“Probaly Nothing” Was Breast Cancer!

by Maggan

in Biopsy,Diagnosis,Surgical Oncology


Whatever it was that showed up on my friend Elise’s mammogram, it needed a biopsy. A different doctor might have said “Let’s wait and see. Come back in six months.” But not Dr. Guru, he claimed that a biopsy was “the medically prudent thing to do.” So Elise went ahead and had her biopsy “just in case.”

It was a lucky thing too. Elise’s voice was shaking a bit when she told me they found cancer.  This was the second time in twenty years she had received this dreaded diagnosis. You’d think one gets jaded, but that is not how it works. If anything you are far more scared the second time around. You cannot help but think: “What is wrong with me?”

Dr. Guru assured her “it ” was early and extremely unlikely to have spread. She was relieved thinking she could probably avoid the much feared chemo therapy. Elise had a mastectomy, what the heck, her other breast was already gone. Why not even out the front side and avoid radiation?

That evening in the hospital, Dr. Guru stopped by her bed to check on her, and to tell her that he found a cancer cell in her sentinel node. On top of that, it was a different kind of cancer than the one he found in the breast. Elise could tell how shocked the normally cool Dr. Guru was at this unexpected turn of events.

After a review of the pathology report on both cancers, Elise’s oncologist allowed her to skip chemo therapy and opt for hormone therapy only. She is doing fine – so far. That is the horrible thing with cancer: you look good, feel good, and whoops, a little cancer cell jumps up and rakes havoc with your life.

I am telling you this to let you know: always look into something that is “probably nothing.” Yes, a breast biopsy is not pleasant, but it is no worse than getting a crown at the dentist, and infinitely much less painful than a bee sting. Remember the words from Dr. Susan Love: breast cancer is not about statistics, it is about the individual.

When you hope for the best always plan for the worst. Medically, it is the prudent thing to do.

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