Although we are still waiting for breast tissue analysis results, he was able to give me 2 senario's:
- We know from previous biopsies that the DCIS was estrogen positive - meaning the cell growth was stimulated by estrogen.
- We don't yet know if the tissue was progesterone positive or not.
- And we don't know whether the cells were Her2 positive or negative.
- my age = 35yrs - young to get breast cancer
- that my DCIS was grade 3 - meaning it was quite aggressive and fast growing
- that there was a 0.3cm bit of invasive cancer (they normally only suggest chemo from 1cm - dependant on other variables) that had invaded micro blood and lymph vessels.
- If the cancer was progesterone negative and Her2 negative => treatment would include chemo for 3 months and Tamoxifen for 5 yrs
- If the cancer was progesterone positive and Her2 positive => treatment would include chemo for 6 months + Herceptin for 1yrs + Tamoxifen
Breast cancer is not like some cancers where, once you have gone beyond a certain time period, will not return. It can return at any point.
So, without treatment in the next 10yrs without treatment, I have a 6% chance of the breast cancer returning.
If i have the oncology treatment, I will only increase my chance of no recurrence in the next 10 yrs by 4%.
So I will then have a 98% chance of the breast cancer not returning in the next 10 yrs after the treatment.
94% chance no recurrence with no oncology treatment
98% chance of no recurrence with oncology treatment
The conversation yesterday was very academic therefore quite easy, and I walked out with a stat report and a prescription that looked like:
- T + C + TAMOXIFEN (if results are negative)
- T + C + H + TAMOXIFEN (if results are positive)
All quite easy to deal with until the physical reality of actually living through the process hits.
I am between a rock and a hard place trying to decide what to do next. I need to get my breast tissue results before I can think about it further.
Strange, but now the double mastectomy seems like light work compared to the next step.
I think the thing I am most nervous about most are the side effects of the suggested treatment.
Read on this site for more info on the T and C:
I feel quite calm though and am getting better at living in the moment and holding my centre. That said, this decision is not easy.