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|Concerns about Breast Cancer Family History
Questions on genetics, family history & breast cancer.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|9/29/2010||My mother had a "ribbon-like" form of breast cancer that went undetected for several years. It was never picked up on any of her numerous mammograms or ultrasounds. She found a lump when she was 44 (premenopausal) and after many tests, her doctors insisted the lump was benign. Over a year later, despite her doctors' advice (to ignore the lump) my mom went in for a lumpectomy. When they started the procedure, they were shocked to find massive breast cancer in the whole breast. The doctors said the other breast was "fine" but she opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Good thing, because the other breast was just as engulfed with cancer. Bilateral Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Estrogen Receptor (ER) Positive Grade 3 (Grade 3 cancers are the most different looking and considered the most aggressive.)My mother had breast discharge and/or galactorrhea. Cancer of unknown origin took my maternal grandmother's life at age 64. Though she was checked regularly, her cancer was undetected until it was too late. She lived in a very small South Carolina town and the doctors there were not the greatest.I have breast milk, breast discharge and/or galactorrhea. I am not nursing or expressing. (I haven't in 2 years.) Because of my strong family history of breast cancer, I am considering a prophylactic bilateral nipple and skin sparing mastectomy with expanders and then implants. I would love to hear your thoughts on the success of this procedure.I am concerned about how my breasts will look after the reconstruction. What type outcomes have you seen in cases like mine?What is your opinion about saline vs. gummy bear implants or other silicone implants?Can they liposuction some fat out of somewhere else and add it to the breasts and implants to make them look more natural?How does the surgeon determine where the incisions/scars will be? Are they ever along the base of the breast horizontally? Or around the nipple?Is there a way of boosting your circulatory system before surgery so that the tissue will be more receptive and viable?I am trying to decide between Johns Hopkins and George Washington Hospital. Any thoughts?Does insurance usually cover it with my type family history? (Cigna)Are there any other questions I should ask my breast surgeon and/or plastic surgeon?I really appreciate your help. This service, your advice and encouragement are so important to people like me who face all these decisions.|
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|9/29/2010||most questions answered in previous posting. to boost healing a key is to not be a smoker. eat a well balanced diet. not be morbidly obese. exercise regularly.surgical incisions are dependent on surgeon's preference. For those doing skin sparing but not nipple sparing it is made around the edge of the areola (at Hopkins). for those having nipple and areola also saved along with skin some surgeons do small incision in the lower mammary fold underneath the breast; others do an incision in a different spot. if wanting nipple sparing, request to be seen by Dr Tsangaris. He also does the mammary fold incision usually.|
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