Invasive ductile breast cancer: What should I expect?

Posted by ellerbracke @ellerbracke, May 9 6:04am

I was just diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer.. Caught early, pretty localized, barely invasive. Lumpectomy on 6/2 (with sampling of sentinel lymph nodes, which show clear on ultrasound). Probably either, or both, of hormone therapy or radiation treatment afterwards. Any advice/input regarding what to be aware of, or what to expect?

This seems to be almost ridiculous to mention while waiting for my breast cancer to be typed, but what does one do when your left breast is a B-, so is your bra, and your right lobe is close to a D? Does not fit anywhere…………. can’t compress. Wearing loose stuff, but sideways mirror view is hilarious. Well, not for me – I could be an ad in “before and after” for breast enhancement. Going on 2 1/2 weeks past lumpectomy. Lymph node area still super tender. How does one avoid moving one’s arm? Each time I do, the area gets disturbed. Easing up, but still, summer time with perspiration under arms with fresh incisions is not the best combination. Just frustration talking.

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@ellerbracke

This seems to be almost ridiculous to mention while waiting for my breast cancer to be typed, but what does one do when your left breast is a B-, so is your bra, and your right lobe is close to a D? Does not fit anywhere…………. can’t compress. Wearing loose stuff, but sideways mirror view is hilarious. Well, not for me – I could be an ad in “before and after” for breast enhancement. Going on 2 1/2 weeks past lumpectomy. Lymph node area still super tender. How does one avoid moving one’s arm? Each time I do, the area gets disturbed. Easing up, but still, summer time with perspiration under arms with fresh incisions is not the best combination. Just frustration talking.

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Is there a specialized medical shop in your area? They might be able to help with a bra?

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@ellerbracke

This seems to be almost ridiculous to mention while waiting for my breast cancer to be typed, but what does one do when your left breast is a B-, so is your bra, and your right lobe is close to a D? Does not fit anywhere…………. can’t compress. Wearing loose stuff, but sideways mirror view is hilarious. Well, not for me – I could be an ad in “before and after” for breast enhancement. Going on 2 1/2 weeks past lumpectomy. Lymph node area still super tender. How does one avoid moving one’s arm? Each time I do, the area gets disturbed. Easing up, but still, summer time with perspiration under arms with fresh incisions is not the best combination. Just frustration talking.

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Ellerbracke, this is an excellent question. Would you mind starting a new discussion about clothing, bra fitting and what to do when your breasts aren't the same size? I know everyone has faced this issue and I'd like to dedicate a topic to it.

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@colleenyoung

Ellerbracke, this is an excellent question. Would you mind starting a new discussion about clothing, bra fitting and what to do when your breasts aren't the same size? I know everyone has faced this issue and I'd like to dedicate a topic to it.

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Well, I was hoping that the swelling would go down sooner rather than later. No luck so far. Perhaps a very small change, but still way too much boob on the lumpectomy side. Will see radiologist on Tuesday to discuss radiation. From what I read, there’s another set of issues awaiting me with skin irritation, and perhaps more swelling. Yuck! And the area under the arm where the lymph nodes were removed is of course still tender and somewhat painful. Dusting with cornstarch helps some, but in 85 degree weather with 80% humidity nothing really stops the irritation. I will ask around regarding specialized bra shops…… and I just had a really fancy dress custom made that has a very close fit at the bustline. Bummer!

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@ellerbracke

Well, I was hoping that the swelling would go down sooner rather than later. No luck so far. Perhaps a very small change, but still way too much boob on the lumpectomy side. Will see radiologist on Tuesday to discuss radiation. From what I read, there’s another set of issues awaiting me with skin irritation, and perhaps more swelling. Yuck! And the area under the arm where the lymph nodes were removed is of course still tender and somewhat painful. Dusting with cornstarch helps some, but in 85 degree weather with 80% humidity nothing really stops the irritation. I will ask around regarding specialized bra shops…… and I just had a really fancy dress custom made that has a very close fit at the bustline. Bummer!

