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Cancer screening.. what turned out to be important
Old 04-05-2012, 08:01 PM   #1
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Cancer screening.. what turned out to be important

More than some may ever want to know about this subject...

I am a current example of breast cancer screening. About 6 weeks ago I had a routine mammogram. The results of that screen were compared with a previous mammogram that is about 2 years old. One breast mam was suspicious so it was compared with the previous mam, there was a CHANGE. That was what caused my physician to insist on a biopsy.

Concurrently I was asked to participate in a study that compared mammogram to a breast MRI and a breast specific gamma imaging test (BSGI). Then I had a stereotactic biopsy of the suspicious spot from the mammogram and another one identified by the MRI/BSGI. The first was found to have invasive ductal carcinoma, grade 1 and ductal carcinoma in situ, the second did not find malignancy.

The MRI and BSGI targets blood flow, it didn't find the cancer as differentiated from the rest of the breast blood flow.

What is critical is the ability of the radiologist to compare mammograms over time. Although they were conducted in different cities I asked my former health care providers to provide my old images and reports routinely.* I recommend that practice.

My surgeon expects to find a very small cancer that hasn't spread, but as we all know there are no promises. I expect to go on our next recreation of the 60s, Alaska by ferry, the first of June.

MD humor: 5 years ago I had a colonoscopy where they excised a polyp. The current team found it funny that they lost that puppy in my intestinal tract. "Can you believe that?"
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
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Oh my goodness! Sending good thoughts that your excellent medical treatment continues.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your experience...

Best wishes from TX.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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Oh Brat! How scary. I'll be thinking of you and hoping for the best possible result from the biopsy.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Brat, we sure hope this ends well for you.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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Best wishes, Brat. You know how often these turn out well in the end.

Heart is with you.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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"I expect to go on our next recreation"

Good for you, attitude and outlook make a big difference.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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Brat, Best wishes for a quick and total recovery.

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5 yr. and counting cancer survivor
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #10
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Hang in there kid. I got money on ya!
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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I'm so sorry to hear this, Brat. Big hugs coming your way from north of the border. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:54 PM   #12
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In many ways this was a blessing, it was caught very early. The lesson for all of us is to keep good records of tests of all types so that they can be used to look for changes in our health. Comparing an old x ray to a new one is a cost effective approach to finding potential problems. The reason I bring this up is that there is a report in the news of tests that do not improve your health. The study that I am a part of confirms that.

I appreciate every-one's good wishes and prayers. And while we are at it send some of those to the physicians and scientists who are treating and curing so many human conditions.

My health care team is top notch. The surgeon said I am healthier than most of her patients 25 years my junior. I plan to dance at my grand-baby's wedding.

FWIW, I am in my 70s. If I had been in my 40s it would have been much more serious. The tissue that is a problem will be removed and in combination with radiation statistically the outcome is comparable to more radical approaches. At this point I can joke about the conditions of an old lady's figure and wonder how I could finagle a lift in the process.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #13
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Best wishes to you during your treatment and recovery.

Have any other women in your family had the same issue?

Do you know your Vitamin D level?
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:33 PM   #14
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I'm sorry about this, Brat. You have far more equanimity about this than most would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat View Post
MD humor: 5 years ago I had a colonoscopy where they excised a polyp. The current team found it funny that they lost that puppy in my intestinal tract. "Can you believe that?"
I guess the good news is that they didn't send in a second away team to recover the missing artifacts...
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:34 PM   #15
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I take Vit. D daily.

My mother had an encapsulated cancer (it was not invasive) at the age of 82. Hers was palpable, mine is so small it needs a tracer from the biopsy for the surgeon to find. Mom lived for another 10 years after a mastectomy. Radiation was not an option for her as she was frail and had Parkinson's.

I don't think it is possible to attribute risk factors, other than age, at this stage. I took the estrogen/progesterone pill for about 10 years when that was in vogue to prevent heart disease in women and in high school I took advanced physics where I did experiments with radioactive isotopes.. but golly that was over 50 years ago.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I'm sorry about this, Brat. You have far more equanimity about this than most would.


I guess the good news is that they didn't send in a second away team to recover the missing artifacts...
After the colonoscopy they recommended a repeat in 5 years. I suspect that was their solution to the missing artifact problem.

My best friend in high school is a now retired general surgeon whose specialty was cancer patients. He has looked at the CV of my team assures me that they have great reputations with little comments like 'she was at Sloan, looks good.' He practiced at Anderson, Sloan Kettering and Cleveland Clinic. I can afford to have an attitude with a back bench like that.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #17
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Best wishes for a good result !
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:52 PM   #18
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Yes Brat, I hope things go very well for you.

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Old 04-06-2012, 02:50 PM   #19
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Best of luck Brat, it sounds like your outcome is going to be good with the early stage and thorough medical care. I hope your treatment is easy and takes care of the issue. Sending good thoughts to you!
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:24 PM   #20
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Good luck with your procedure. Sounds like things were caught early.

Not so for a friend of mine who died this past week at age 52. Way too early. She was 51 when they found stage 4 colon cancer, having spread to the liver. She had not had a colonscopy at 50 as they recommend - perhaps the odds might have been a bit better if she had.

I was amazed at a Dr. Oz show last year that said that stage 1 colon cancer is 95% survivable, whereas the odds for stage 4 are slim. If you are 50, and haven't had your baseline test yet, what are you waiting for?
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