The Results

The unveiling 
So two weeks after surgery I had an appointment with Mr Turton where he took my drains out and dressing off. I felt very free afterwards and was frankly amazed with how they looked. I was told to come of my pain killers and just take as and when you need rather than as a preventative. My next appointment is in another two weeks time and was told to carry on with the same routine: no lifting, no exertion, no exercise and keep my dressings dry. 

Clever Mr Turton 😇. See my Boob diary for the latest photo two weeks on if interested.

My results:

I wasn’t sure whether the histology results would also be ready at my appointment but they were. Mary (my assigned key worker below who is brill and who stays with me throughout the cancer journey) went through the results. I have an oncology appointment next week to go through treatment options and start dates. I’m keen to get going but they like patients to have recovered (in the main) after surgery before embarking upon any treatment so let’s see.

Histology report:

Left breast – Invasive Carcinoma:

  1. Invasive tumour type                Ductal NST
  2. Invasive tumour grade              3 ☹️
  3. Invasive tumour size                 9mm
  4. Lymphovascular invasion        Not seen 😁
  5. Margins                                         1.5mm posterior, 4mm superior, rest more than 10mm
  6. Molecular markers                     Triple negative ☹️

Right breast –  No evidence of malignancy 😁

Histology report interpreted:

Left breast:

  1. Ductal cancer of ‘No Specific Type’. Brilliantly vague. “It is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means for the diagnosis to be made all other specific types need to be ruled out.” Even more confusing 🤔. It is however the most common type of invasive cancer accounting for 55% of all breast incidence on diagnosis.
  2. Grade 3 cancer means the cells are growing at the quickest rate 😢. Lucky it was found in good time when it was still small and taken away along with the rest of my breast tissue 👍
  3. Size is self explanatory but is important in the determining of treatment. Mine was very small but from the grading we know it was particularly nasty. Our Clare by comparison had three 6cm lumps and so had chemo first to shrink them – this was of course before she knew she had the BRCA2 gene mutation! “Size matters when it comes to breast cancer, but size is only one of the personality features on the list. You can have a small cancer that behaves like a bully, or a large cancer that is mild-mannered.”– Marisa Weiss, M.D., chief medical officer,
  4. Cancer was not found in my lymph nodes meaning it hasn’t spread to my lymphatic system 👍
  5. Margins – I’m not sure about and need to pick up with Mr Turton at my next appointment. My understanding is this is how much breast tissue was taken out and from where. I was under the impression that all my tissue was taken out hence a mastectomy but feel this part needs a bit more interpretation.
  6. ‘A diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer means that the three most common types of receptors known to fuel most breast cancer growth–estrogen, progesterone, and the HER-2/neu gene– are not present in the cancer tumor.’ About 15% to 20% of breast cancers are triple-negative. What this means in reality is that triple-negative cancers usually are more aggressive, harder to treat, and more likely to come back than cancers that are hormone-receptor-positive and/or HER2-positive. ☹️. However my breast tissue with the breast cancer has now been removed and what has been left is implants, animal fat and a very small amount of my own breast tissue. So much so that I’m no longer on the breast screening programme. For any rogue cancer cells that may have travelled through my blood stream they’ll be obliterated shortly when I start my chemo 👍

Right breast:

No cancer in the right breast 😁

My conclusion

So in summary:

  • Boobs are looking brill and healing well
  • Drains are out
  • The cancer has not spread
  • The type of cancer is ill-defined but has now been removed
  • Chemo will smash any cancer dregs that may be hanging around to pieces anyway
  • BOOM!
  • 😁

Liz Spice, 6th July 2017

6 Replies to “The Results”

  1. Liz, great blog! So brave

    Margins are the distance of the cancer from the edges of the tissue that was removed. Or put another way, a 1.5mm posterior margin means that there is 1.5mm of normal breast tissue between the deepest edge (chest muscle edge) of your resected breast tissue and the tumour. I’m sure Mr Turton will explain when you see him, the main thing is that the tumour does not extend up to the margin (zero mm of margin) meaning that ther could still be tumour left behind. Clear margins = fully resected cancer. 🙂


    1. Ah brill thanks Dan – forgot you worked in the labs or at least used to! Ok brill so they were able to take it all out. Yes it was positioned quite far back so not much room mind x


      1. Histology is not an exact science but the report says the margins are free from cancer so you can’t ask for more than that! If you imagine a piece of meat (your boobs) with a marble (cancer) inside it which is completely enclosed (you can’t see the marble sticking out), then the edges of the meat that you can see contain no marble (cancer). At the point at which the marble is closest to the surface of the meat there is 1.5mm of meat before you hit marble. It doesn’t sound a lot but 1.5mm is a long way in histology.
        Left the labs nearly 2 years ago only to have my office based in theatres now. From one end of the process to the other!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s sounds like you’re recovering well and the information above is really positive from what I understand Liz!
    You are inspirational and this blog is so important for other women suffering from cancer.
    Take care and we wish you a speedy recovery. Lots of love from Faye, Paul and JP Xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: