There was no lump -- a Breast Cancer blog

This blog is about my experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
You can learn more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer at or

The names of my Doctors have been changed.



Contact me at Liane58 at gmail dot com
My Photo
Location: United States

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Onward and Upward!

A New Team Member
Surgery – that’s old news. Now it’s on to radiation. And my radiation-oncologist, a new member of my care team, let’s call her Dr. Brown. I like her a lot; she has a a good sense of humor and a vivid way of describing things – saying that breast cancer with “lobular features” is like silly string, and that the lymphatic system is like the “shop vac” of the body.
She explained all my radiation treatments – and their long list of possible side effects. Topical burning of the skin, fatigue (as if from sunburn), and also the possible long range risks – that the radiation itself will trigger a new cancer, such as one in the lung that a bit of the rays will strike. Anyway, it’s all weighed carefully against the risks and possibilities of a reoccurring cancer.

Pathology report

Dr. Jones was telling me about the pathology report that came back analysing the tissue (my breast) removed in the surgery. Some good news – I am estrogen-receptor positive, which means that I can be treated with hormone therapy. So the more ways we have to try and treat my condition the better the chances of beating it. I am going to start on tamoxifen – I just emailed Dr. Smith and she emailed back in minutes, that I can start tomorrow.
Other info from the pathology report: there was cancer in the tissue, so I don't have to worry that I might have had a needless mastectomy. The tissue removed had clean margins – meaning, as tests determine, all or most of cancer has been removed. However four of the five lymph nodes removed were cancerous, meaning that some of the remaining lymph nodes are certainly cancerous. Say, that's their job as the "shop vac" of the body, to suck up all that icky stuff. We'll take care of them in radiation.