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5 days ago · Surgery for lymphedema in Breast Cancer

I have had bilateral breast cancer 11 years apart and am going for a mastectomy/reconstruction this month. I do not have lymphedema, but am very afraid of getting it. I am not appreciative of most of the medical people I have dealt with having a cavalier attitude about it. If it was them, the story would be different. They just want to do their jobs the easiest way possible. A lot of people in the medical field do not even know about it! WTH? You would think cancer centers would be up to date and be sympathetic about it. Well, forget that…the issue is that the two plastic surgeons that will be doing my reconstruction both do lymph node surgery. I am in NJ. That is not convenient for you, but you may have friends or relatives locally. Anyway, look up Eric Chang MD. Read what healthgrades says about him. They both do microsurgery. Dr Ibrahim is my doctor, but is Dr Chang’s associate at the Plastic Surgery Center.

Mon, Jun 29 7:21am · Sentinal lymph node biopsy after mastectomy. in Breast Cancer

I have had BC twice with sentinel nodes removed for both lumpectomies. I am having a prophylactic mastectomy in July and the surgeon told me that if I was to get cancer again they would have to do an axillary node dissection. Since then I have found information saying that sentinel node biopsy can still be performed after mastectomy and I am curious if anyone has been able to get it done or knows more information about it.

Sun, Jun 28 10:44pm · Sentinal lymph node biopsy after mastectomy. in Breast Cancer

Has anyone had set an a lymph node biopsy after a mastectomy? My doctor tells me that after a mastectomy you have to have an axillary dissection. I have read that it is possible to get the sentinal lymph node biopsy and I’m wondering if anyone has had it or knows of a doctor or facility that performs this.

Sun, Jun 28 3:29pm · Genetic mutations that can cause breast cancer in Breast Cancer

I have the CHEK2 mutation…BC twice 11 years apart. No lymph node involvement. My genetic counselor says we have identical genes in every cell in our body. Saying that, is that why we can get breast cancers in distant parts of our bodies? Maybe checking lymph nodes is not the answer. Since this idea just came to me, I am thinking there may be a connection. Is getting a bilateral mastectomy really a positive solution. I am seeing my plastic surgeon on Tuesday and see what he says. I can also email the counselor, but now that I’m getting the mastectomy she might not respond. Input anyone?

Sun, Jun 28 10:15am · abdominal swelling/bloating after a double mastectomy in Breast Cancer

I have had bilateral breast cancer with lymph nodes removed and I seem to have to fight to get proper treatment. I was discussing my request for lymphedema consideration when I went for blood work etc. and the surgeon blew me off. I asked her what if I had no arms and she said I was carrying things too far. This was at a cancer center that was connected to a hospital that had a trauma center! Goodbye surgeon. Another time I got a call from a nurse in my doctor’s office about adding “patient requests blood be drawn from the foot because of breast cancer.” The nurse made a comment about good luck with that (my words). If people got proper training, they would know about lymphedema and be able to give proper treatment. As a matter of fact, I have found two phlebotomists that will honor this. I do not get my blood drawn at the cancer center nor the hospital associated with it. Medical procedures always scare me now. The nurses/techs give you bs when you ask for proper treatment….you can’t get lymphedema if you only have 1 node removed…you won’t get if after 10 years…you won’t get it if they take blood from your hand…they can’t take blood pressure in your leg…it goes on and on. I am getting bilateral mastectomy/breast reconstruction (after finding out I have a genetic mutation) next month and am scared to death about my hospital experience. I guard my hands and arms like you wouldn’t believe. For me, the BC nightmare never ends. Thanks for you input.

Sun, Jun 28 9:43am · CTS5 and Oncotype DX in Breast Cancer

Thank you for the information. Is it the hospital that keeps the slides? This test has never been mentioned to me. I will ask my oncologist about it the next time I see him. I think it is a moot point for me as I am getting the bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction next month and I have the CHEK2 mutation, but knowledge is a good thing. I have never come across a mention of the test with all the reading I have done on BC and related topics.

Sat, Jun 27 8:16am · CTS5 and Oncotype DX in Breast Cancer

I had never heard of CTS5 until I read it on this site. I am not quite sure how it works. From what I read, it is a calculator that figures the chances of getting a recurrence of breast cancer after 5 years of taking an aromatase inhibitor. I am not sure if this calculator is figured at the time of cancer being found or after 5 years of aromatose inhibitor usage. I am thinking it is used to see if it would be beneficial to extend the usage of aromatose inhibitors beyond 5 years. My first incidence of breast cancer was 13 years ago…DCIS and I took tamoxifen for 5 years. The second time I got it in the other breast 2 years ago, I had the Oncotype DX test done and it suggested I did not need chemo as my chance of getting BC again was less than the score of 25 and this test is done from the tissue/information of the cancer itself. Then last fall I found out I have the CHEK2 genetic mutation which, I think, changes everything. I am wondering how the CTS5 can determine if additional usage of the medicine would be helpful when not all of that information goes into the calculator. There are a lot of variables. Also, is the Oncotype DX score relevant? The genetic mutation is not considered in that info as far as I know. How could it be if the mutation has not been found yet?

As far as the aromatose inhibitors go, I will take what my doctor recommends and have no problem with taking it for more than 5 years if it will help prevent getting BC again. Also, I am scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy/diep flap reconstruction in a couple of weeks. I am not too excited about this, but want to control my situation as much as possible.

I had some discomfort while taking tamoxifen, but could deal with it knowing that it might help lessen my chances of getting BC again and figuring that the discomfort showed that the medicine was working. I have had some minor issues with the anastrozole, but will deal with it. I guess the worst thing that I am experiencing is an occasional shooting pain in my left wrist. I found that putting ice on it has helped. My oncologist always inquires if I am having trouble with my hands, so I guess that complaint is common.

I sure would appreciate input and opinions. Thanks.

Fri, Jun 5 8:25am · Necrosis after Reconstruction in Breast Cancer

I am scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy with diep reconstruction in July. It was originally scheduled for April but was put off because of the virus. I am hopeful that all will go smoothly and that I will heal quickly. I am very interested in this conversation and hopeful that other people will contribute. I have faith in my Doctors. I will have a breast surgeon and two plastic surgeons. This way the diep can be done at the same time as the mastectomy and shorten the actual surgery time. There will be a plastic surgeon doing either side. I have already had two lumpectomies and am taking this next step because I have learned I have a genetic mutation. I decided to progress this way rather than get BC a third time and go from there. Even tho I can get BC again, I feel I am lessening the chances. Also, my oncologist told me that if I get BC again, it will probably be very aggressive, possibly triple negative, because I have taken tamoxifen and this time am taking anaztrozole which affect the hormones.