Four years ago, in the spring of 2007, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, a form known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). What followed was a grueling time for all of us close to her, and most especially for her and her partner – first waiting for test results, and then the enduring of intense chemotherapy, then surgery, then radiation, and recovery. My mother did recover, thankfully – it was a hard hard road to walk, but she made it through.
I left at 4:30 – this is the report:
Left breast ultrasound was performed demonstrating an approximately 19 x 15 x 20 mm hypoechoic trilobed malignant appearing mass at 9:30 to 10:00, 1 cm from the nipple. The coarse chunky calcification seen in association with this mass on the mammogram can also be seen byultrasound. The mass appears to be somewhat lobulated and macronodular. It is highly concerning and likely represents an invasive breast cancer. The remainder of the left breast was evaluated and is overall unremarkable. Left axillary lymph nodes are identified and have a normal internal architecture by ultrasound. Heterogeneous and amorphous calcifications noted superior to the palpable mass on the mammogram could be identified with ultrasound. These are randomly scattered and located at about 11:00, 3 cm out from the nipple. They are associated with minimally dilated ducts which are embedded in dense echogenic fibroglandular tissue by sonogram. These calcifications and the appearance of the surrounding parenchyma would be more consistent benign fibrocystic changes than DCIS.
Impression left breast: BI-RADS category 5, highly suggestive of malignancy.
Recommendation left breast: As discussed with the patient after reviewing the imaging findings, she will undergo ultrasound-guided core biopsy with clip placement later this afternoon. The biopsy will be reported separately.
Right breast ultrasound findings: Given the highly suspicious findings in the left breast, a right breast ultrasound was also performed demonstrating dense parenchyma throughout and scattered subcentimeter cysts and fibrocystic nodules, none of which is viewed with concern. There are no suspicious solid masses in the right breast. The right axilla has a normal appearance.”
Three days later, Wednesday the 27th, the biopsy results came back. I have invasive ductal cancer with lobular features. The tumor is both ER positive (60%) and PR positive(40%), with cell nuclei rating of 2. Given the visible rate of growth, the proximity of the tumor to the nipple, and that mastectomy (single and bilateral) has already been mentioned repeatedly, I expect rather radical and unwanted body modification in my near future.