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Just diagnosed with invasive ducal carcinoma
3 Posts
Hi, I just joined this platform, I have an appointment with the surgeon today to get more information. Any suggestions on what questions to ask?
10 Replies
Runner Girl
2998 Posts

Hello, welcome, I'm so sorry for what brings you here. I too was diagnosed with IDC. I had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy (2 nodes removed, no cancer in either). My treatment consisted of chemo, radiation, herceptin, tamoxifen and anastrozole.

Here is a list of questions you could ask the surgeon:

What kind of surgery do you recommend for me? Lumpectomy/mastectomy?
Why do I need to have this procedure?
How much of my breast will be removed?
What are the risks and side effects of this surgery?
What are the risks if I decide not to have this surgery?
What are the risks of anesthesia?
What kind of incision am I going to have?
Will I have a lymph node dissection? If so, how many nodes will be removed?
What should I know about taking care of my arm after lymph node dissection?
How will I feel after surgery? Will I need pain medication?
What kind of care will my incision need after surgery?
Will surgical drains be placed in my chest/underarm area? If so, what do I need to know about them?
Will I have stitches that need to be removed later?
How long will I stay in the hospital after the surgery?
How much time should I expect to allow for recovery at home?
Are there physical therapy exercises I should do after surgery? Do you have any information about exercises that I can take with me?
How often will I see you for follow-up care after surgery?
If I have a mastectomy, will I be able to have breast reconstruction?
When will you have the results of my pathology tests? Will I come in to discuss them, or will we talk over the phone?

Good luck with your appointment, let us know what you learn. We are here to travel this journey with you.

Runner Girl

3 Posts
Thank you so much
22 Posts
Hi and welcome. I’m also very new here. I also have IDC. I’m recovering from surgery right now. I developed a hematoma in the breast that required a second minor surgery to drain but that was painless. The recovery is going well. I had no issue at all with my arm. I hope you will be the same.
Runner Girl
2998 Posts
Hi Leebow

How did your appointment go?

Thinking of you.

Runner Girl
3 Posts
Thank you for following up, they scheduled a lumpectomy for this coming Thursday, the tumor has grown since my last ultrasound, so that's scary. He thinks 95% I will need radiation but they wont know until they do more tests. How long does it take to recover from the surgery?
Runner Girl
2998 Posts
Leebow‍ ,

If it's growing then your surgery can't come soon enough. Next Thursday is awesome!

Here is some information I found on the Alberta Health website

Your Recovery

Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) removes the cancer and just enough tissue to get all the cancer.

For 1 or 2 days after the surgery, you will probably feel tired and have some pain. The skin around the cut (incision) may feel firm, swollen, and tender, and be bruised. Tenderness should go away in about 2 or 3 days, and the bruising within 2 weeks. Firmness and swelling may last for 3 to 6 months.

You may feel a soft lump in your breast that gradually turns hard. This is the incision healing. It is not cancer.

Women should wear a well-fitted and supportive bra, even during the night, for 1 week. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 1 to 3 weeks after the surgery. This may depend on whether you have more treatment.

Your doctor may have removed some lymph nodes in your armpit to see if the cancer has spread. If so, you may feel either numbness or tingling ("pins and needles") in your armpit or on the inside of your upper arm. This should improve over the next several weeks. Some people have numbness for a longer time.

FYI - I went back to work after 3 days and ran a half marathon after 3 weeks.

Runner Girl
1793 Posts

Leebow‍ Im glad your surgery is happening soon. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node removed as part of the treatment for my IDC. For me, there wasn’t much pain afterwards but I did stay on top of my pain meds for three days and then moved to Tylenol or Advil for discomfort. Each person’s pain threshold is different so hopefully you will find it quite manageable.

Runner Girl gave you some good information.

When and if you’re up to it, let us know how you make out.

Thinking good thoughts for both your surgery and recovery.

16 Posts
Hi, I’m new to this forum too. I was diagnosed with IDC AS WELL in March 2021. Met with a surgeon in April and then had a lumpectomy and sentinel nerve removal in may. I have recovered from the surgery and am back to work. I healed well but was uncomfortable for about two weeks. My arm still aches and is numb on the back of the arm. I had a drain as well. The drain incision did not heal as quickly as the other two incisions.

be sure to do the excercises given to you post surgery. These will help with improving and regaining your arm movements and range of motion.
157 Posts

Paddy161‍ , Hello, I had lumpectomy in 2018. Also IDC sentinal auxilla node dissection but i did not have any tube for drainage. My left breast incision healed perfectly no issues but the incision under my arm became a little bit infected due to my sweating alot. I had to wash it 3x day. Especially as I went back to work to for a couple months before going for chemo. The stress if work, and increased sweating, difficulty to wash in a bathroom shared. Though so far so good. Got through it all. You will too.

16 Posts
I was put at stage 3a, so I’m looking at chemo, surgery and radiation. I have a bit of a road ahead of me but I can do this!!
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