Thank you for letting me join I'm 44 am married with two children and live in Aveyron and originally from South Africa
I was told last week that I have breast cancer- after a small lump was discovered in my left breast during a routine mammogram and then a biopsy. I have an appointment tomorrow with the surgeon and I'm scared. With a history of breast cancer in my family (my mother had it twice first at 30 and again at 55) and my grandmother in her 60's - should I ask for a BRCA test? I just can't help but worry that if we remove this tumour then another will appear later and I could be in a constant cancer cycle - could I have a double mastectomy now? I don't know what to do or what questions to ask - all advice appreciated thank you. If anyone know about the cancer care in Villefranche de Rouergue hospital i would really like to chat with you.
As sorry as I am that you have had to join the Forum, I am very pleased that you have found us.
It is a very frightening experience to be diagnosed with any kind of cancer, so do not think that you are abnormal in feeling this way. I don't know how good your French is, but I am sure that your surgeon will answer all your questions. I suggest that you have someone with you at the consultation as it is often hard to retain the information and it can all seem rather overwhelming. Of course, you should ensure that your surgeon is aware of your family history. He, or your oncologist, will recommend any further tests which he feels are necessary, including a BRCA test. The fact that you have a history of breast cancer in your family does not necessarily mean that you are carrying the faulty gene. Your surgeon and oncologist will consider the type of breast cancer that you have before taking any decision.
Having a double mastectomy is a huge step and one that may well not be necessary, although the temptation now must be to get rid of the possibility of cancer returning. For the moment, I feel that you should concentrate on the immediate future, a lumpectomy, perhaps with radiotherapy, may be advised rather than a mastectomy. It is possible that any further treatment cannot be identified until after an operation to remove the lump when more thorough tests can be done to identify the type of cancer. You may be offered chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before surgery.
There are so many options it is difficult to know what you should ask. Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure you understand what has been said and that you have an opportunity to ask questions once you have taken on board the information. You should be able to call the surgeon and discuss anything you are not sure of in a few days time.
Please post again when you have had your appointment and let us know how it goes, we'll all be thinking of you,
The response maybe - as Penny says - that it will be answered later on..it is after all only your first visit. My oncologist was slightly amused when I flipped out my little book ,but he got used to saying -even after each treatment session -"and what is in your little book today?"
Good luck and do come back to us with how you get on so we can support you.
A lot of my questions were answered yesterday and my fears put at ease.
It turns out that I have the rare Mucinous breast cancer and that's why it's taken so long to confirm that the biopsy was cancerous.
So I'm having the lump removed tuesday morning and should be home on Wednesday and will wait to see if the glands are infected or if I start with the radiation.
Thank you all so much for your amazing support and encouragement I really do appreciate it
please keep in touch so we can support you if necessary after your operation.. your experiences may also be able to help someone else as a side benefit. good luck!
What was also very interesting was I told that the lump didn't show up on the mammogram at all and since no one could feel it - it was only found with the ultrasound (sonar) scan. How lucky is that?
Thank you again for all your support.