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1 7th August 22:41
External User
Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm sure I'll be writing more in the
future. I was diagnosed this morning with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

So I don't know a thing beyond that. I was given four good surgeons to
choose from. Called all of them today. Three of them are on vacation. One
doesn't take my insurance. So the best I could do is to schedule August 12,
when first of the three will be back. Others can see me next week but after
being on the phone today people told me NO! They wouldn't or couldn't
elaborate why, but said emphatically, NO. Wait for one of the big four. So
now, I'll have to worry for three weeks to find out if it's spread, stage,
etc. I think I'll probably be insane by the end of that. So do I schedule
with one of the NO's?

I don't know how long this mass has really been there. At least two months.
And it's very big. I go to the gynecologist every year. But my breasts are
lumpy anyway, so it's always hard for me to tell. So it really does seem to
me that this thing appeared over night, even though that can't be. But my
left arm hurts, maybe psychosomatically, I don't know, and it worries me
that it's spreading away happily. So do I wait for the best.............or
go with a maybe?

Anyway, I'm so glad this group it here.

All the best,

Karyl-38 Mom to two of the coolest boys ever, wife to one amazing man,
friend to as many as I can be.
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2 7th August 22:41
mary k farrell
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

Hi, Karyl:
Welcome to the group. Sorry you're here because of a cancer. I don't
know what you tell you. I've heard that there's usually "time" after
diagnosis to be able to wait for the best physician, but I'm afraid I'd be
inclined to get busy now on the treatment. Three weeks seems like a long
time to me. I hope Tim Jackson is reading this. He's the one who can give
you answers. I'll be watching for comments. I just want to wish you good
luck and welcome you to the family.
Mary K (aka medfit2)

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3 7th August 22:41
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

Hi, welcome to the group you never wanted to join. I know that waiting at this
time is very difficult. Generally, breast cancer is slow growing. However, its
rate of growth is exponential (i.e. one cell becomes two cells, two cells
become four, four cells become 16, 16 cells become, 256, etc.). Breast cancer
usually can't be come detected until the number of cells is 10 to the 9th power
I believe. It's rate of growth is said to double every 3 months, generally.
Again, it is very hard to wait to be seen. One suggestion, is to call the
different dr.'s you are intersted in seeing first thing each morning to see if
they have a cancellation. Oftentimes that will get you in sooner. There might
be someone else who is in a similar situation who has made appt's with more
than one of the dr's you want to see, and they might see another of those dr.'s
first and go with them, cancelling their appt's with the others. Or someone
might need to change an appt time for a variety of other reasons, leaving a
free appt.
Although there might even already be a waiting list for the dr(s), if you check
in regularly the receptionist(s) may remember you first and help you get into
an open slot should it become available.
In the meantime, I'd like to suggest you read Dr. Susan Love's latest book on
Breast Cancer. There is a wealth of information in it. Also, I would like to
suggest you do a google search on breast cancer and "invasive ductal". There
are many different support groups, and the more you ask questions, the more
information you will have to make the best informed decision.
Take care and wishing you all the best. If you have any ?'s, just ask.
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4 7th August 22:42
alexandra koffman
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

Can your GYN make a few calls for you?
Sometimes they can make an appoitment for you quicker.
I would call your insurance company and ask who you should see since you are
having a hard time getting an appoitment.
August 12th isn't a long time to wait for surgery but you are waiting for an
evaluation which I think is unreasonable.
Do you have any cancer centers that are affilated with a medical center ?
Better yet one with a breast center? Most have a policy of seeing a patient
with a new diagnose within 48 hours....bad news is that you maybe examine by
a resident or medical student... but you will get some answers to your
questions and options.
I was diagnosed at age 40....with invasive ductal in 1997 so far so good.

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5 7th August 22:42
External User
Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

Well the thing is, I can't get in sooner because the surgeons are out of
town, on vacation. The first one back, comes into the office on the 12th. I
can definitely see other people sooner, they just aren't recommended and
some of them are downright discouraged by people. I have just received the
general diagnosis this morning from my gynecologist. So I am still waiting
for the evaluation if I want one of the highly recommended breast surgeons.
How soon surgery happens after that, I have no idea. So it could
realistically be another 1-1/2 months until surgery.

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6 7th August 22:42
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?


Just a suggestion...might work? Who did the biopsy? In my case I had gone
for a diagnostic mammogram, followed by and ultra sound because of regular
lumps and bumps. One lump that did not show up on the mammo, showed on the
ultra was suspicious. There 'just happened to be' a dr. who
floated by on his way to another patient. I was fortunate enough to have
the biopsy right there and then. He didn't explain much then, but called to
give me the news 5 days later. Several days later (after the lumpectomy and
before the double mast) I was in the same place for another test related to
my breast cancer. He just happened to walk by again (hmmm....I'm beginning
to wonder why he just 'happens' to be there for me?) and so I boldly
(because that's not me) asked if he would please explain everything to me.
This man, the dr., actually sat down with me for over an hour! and drew
pictures, graphs, had results of my other tests faxed to his office so he
could explain more, and then gave me options.

I guess my point is, possibly you could go to the person who did the biopsy
and ask them all sorts of questions. They will have all the results you
ever wanted....or .... didn't want. Mind you, they won't be able to tell
you what they will find once they go in, but he can at least give you
particulars of the biopsy they did on a day you will never forget.

Good luck to you...
jamie in california
Aug 02 diagnosed with infiltrating lobular
Sep 02 double mast
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7 7th August 22:42
External User
Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

I did pick books up from the library today, including Susan Love's book. As
you all know, it's so frightening to be reading everything in one fell

I know I'll be posting more questions and my experiences. Thanks to you
all. I just wish I could get the ball rolling, instead of lying around
reading and worrying. Now I need to get my slides before I can meet with
the oncologist and have hit a bump in the road getting them. So, ug, I just
will be glad when I get everything together and get in somewhere and get

Thanks again all,

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8 7th August 22:42
tim jackson
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

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9 7th August 22:42
tim jackson
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

Waiting three or four weeks before surgery is normal. Even if you can get
treatment quicker, you really need that sort of length of time to come to
terms with the condition, and to make whatever decisions are necessary. The
question of course is how long you will be expected to wait before treatment
once the surgeon does get back from his vacation. The surgeon's office may
be able to give you some indication of how much delay would be likely.

It is considered to be a significant benefit to be treated by a surgeons
with plenty of experience in this sort of work - ideally a specialist breast
surgeon rather than a general surgeon, although how this works out and what
is the best option does vary from region to region, for example a general
surgeon in a small hospital may in fact have a lot of experience in bc,
whereas in a large hospital it would all have been handled by specialists.

Invasive ductal carcinoma (which is the common or garden variety of be) will
have been growing for several years already, typically ten years, and while
of course delay can only increase the risks, a few weeks makes only a tiny

These waiting times are probably the worst part of this whole process.

Tim Jackson

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10 8th August 16:55
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Posts: 1
Default Wait three more weeks?

<< I did pick books up from the library today, including Susan Love's book. >>

Hi Susan, glad to hear that things are proceding as well as can be expected for
the moment. Re. Susan Love's book, make sure that it is her latest edition
(2001 although it may be 2000).
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