Last September, I had what I thought would be a routine mammogram, but crystallized spots showed on the results. I had a biopsy and was then told that I needed to see a surgeon. The surgeon determined that it was DCIS and that I had two options…What to do?…either have the breast removed or have a partial mastectomy followed by radiation and five years of tamoxifen treatment. I left the office leaning towards having the breast completely removed, but I felt like I should get a second opinion first. The surgeon didn’t think a second opinion was necessary but said of course it was up to me.
I had the second opinion at Johns Hopkins. They looked at the test results and said it was atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), a pre-cancerous condition. The treatment they recommended was just the partial mastectomy. I had the surgery done there there and then a follow-up biopsy. That biopsy matched their initial diagnosis.
Then I worried for a time whether the first hospital or the second one was correct. I wasn’t convinced I’d made the right decision until my six-month follow-up appointment; I was completely clear. I think that following my instincts and having a second opinion was crucial in saving me unnecessary radiation and drug therapy.
My family was very supportive. I’ve been married for 23 years and have two wonderful daughters. I work in a fast-paced environment as assistant to the Vice President of Sales at HealthAmerica. For fun and relaxation, I travel to the Caribbean with a group of girlfriends. We’ve been doing that every year now for the past five years!