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Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Breast Cancer?

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Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Breast Cancer?

Postby bedyw » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:01 am

My mum has this.
She will start chemotherapy next week, then get the surgery to remove the lymph nodes the following week, she will also have radiation done.
She will do everything possible, such as removing her breasts.

Has anyone else had this?
Will she be okay?
Please ease my mind.

Thank you, guys.
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Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Breast Cancer?

Postby atzel » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:21 am

I am currently undergoing neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy for Stage IIIb breast cancer. It is also an invasive ductal cancer (IDC) and is constrained only to the breast and local lymph nodes. That makes it known as locally advanced breast cancer (labc).

I had a PET scan that revealed the amount of lymph node involvement. The cancer was nowhere else in my body at the time.

I started chemotherapy on Valentine's Day and I will have a total of eight sessions. I have completed six and should have my next one on July 11. My last chemo will be around August 1.

So far, the chemotherapy has been quite successful! My tumor (originally over 5 cm) is 88% smaller than it was at diagnosis. I am now a candidate for a lumpectomy rather than an automatic mastectomy.

When I have surgery (around the end of August), the doctors will remove what's left of the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue. They will also remove some of the axillary lymph nodes under my arm. If the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes are clear of cancer, the surgery will remain as a lumpectomy. However, if the biopsy reveals cancerous conditions anywhere, then a mastectomy will be done.

Radiation may follow.

Cancer is a difficult journey. Your mom has about nine months ahead of her where she will feel quite out of control of her body. No one can say that things will be "okay," because we're not gifted with seeing the future.

However, there's no reason to suspect that she won't be okay. There are millions of breast cancer survivors in the world . . . why shouldn't your mum be one of them?
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Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Breast Cancer?

Postby eledon » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:24 am

My heart goes out to you as I could not imagine. I wish I had some concrete hope for you. But the best advise I have is to read read read. The more informed you are the more options you (your mom) has, plus it may take away some of the shock. I also recommend buying a "medical dictionary" as you are going to get a whole new vocabulary.

I do know that when my grandmother had her masectomy w/ lymph node removal - it affected her shoulder muscles and that physical therapy (started within days of surgery) was really important for her shoulder/arm use and recovery. I can only imagine that this is probably not your top priority at the moment but if you think of everything you use your arm for it is important. I know while she was in chemo she was so weak my aunt would have to take her arm and help her with the stretches and what not. This could actually be an area where you can really help her.

Best of luck!!!! My heart and prayers go out to you and your mom!!
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Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Breast Cancer?

Postby garran » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:33 am

Yes I have had it although I was stage IIB which isn't really far off 3 anyway and I know lots of people who have had stage III. Your mum has a difficult time ahead of her but it is all doable. I finished my chemo and radiotherapy in April 2010 and it's just like a distant memory now. I still have issues due to my surgery and drugs that I am still taking but I am working and living a 'normal' life and have high hopes that I will not get a recurrence. Removing the breasts does seem very frightening but it's not as bad as it sounds and there are some good reconstruction options. If you saw me in the street you would never know that I have had a mastectomy. Even without a reconstruction the prosthesis are very good.

All I can say is that your mother will be fine. There is no guarantee that it won't come back further in her life but even then there are some good treatments around that can prolong her life for a fair while.

Best of luck to her.
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