The Miami Herald

Beth Suss

I am 41 years old. This summer m life changed with the blink of an eye. Approximately 7 weeks ago I felt something in my right breast that did not feel right. I decided that I needed to go and have it looked at. I called my doctor that did my breast implants in 2005 and asked to see him. I got an immediate appointment. After seeing him he said “You need to go and have it diagnostically checked.” I immediately called my diagnostician to get an appointment. I said, “Thank you. I will be there.”

My mother-in-law met me there so that I didn’t have to be by myself during this frightening time. After the diagnostician did the ultrasound, it was at that point I knew something was wrong. She stated that I needed to have a biopsy. I wanted it done immediately. She took out two samples of tissue after performing a needle biopsy with ultrasound. She stated that I would have the results the next day. Around mid afternoon the next day, the phone rang.

The results were malignant. Those were the words I did not want to hear! I knew I would have to deal with it and move on. I immediately called my husband to tell him the bad news. He was pretty shocked. I told him that we needed to go to see the doctor so that she could discuss what needed to be done.

When I met her the next day, it was at that point that I found out that it was Ductile Carcinoma, In Situ, High Grade with Comedo Foci and Cancerization of Lobules. “What does this mean?” I asked her. She stated, “You will need to have it removed by lumpectomy.” I asked her where to go from here. She said, “You need to find a doctor as soon as possible.” So my husband and I began that search. To us this was the toughest job but we knew together that we would choose the best person to perform the surgery.

After many interviews, I found the right doctor and on 7/22/09, I had my surgery. I had a lumpectomy of my right breast and two of my lymph nodes were also removed. The surgery was very successful and I was told that all the margins were clear. This meant that he was able to remove the tumor with clear margins. He said I would have the results of the lymph nodes in a day or so. That also came back with good news I did not have to have any further surgery.

This was great news considering my age and the fact that I have two daughters. My surgeon recommended that I BRACA tested. The test came back negative and I am happy to report that I do not carry the gene. I guess I have to believe that this is only a fluke. Hopefully I will have no further problems because I took care of the situation fast and it was caught early. My next step was to meet with the radiologist so that I could begin my radiation treatment.

I have since had it done and I highly recommend the kind that I had. It is called Mamosite Radiation or Braciatherapy and it is less invasive than Pinpoint Radiation. I have since had it done and I am doing great. I have experienced no real side effects. The last of my treatments is that I will have to take oral Temoxifen for the next five years. This is because the tumor was positive to estrogen and progesterone and high grade. It is part of the treatement protocol.

My recommendation through all this is to touch yourself on a regular basis and get in tune with your body. This way you can be proactive in the case that something is found. I think that I was fortunate and you can be too, if the proper action is taken and it is caught early.




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