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I just completed the 3 session Photon radiation at Mayo on Friday. 3 days in a row and done. You do need to meet certain stage and age criteria to be a candidate for this.

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@sandyrob

I just completed the 3 session Photon radiation at Mayo on Friday. 3 days in a row and done. You do need to meet certain stage and age criteria to be a candidate for this.

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Hope it all went well and you are feeling good!! Congratulations!

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@sandyrob

I just completed the 3 session Photon radiation at Mayo on Friday. 3 days in a row and done. You do need to meet certain stage and age criteria to be a candidate for this.

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Oncotype score 9, age 72. Does this align with what allowed you to have the 3 day accelerated radiation treatment?

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@ellerbracke

Oncotype score 9, age 72. Does this align with what allowed you to have the 3 day accelerated radiation treatment?

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I could not say for sure. This I found out about through getting a second opinion. Age, yes. Over age 70. I am early stage , non-aggressive, Grade 1, they did not feel a need to do an Oncotype score.

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I had an oncotype score of 25, stage one, no cancer in lymph system BUT my tumor was upgraded from a two to a three. Because of this I am doing 4 chemo treatments. You are very lucky and can count your blessings you found your cancer early. Also good for you doing a second opinion. The oncotype test discovered that my tumor was more aggressive. Had I not done this test I may have never done the much needed Chemo.

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I had an oncotype score of 51 and I was 70 when I found it last April 2020. Invasive ductal cancer Stage 1 grade 3 with no lymph node involvement but it was very close to my chest wall. So had 4 rounds of chemo and no radiation. I have a 20% chance or recurrence so I have been on all 3 AI’s with terrible side effects on each one of them. So day 3 on Tamoxifen. 🙏🙏🙏 that I can tolerate them. So I am just going to look at I have 80% chance of never seeing it again😀😀😀

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With all the most serious of questions and concerns regarding the initial finding and treatment of localized breast cancer – the reality did not really hit me until a week or so after surgery – did I or did I not got a really iffy surgeon? Time was of the essence, recommendation was high, actual interaction was a 3-minute conversation in his office, followed by a “hey” long enough to scribble his initials on the boob to be done. Last / first I saw of him. Plus, seems like other than plucking the lymph nodes, he just decided to do a horizontal slash and go from there. 8 weeks coming up, and still very tender, red areas under arm. In currently 104 heat index. I’ll manage, but did I miss out on some pretty important emotional support? Not a cry baby, but whole interaction of pre/post surgery is “hey”. Nope. I did do the evaluation sheet, for once. Just wondering if I’m too critical. This is at the Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg, SC, a very highly regarded institution, associated with MD Anderson. So quality of care is given.

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@ellerbracke

With all the most serious of questions and concerns regarding the initial finding and treatment of localized breast cancer – the reality did not really hit me until a week or so after surgery – did I or did I not got a really iffy surgeon? Time was of the essence, recommendation was high, actual interaction was a 3-minute conversation in his office, followed by a “hey” long enough to scribble his initials on the boob to be done. Last / first I saw of him. Plus, seems like other than plucking the lymph nodes, he just decided to do a horizontal slash and go from there. 8 weeks coming up, and still very tender, red areas under arm. In currently 104 heat index. I’ll manage, but did I miss out on some pretty important emotional support? Not a cry baby, but whole interaction of pre/post surgery is “hey”. Nope. I did do the evaluation sheet, for once. Just wondering if I’m too critical. This is at the Gibbs Cancer Center in Spartanburg, SC, a very highly regarded institution, associated with MD Anderson. So quality of care is given.

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That is about all I saw of my surgeon, 'tho' we had about 20 minutes for the decision of best process the first time we met. And she did call me the day after to see how I was doing. But I don't think the surgeons are to have much interactions. This was at Mayo. The rest of the care and the compassion is to come from your oncologist and the rest of the team… This is how I understand the process. Do you have a good care team with an Oncologist now? They should provide the ongoing care and any of your concerns… At least that is my understanding and the way it was with me.

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