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Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Thursday, January 06, 2011 kathi, Community Member, asks

Q: I was diagnosed with invasive well differentiated ductal carcinoma grade one

associated with extensive ductal carcinoma in site two focalized with numerous micro fibrocalcifications. What does thar mean?    Will this entail a masectomy? Chemo? radiation, all of the above?

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/ 6/11 8:13pm

Hi Kathi - This sounds like a pretty straightforward diagnosis of what sounds like, thankfully, a less aggressive type of breast cancer. I think you have invasive ductal carcinoma (commonly known as IDC); along with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is actually considered a "pre-cancer," since it's not invasive, like "true" cancers. Microcaclcifications are also not cancerous, though they sometimes appear when cancer does, as in your case.

 

You'll need a LOT more information before treatment decisions are made. It sounds like you've had a biopsy, but no surgery? I'd guess you'll have surgery (lumpectomy, if the tumor is small; possibly mastectomy, if the tumor is large or there are lots of smaller tumors). They'll also check a few of the lymph nodes under your arm; if they're clear (no cancer), then you probably wouldn't need chemo. If you have a lumpectomy you'll have radiation afterwards; if a mastectomy, probably no radiation. There's a good chance you'll take 5 years or so of hormone therapy drugs.

 

Bottom line: though cancer is always a kick in the gut, your description sounds like "so far, so good" at this point. If you can get a "good" cancer diagnosis - well, you don't have the very best, but better than most. So take heart, OK? And come on back here whenever you have questions - we're here to help. PJH

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By kathi, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/06/11, First Published: 01/06/11