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Family Support
Questions about breast cancer & family support.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
5/15/2017My mother is 89 years old. She was diagnosed with Invasive ductal carcinoma in her left breast 7 months ago. She Is being treated with Letrozole. The tumor has not changed in size but may have gotten softer. She is wheelchair bound from a mild stroke and Parkinson's. She also has some dementia and severe esophagitis. Both her surgeon and oncologist recommends a simple mastectomy. She had a very small breast sample biopsy but was not screened, but their best guess based on the size of her tumor is at least a stage 3. She is in a care facility and I am her daughter and advocate. I am in crisis mode because she is scheduled for surgery in a few days and I don't know if this is what's best for her at her age. She said it doesn't matter what we do. Would she outlive the cancer? Which is the path to less pain? Would it be better to postpone the surgery? Continue with the pill? Our goal for her is to live comfortably without pain. We are worried about the recovery from surgery as well.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
5/15/2017Anesthesiologist needs to approve her for being put under general anesthesia given her medical conditions and age. its reasonable to request a postponement and ask that her case be presented to their weekly breast cancer tumor board for a team discussion that includes more surgeons and medical oncologists. ideally the hormonal therapy she is one would shrink the tumor or at a minimum keep it from growing more. Due to her immobility she would be at greater risk for a stroke post op too. the doctor treating her at the facility where she resides needs to provide a prediction of her life expectancy, unrelated to this breast cancer. that can better inform and guide the decision making how aggressive to try to manage this tumor.

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