Breast Cancer Blog

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The surgeon called today with the pathology report. The cancerous tumor that was removed from her right breast was 2.4 X 1.8 X 1.5 centimeters. The margins around the tumor were negative, meaning the cancer had not yet spread beyond the tumor. The size of the tumor upgrades her to Stage IIA.

Stage IIA describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • no tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary), OR
  • the tumor measures 2 cm or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, OR
  • the tumor is larger than 2 cm but not larger than 5 cm and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
  • In Sue's case, the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters and has NOT spread to the axillary lymph nodes.

    The biopsy pathology report from a month earlier said she was at Stage I because the tumor was less than 2 centimeters. The 8-13-2012 ultrasound had the mass at 1.6 X 0.8 X 1.6 centimeters. We don't know whether that means the length of the tumor grew by 50% in the month between the ultrasound and the surgery, or whether that means the ultrasound was not as accurate. That is a question I will ask the Oncologist when we see him at the start of her chemotherapy treatments in about 3 weeks. If the tumor did grow that fast in one month, that means it was a very aggressive form of cancer. It is all academic at this point because the tumor is no longer in her body. The surgeon said none of the tumors in her left breast showed any signs of cancer. Hopefully the chemotherapy and other drugs she has to take will prevent the cancer from coming back in another area.

    Sue is continuing to progress each day and has enjoyed all of the visits from friends and family.

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