicious" and she wouldn't know anything certain
until she removed the lump.
After surgery I was brought back into the room and my mother was not
there. When I asked the nurse said she stepped out for a minute. She
walked back in with the surgeon and I knew something was wrong but I was
still really foggy from the anesthetic. The surgeon told me it was
cancer. The next day I wasn't sure what I heard, if it was or could it
be. I went back to the surgeon on Wednesday, Oct 25th and got the whole
thing. I have stage 2 ductal carcinoma (she didn't say invasive). She
removed the lump but tried to spare the nipple and wasn't sure she
removed all the cells. According to the pathology report
"Lymphatic/blood vessel invasion is not apparent". She recommended a
mastectomy for the right side and removing some lymph nodes and suggested
the same thing for the left. I was in shock. She then said something
about chemotherapy and that she could implant a stint to make that
easier. She held my hands and gave me a hug and asked if I had any
questions. She looked at my mother and asked if she had any questions.
She set up an appointment with an oncologist ( the same Dr. my mother
visits) and a plastic surgeon for next week.
I didn't cry until we got into the elevator. There was an older man on
with us and I stood there crying. Needless to say when the elevator door
opened he just stood there and let us off first. Poor guy. The only
things I could say were "I'm only 31" and I told my mother I was sorry.
So today, Friday, 2 days later, I sit here trying to find more
information. I am so scared but I'm not sure about what. The reality
that I have cancer or the consequences of it. Everything has happened so
quickly and will continue to happen that way I'm sure. I don't know how
I can make any decision within a week but I go back to see the surgeon on
Thursday next week and I am supposed to tell her what I want to do. Do I
have a choice? Isn't there an alternative to removing both breasts? Or
is it really better to have everything removed and start from scratch?
There are so many considerations. As I said I am only 31 years old, I am
a single parent, my daughter is 7 years old.
Please let me know if you have any info that could be helpful. I have
been to the library and have read several articles one of which said
"ductal carcinoma is the most frequently diagnosed breast cancer" and
that "the prognosis is poor". What does that mean? The prognosis for
keeping your breast or the prognosis for living through it?
I appreciate any information.
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