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A few surprises A few surprises

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Unread 11-17-2003, 08:33 PM
A few surprises

Hi, Ladies. I just wanted to post and let you all know about how my visit went today with my oncologist. First, I love this doctor. He's wonderful and always listens to my concerns and spends lots of time with me.

Prior to this visit, I had a cat scan and chest x-ray which came back all clear. I also had a mammogram and breast sonogram which, when I left the radiology office, understood were all clear, too. In fact, they gave me a letter saying that the mammo results were all clear and to "come back next year". Well, when I was speaking to my oncologist today, he mentioned that the breast sonogram showed a cyst in my right breast which was 'probable benign' and to schedule a follow-up sonogram in 6 months. A little different than what I was told, don't you think?!

I'm going to call their office tomorrow to see if they can explain what happened. If I have a cyst in my right breast, I want to know how big it is and how they can determine that it's 'probable benign'. I also want to know if it was on my last breast sonogram (from 6/01).

The other surprise was that I was going to speak with my doctor about sugar, in general. When I asked the doctor, he said, "In fact, the last time we tested your blood sugar (at my last chemo treatment), it was slightly elevated." He assumed it was due to the significant amount of steroids (Decadron) which I was given before every chemo. He was going to be testing my sugar again today. He mentioned that if it's still high, it could be an indication of early diabetes. Has anyone ever experienced this? I'll find out at the end of the week what the results are of this test. (Bottom line is that I don't think I have diabetes... I have no symptoms.)

The rest of the visit went very well. They're re-testing the CA-125 and I'll have the results by the end of the week. My last test (also taken at the last chemo) came back at 7.5.

This whole breast sonogram thing has me a little squirrely. I'll be seeing my gynecologist in mid-December and I'll talk to her about what's happened and see if I can move to another radiological office. I don't feel like I trust them anymore.

Thanks, everyone, for being here for me.

God bless.
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Unread 11-17-2003, 08:46 PM

I'd do followup on the sonogram too--although it's my non medical observation that the sonogram is done when there's a mass they want to look at and since yours is "probably benign" that's likely what it is--but I don't blame your wanting more followup. I know Decadron can do odd things to us--it caused my overall white cell count to soar (Dr. said normal) and I suspect though I'd eaten very well, the sugar was up--still, another thing not to ignore. On fasting tests, I do well. Congratulations on the CT and chest x-ray and I'll bet that CA125 is going to be low, low, low, low... Make me VERY jealous! Ellen
Unread 11-18-2003, 04:34 AM
A few surprises

A CA125 of 7.5 is wonderful. May they all be that low. I too would arrange another breast sonogram with a radiologist you are comfortable with. Most breast cysts are benign and I am hoping yours is too.
Ruth S
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Unread 11-18-2003, 06:27 AM
Breast cysts

Maureenie, I certainly have had breast problems through the years -- including a few cysts. Breast cysts can come and go during a six-month period. As far as I know, they are nothing to worry about. They're just a fluid-filled sack. I did have one drained last year. Doctor said it was one of the largest he'd ever seen. (Twenty-four CCs of fluid out of it.)

Radiologists can sometimes interpret exactly what they are seeing on a sonagram / ultrasound. I had a solid lump showing on my mammogram. After only seeing it on ultrasound, the radiologists was 99% sure it was a fibroadenoma (benign). It was biopsied -- and that's what it was.

Mary D.
Unread 11-18-2003, 08:43 AM
I Would Consult With Breast Surgeon


I have had several things show up on my mammograms and breast ultrasounds since my endometrial cancer diagnosis in 1999. In addition, my radiation oncologist referred me to a breast surgeon for evaluation of an area she found on examination of my breasts when I went in to see her for my endometrial cancer radiation consult.

I have had one needle biopsy on the right breast and a mammotome biopsy on the left, both of which were benign. I am presently being monitored for the little "vegetable garden" as I call it in my left breast, and will be having a mammo and u/s this Tuesday.

