"I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer in July of 2015 based on finding a lump after feeling pain in my right breast. As an aside, my gynecologist, the first breast surgeon I consulted, as well as the radiologist doing the biopsy, thought the mass was a fibroadenoma. Pathology report showed a grade 3, estrogen- and HER2-positive 1.8 cm cancerous tumor. I received 6 rounds of chemo (TCHP) and my surgical plan was for a lumpectomy and radiation. However, a subsequent MRI showed a non-mass enhancement which was later biopsied and found to be DCIS and more invasive cancer in the same breast. I asked for the MRI because I thought we should have pre-surgery imaging! My breast surgeon insisted we could still do the lumpectomy and radiation but I opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy.
"Since I was 45 at the time of diagnosis, genetic testing was suggested. There is no breast cancer history in my family, but I did the test anyway and received the news in November that I was BRCA1 positive. In December I had the bilateral mastectomy but also had an oophorectomy due to my positive BRCA1 result. At the time of surgery, my tumor had shrunk to 7mm. My sentinel node was negative (finally some good news!). I am currently undergoing expander reconstruction and will have the implant surgery sometime in March or April. I was lucky because my insurance company paid for the genetic testing (nearly three thousand dollars!). I wonder how the statistics would be affected if all women who had breast cancer were tested. I never thought in a million years I would be positive due to a lack of family history. I wish all of you strength and triumph."
-- sushimsg, tested positive for BRCA1 genetic mutation