In August of 2019, a routine self check revealed a breast lump. Having had a previous cyst, along with an annual appointment scheduled for December, there was little concern for an urgent check up.
On December 3rd, the lump was confirmed. Andrea was referred to the Breast Care Center of Tupelo for further diagnostic imaging on Dec. 6th. That imaging resulted in the need for a biopsy, but with the encouraging statistic that the lump was 90-98% benign. Dec. 12th, the biopsy was performed and on Dec. 13th, Andrea received the official diagnosis - Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, estrogen and progesterone positive, HER2-.
The part of this journey that makes Andrea’s case extremely complicated, is that just 4 days prior to being blindsided by a cancer diagnosis, she and Matt learned they were expecting another baby. Having hormone positive cancer (which is normally good news for treatment options) in their case is bad news while pregnant. In simple terms, her cancer is in a volatile place, because those elevated levels feed the cancer.
4 weeks pregnant on a Monday and diagnosed with cancer on Friday.
As you can imagine, options for treatment during the 1st trimester are complicated and full of risks.
Andrea and Matt have chosen to refuse termination of the baby and delay treatment until the 2nd trimester; although there has been a delay of medical intervention, the team of doctors have been working non-stop to be prepared to move forward with treatment at the 12 week mark.
During this time, an MRI was performed, because one of the lymph nodes was suspicious for cancer. That MRI led to the need for a node biopsy to be completed when she was 6 weeks pregnant. Thankfully, at that time, the node was clear and the cancer was contained - Stage 1 Clinical diagnosis.
Genetic testing came back negative, but the Oncotype score came back with Andrea’s cancer being aggressive and in the highest category for recurrence, because of this, she must receive chemo post surgery to lower her risk of recurrence.
On Feb. 3rd, Andrea will undergo a double mastectomy, with port placement, and sentinel node biopsy to determine if the nodes are still clear.
4-5 weeks post surgery, Andrea will begin 4 rounds of chemo over 12 weeks.