I always follow up my imaging studies with a consult with my breast surgeon (the one who did the two biopsies). He requires that I bring the films from the imaging center with me to my appointment. He reviews the films and does a breast examination. Sometimes he makes the imaging center take additional films, if he does not agree with their conclusions or if he wants further clarification on something he sees on the films.

After uterine cancer, we are at an elevated risk for breast (as well as other) cancers. I am not going to fool around with my life and health and would rather be safe than sorry. If you are going to take the wait and see approach regarding the alleged "cyst," I would feel more comfortable if you were doing so based on the recommendation of a breast surgeon.

Take care.

Unread 11-18-2003, 11:39 AM
About your blood sugar -

Hi Maureenie,
10 years ago I had to have a total thyroidectomy, which carries with it the possibility of developing diabetes. My blood sugar was checked and found to be slightly elevated. I was told I was borderline diabetic. I didn't have any symptoms except occasional hypoglycemia if I went too long with out eating, but I'd had that for as long as I can remember. Hypoglycemia seems to run in my family, and no one has developed diabetes.

I did see another doctor for a second opinion. He just laughed and said, there is no borderline, either you are or you aren't. He suggested modifications in diet, especially watching sugar intake. I haven't had any problems at all and am doing fine, though it is important to remain aware when one is at risk.

Hope this helps. And congratulations on an excellent CA125!
Unread 11-18-2003, 02:57 PM
A few surprises

Hi, Maureenie!

First, I had the same thing with Decadron. My sugar spikes super high after steroids, then pops right back down. I usually have low blood sugar, but it hit super high numbers after the steroids. They used to re-check me, but now they know that I just react that way to the streroids. So here's hoping that this is also your situation. :-)

Second, I was sorry to hear about your cyst. But I'm sure it is just that: a cyst. Cysts are usually fluid-filled, and that does tend to show up on scans. You should press for more information, and MoeKay offered some good advice with respect to having any "wait and see" time overseen by a breast doctor. But I hope this is just a big nothing.

Unread 11-18-2003, 06:32 PM
A few surprises

Hi Maureen...

I am sorry to hear that you had a few negative surprises but hopefully the results will be positively wonderful after all is set and done.

As for the sugar count, I do not know if this applies to us chemo patients also, but my husbands sugar level is also on the rise for no particular reason at all. No diabetes in his family either. It is never dangeroulsy high, just in the high normal range. He really should be watching his sugar intake but he loves the sweets! What I am trying to get at is that it may not be the chemo at all.

Hope all goes well.
Unread 11-19-2003, 07:22 AM
A few surprises

Maureen- super news to hear that things are generally OK.
The increase blood sugar with steroids is very common -as you can tell hear. I hope that's all it is.
Also, with the breast thing I wonder if it is like a fibroid cyst. I had a mammogram when I was 20 due to a cyst I found on self exam. I basically have lumpy breasts at times from fibrous tissue. Good for you and your wanting to look into things.
: ) Mary
Unread 11-19-2003, 08:03 PM
A few surprises

I have a new concern on top of my endo, adhesions and cysts. A mass was found in my left breast, now I have to go to yet another surgeon and get yet more things done. A mass about 1 cm was found in mammogram and U/S (and if I ever see that Witch with a B that did my mammogram again, so help me I MAY be rude to her, talk about insensitive and spiteful). On top of worrying about one surgery, here's another, with the added fun of possible cancer. :-/

So my question is, should I be worried ? There's not a significant history of breast cancer in my family, but there is ovarian and uterine cancer. I'm having my hyster on Dec. 10 and my Dr. is going to do a biopsy on the mass at the same time. I told him, 'if your car's transmission goes, and the brakes are bad too, just have them both fixed at the same time." I am hoping he just does an excision biopsy, it's sort of painful.

Any advice anyone can give me ?

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