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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index


I am so sorry to hear about the results of the mammogram and as difficult as it is right now, try not to think the worst, which is what you seem to be doing (ie. imagining that they have to remove your entire breast and your having ovarian cancer at the same time .. I am almost positive that this will not be the case).

Intraductal breast cancer may be well contained and if they found it through the mammogram as opposed to your being able to feel it, chances are that it is still in a very early stage. This means that they will probably be able to get very clear margins by removing a very small area of the breast. I am not sure if they can stage it right now from the biopsy or if they have to wait until your surgery is done. Depending upon this, you may or may not require chemo or radiation after the surgery. If it is cancer in situ, you will most likely not and the surgery will be curative. However, depending upon the type of breast cancer that you have, you may have to go on one of these hormone supressing drugs (like Tamoxifen, Herceptin or equivalents) in order to prevent a recurrence. Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. You don't have all of the facts yet and you may end up having to have a curative surgery with or without radiation and that's it ! Yes be prepared for the worst but ALWAYS hope for the best.

Breast cancer surgery is usually done by a general surgeon (hopefully someone who does many of these types of cases) and not by a gynecological oncologist (who usually does uterine, ovarian, cervical, peritoneal and vaginal cancers). If you know anyone else who has gone through this diagnosis, seek them out and get their advice. It is also extremely important that you don't despair and KNOW that you will definitely get through this. Unfortunately, breast cancer has been in the media and public eye for some time drumming terror into our hearts. You cannot even walk into a change room these days without seeing the little pink cards telling you to check your breasts because something awful is growing in there, sight unseen. Do not let this fear get to you (as difficult as it is). Breast cancer is an illness and your doctors will do what they must so that you can put this behind you and go back to living your life as before. After your surgery, you will need to take some precautions (such as more frequent scans) and make a few changes but this will not ruin your life. I know a number of women who have gone through this diagnosis and most if not all of them have actually changed their lives for the better and now have a much greater appreciation for the simpler things in life.

Your doctor is correct in saying that when it comes to solid components on ovarian cysts, an MRI will be able to see more detail. However, I am confused as to why he could not see this solid section in the cyst. At any rate, the chances of this thing being cancerous are next to nil, even with your diagnosis of breast cancer (yes having one raises your risk of having the other but the chances of your having both breast and ovarian cancer at the same time is ... well ... highly unlikely). If the cyst has no solid components, then it is most likely a simple serous cyst and the fact that you have lived with it for so many years is a very good sign. If it has solid components then it should be taken out just to be absolutely sure but again it is most likely harmless. I doubt that you would be able to have both the abdominal and the breast surgery at the same time. They involve two different surgeons and two different areas of the body. If you do end up having to have some reconstructive surgery, this would also be done separately (the most important thing is to take out the bad cells first, then you can think about the reconstruction later .. however, you may not even need reconstructive surgery).

Lean on your sister at this time. Sisters are wonderful and I am ever so grateful to have one of these myself. If there are any support groups in your area or at the hospital, take advantage of this and attend at least one meeting to see if you will benefit. If your daughter wants to participate then she can come with you to one of these meetings. Do not push people away who want to help. I realize that you need time for now to digest what is happening and this completely normal but try to include your family as much as possible. This will help all of you. Surrounding yourself with your family at this time is the healthiest thing you can do. You know as well as I do that when you are alone your mind begins to go (or panic) a mile a minute so having loving family around will ease these moments. Also, the support of someone who has gone through what you are going through is extremely beneficial and I hope that someone on these boards who has had to go through this will give you more experienced advice than mine.

If you need to talk or vent, feel free to come back. Above all, don't despair and know that you will get through this. Take good care of yourself.


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