So two weeks after surgery I had an appointment with Mr Turton where he took my drains out and dressing off. I felt very free afterwards and was frankly amazed with how they looked. I was told to come of my pain killers and just take as and when you need rather than as a preventative. My next appointment is in another two weeks time and was told to carry on with the same routine: no lifting, no exertion, no exercise and keep my dressings dry.
Clever Mr Turton 😇. See my Boob diary for the latest photo two weeks on if interested.
I wasn’t sure whether the histology results would also be ready at my appointment but they were. Mary (my assigned key worker below who is brill and who stays with me throughout the cancer journey) went through the results. I have an oncology appointment next week to go through treatment options and start dates. I’m keen to get going but they like patients to have recovered (in the main) after surgery before embarking upon any treatment so let’s see.
Left breast – Invasive Carcinoma:
- Invasive tumour type Ductal NST
- Invasive tumour grade 3 ☹️
- Invasive tumour size 9mm
- Lymphovascular invasion Not seen 😁
- Margins 1.5mm posterior, 4mm superior, rest more than 10mm
- Molecular markers Triple negative ☹️
Right breast – No evidence of malignancy 😁
Histology report interpreted:
- Ductal cancer of ‘No Specific Type’. Brilliantly vague. “It is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means for the diagnosis to be made all other specific types need to be ruled out.” Even more confusing 🤔. It is however the most common type of invasive cancer accounting for 55% of all breast incidence on diagnosis.
- Grade 3 cancer means the cells are growing at the quickest rate 😢. Lucky it was found in good time when it was still small and taken away along with the rest of my breast tissue 👍
- Size is self explanatory but is important in the determining of treatment. Mine was very small but from the grading we know it was particularly nasty. Our Clare by comparison had three 6cm lumps and so had chemo first to shrink them – this was of course before she knew she had the BRCA2 gene mutation! “Size matters when it comes to breast cancer, but size is only one of the personality features on the list. You can have a small cancer that behaves like a bully, or a large cancer that is mild-mannered.”– Marisa Weiss, M.D., chief medical officer, Breastcancer.org
- Cancer was not found in my lymph nodes meaning it hasn’t spread to my lymphatic system 👍
- Margins – I’m not sure about and need to pick up with Mr Turton at my next appointment. My understanding is this is how much breast tissue was taken out and from where. I was under the impression that all my tissue was taken out hence a mastectomy but feel this part needs a bit more interpretation.
- ‘A diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer means that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel most breast cancer growth–estrogen, progesterone, and the HER-2/neu gene– are not present in the cancer tumor.’ About 15% to 20% of breast cancers are triple-negative. What this means in reality is that triple-negative cancers usually are more aggressive, harder to treat, and more likely to come back than cancers that are hormone-receptor-positive and/or HER2-positive. ☹️. However my breast tissue with the breast cancer has now been removed and what has been left is implants, animal fat and a very small amount of my own breast tissue. So much so that I’m no longer on the breast screening programme. For any rogue cancer cells that may have travelled through my blood stream they’ll be obliterated shortly when I start my chemo 👍
No cancer in the right breast 😁
So in summary:
- Boobs are looking brill and healing well
- Drains are out
- The cancer has not spread
- The type of cancer is ill-defined but has now been removed
- Chemo will smash any cancer dregs that may be hanging around to pieces anyway
Liz Spice, 6th July 2017