My breast cancer details
Here are some details of my breast cancer with links to read more about it.
- Sharp pains in my breast sent me to my doctor in March 2006. She felt a lump (that I could not feel) and sent me for a mammogram just a few days later. The mammogram doctor did an immediate needle biopsy. Two days later, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
- I have infiltrating ductal carcinoma in the right breast.
- I am currently classified as stage 2, grade 3.
- My lymph nodes were clean, although I have “conspicuous lymphatic space invasion.” My oncologist explained that means there are channels and blood vessels feeding my lymph nodes that have a lot of cancer in them. So, that is mixed news. There are current studies in progress on whether blood vessel invasion is as serious as lymph node invasion.
- The tumor has a Bloom-Scarff-Richardson score of 3+2+3=8, or “grade 3,” meaning it is “poorly differentiated,” which isn’t good news.
- The tumor measured 1.3 cm on the mammogram. However, it ended up being about 2.2 cm for the main tumor, but because it was “poorly differentiated,” it really expanded well beyond that mass. To give you an idea, they excised a tissue mass of 10 cm x 9 cm x 6 cm (about 4 x 3.5 x 2.5 in inches) and did not get all of the cancer.
- I had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy on March 27, 2006. I was left with a six inch incision on my breast and a 3.5 inch incision in my armpit … and still have cancer.
- The cancer is 50 percent progesterone positive and 70 percent estrogen positive, which is good for treatment options.
- I am BRCA1&2 negative which is good news. This means I do NOT have a genetic risk factor that gives women an 85 percent chance of recurrence or a 55 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer.
- I have an Oncotype DX score of 29, which is the high end of intermediate. This means I have a 19 percent chance of distance recurrence (metastatic disease) after 10 years. This completely SUCKS!
- I had dose dense chemotherapy (4AC and 4Taxol, each followed by a shot of Neulasta the next day) from April 28 to Aug. 4, 2006.
- I will have a mastectomy soon.