I got a phone call at noon on Thursday with my biopsy results. The news wasn’t the worst, but it’s not the best either. I have Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia. In simplest terms, this means there’s a spot on my breast with too many cells growing in the duct that are taking on suspiciously irregular forms. It’s not cancer, yet. But it’s one stage below Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, also known as DCIS. DCIS is also not considered dire, because it means the cancer is not yet invasive. But neither is a situation in which to sit back and do nothing.

On March 3 I meet with a surgeon, because yet another biopsy is required. This will be an excisional biopsy, I think with general anesthesia; they will remove more tissue for testing. If they find cancer cells, then we proceed from there. If they find nothing, then I will be closely monitored. I plan to ask about taking tamoxifen as a preventive measure. I also plan to seriously consider getting tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. (BRCA is a gene known as a tumor supressor. A harmful mutation greatly increases risk.) I believe that having the BRCA1 mutation also puts one at a 20-40% higher risk for ovarian cancer as well. With a family history (my maternal grandmother and my mother had breast cancer), and this condition, I feel like my breasts are a minefield. If carry BRCA1, I’d also consider an oophorectomy (removal of my ovaries).

Lots to consider. Lots of tumultuous feelings.

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5 Comments on “Results”

  1. acm Says:

    good luck with the mulling and the hard decisions. our thoughts are with you!

  2. Euan Says:

    Gosh Kathryn – you poor thing. Hang in there.

  3. la peregrina Says:

    Thinking of you, too.

  4. Songbird Says:

    (((Kathryn))) You’re in my prayers.

  5. Lesley Says:

    Scary stuff. I love how you are taking control though! Good to know what options are out there. I was totally blindsided and just felt like I was flailing as they threw these terms out at me. ((()))