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Question
Posted by: Ash | 2005/07/14

Cancer of the breast

Good morning
My mom ( age 72) recently was diagnosed with having abnormal cells in her left breast ( 2 of her sisters have full-blown cancer,and so to did their paternal grandmom). The initial mammogram and biopsy diagnosed that it was in the beginning stages. This was removed and we were told the cancer is DCIS with the specific cancer cell sizing 1.5 cm. The surgeon futhermore informed us that the breast had several culpitations.
A day after the removal of the tissue , more bad news followed.It now have been suggested to opt for a mastectomy since they found more 'bad cells' on the edge of the wedge that was removed....this emotionally broke her....we don't have much time to decide.
From our understanding her sisters conditions were much further than hers....why then this radical option? Both had chemo and radiotherapy only.
Pls advice me at
1.what stage would my mom be?
2. is mastectomy the best option?
3. shouldn't a mastectomy be the very last resort?
4. what is the chances of it having spread to other organs?

Thanx for your excellent collumn.

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Our expert says:
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Ash, the surgeon is opting for the mastectomy because he feels that at this stage he can cure her as the cancer hasn’t spread to the rest of the body yet. It doesn’t help doing a mastectomy for advanced cancer as the cells have spread through the body already. If the lymph glands in her armpit are free of cancer the chances are good that the cancer hasn’t spread to the rest of the body yet. Good luck.

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