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Biopsy results tomorrow (re. spread) - what questions to ask

14 May 2018 22:02

Hi All,

So after a week with two bank holidays (also had LIberation Day here in Jersey), I'm finally back at the Breast Clinic tomorrow to get my biopsy results.  Obviously I've already been told it's cancer so this is the detail and whether it's spread.

Any ideas what questions to ask?  Should they know stage and grade at this point in time?

I've also just received an appointment for Thursday for chest/abdo/pelvis CT with contrast.  Obviously don't know what this is about yet, is it just standard if they suspect some spread (which the doctor said he did following the mammogram/ultrasound)?

Any thoughts welcome.



Re: Biopsy results tomorrow (re. spread) - what questions to ask

16 May 2018 14:52 in response to TwinTwo

Hi Lorna.. just seen your post. How did you get on at your results appointment?

Re: Biopsy results tomorrow (re. spread) - what questions to ask

16 May 2018 15:15 in response to Cornishpastie

Hi Cornish,

I realised I'd left it a bit late to ask (I have insomnia and am used to other people on forums being up all night too Laugh )

I'll do a general post to update people but basically it has spread to my lymph nodes but not much thankfully.  It's 3.5cm, stage 2, ER+, PR+, but HER- (yay).  They were mentioning lumpectomies and stuff but I know that given the size it's really going to be a mastectomy unless I strongly fight for breast conserving surgery (I won't).  Definitely surgery, definitely chemo, but still to decide what surgery and whether there will be any radiotherapy (for us that's a big deal as we have to fly over to Southampton, it's an overnight stay etc.)  It's an 'average' cancer and they can do a lot of types of chemo here in Jersey so I'm figuring my chemo will at least be here, that will make starting my new job much easier.  I have 4 scans lined up, first is tomorrow (CT with contrast for chest/abdo/pelvis).  They were annoyed that I had actually been sent this appointment before 'officially' being told I have cancer and that it has spread, basically because the appointment gives that all away!  My MDT team was meeting this morning for the first time (re. me anyway, not others obviously).

They also want to MRI my chest, and do a full-body MRI and CT scan (presumably without contrast, don't know yet).  I flagged up that I have a lesion in my pons (discovered last summer) that was assumed at the time to be related to hemiplegic migraines because cancer wasn't in the picture back then, but given that breast cancer is one that can travel to the brain they are going to have another look at that.  I don't imagine it can be biopsied given the location so presumably a more detailed scan to see if it has changed at all, if not then all should be well and it should just be a migraine thing.

They are slightly concerned about my other breast following the mammogram, but didn't biopsy it at the time, so they have mentioned probably rescanning and having another look at it then maybe a biopsy there too.

In other news, the young man (doctor) told me I have "very youthful breasts" and "not enough fat on me to even reconstruct one breast never mind two", so it was a morning of compliments Laugh

That's all I know for the moment.  Boy was it exhausting yesterday having to tell everyone!!!!  Still in bed now but about to get up and go see the world.


Re: Biopsy results tomorrow (re. spread) - what questions to ask

16 May 2018 15:29 in response to TwinTwo


Well a mixed bag there but some definate positives. And they are being very thorough for you which is good. I know you weren't sure what questions to ask but from the sounds of it you got all the info and more that you need to make informed decisions.

Young boy doctor!!!! And he gave you a compliment on your boobs....always a perk lol. 

I remember spending an exhausting day telling people. How did your twin take it as I remember from one of your previous posts you were concerned about genetics.

Re: Biopsy results tomorrow (re. spread) - what questions to ask

16 May 2018 15:45 in response to Cornishpastie

Unfortunately with my twin the phone connection can be a bit poor (Jersey telecomes routes through the French network and my twin is on a tiny island in the Hebrides) so it turned out that first time I'd told her she hadn't quite got that it WAS cancer, more thought I was waiting for the biopsy results.

To be fair to her, I started out doing medicine (got ill in the 1st year) whereas she has very limited medical knowledge, so she didn't understand that sometimes they can tell just from the scan.

So telling her again wasn't great but I think she's more inclined to consider early screening now.  I'm really doing the genetic testing to encourage her to start getting screened (despite it requiring a 12-hour round trip plus at least 1 overnight stay on the mainland and her husband getting the day off work to look after their son).  I'll probably tell her it's positive even if it isn't, just to get her to go, then tell her the truth afterwards.  I am very against lying but I think it's too important that she starts getting screened.

Other than that she's okay, she has no lumps or symptoms of anything thankfully.  I'm meant to see her the first week in June but it's looking like I might have to cancel.  So I'll see if she's happy for me to fly her and my nephew over here for a week so I can see him (and her Laugh )  It's weird having a 'son' that is yours but isn't yours and not getting to see him grow up.

Re: Biopsy results tomorrow (re. spread) - what questions to ask

16 May 2018 16:14 in response to TwinTwo

Wow you two decided to live in remote places....although jersey is much warmer and appealing to me than the Hebrides lol. Must make it hard to connect if phone lines are also a bit dodgy.

I like the idea of you getting them to come yo you so you can still see them. I think a lot of us take it for granted that we can pop along to our local hospitals for tests and treatments. 12 hours and overnight stays for tests must feel like a mission! I got both my sister's to get mammograms as our mum wasnt raised by her biological family so we dont know anything about genetics.

Let me know how you get on x