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Topic: cancer in both breasts

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Jul 3, 2008 07:00PM

Jen44 wrote:

I was just wondering if anyone out there was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer.  I was diagnosed Sept. 5, 2007 in my right breast.  After two lumpectomies I had an MRI before starting chemo and the tumor in the left breast was found.  The right breast was 2cm with 3 positive nodes and the left was 1.7cm with 5 positive nodes.  The doctors believe that the cancer started in both breasts about the same time.  Once having both breasts removed we discovered that there was also a third tumor, 4mm, in my right breast.  I have recently found out that this is not all that common.  I was so busy going through treatment and such that I never really gave it much thought.  My oncologist told me last time I saw her that she only had two other patients that had bilateral breast cancer and that I was the only one with the third tumor.  I guess I would just like to hear from some other ladies that also were diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer and find out how you are doing.  Thankfully all my scans have come back clear and there is no sign of cancer anywhere else.  I am just hoping that there are some of you a few more years out and still clear of this crap. 

Hugs,  Jenny

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Jul 4, 2008 12:23AM CalGal wrote:

Hi Jen -

Bi-lat bc is not unusual among those who are BRCA positive.  Another indicator is a family history of pre-menopausal bc.

My mother had bi-lateral bc, two different primaries - invasive and lobular, that were 5 years apart.   When I was dx'd, I had invasive bc in the left breast and DCIS in the right.

You may want to consider speaking with a genetic counselor regarding the BRCA risk and implications.

Congrat's on having clear scans!

Best to you,

Calal 

Trip Neg, BRCA1, Mets dx 12/05 despite 2 cm tumor & clear nodes at orig dx 9/04.. Liver, lung & one bone met.

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Jul 4, 2008 10:25AM Jen44 wrote:

Hey Calal,

Thanks so much for responding.  I am sorry that you have had to deal with this monster so much. 

The strange thing is I have been tested and I am negative for both BRAC 1 and 2, which is great news for my kids.    I am also the first person on either side of my family to have breast cancer.  I think that may be one of the reasons my doctors are so bewildered by me.  I was checked a year and a half before, by ultra sound, and there was nothing.  Then when all was said and done I had 3 invasive tumors and 8 positive nodes.  Oh well, thank God they found them and got rid of the problem girls so I could go through treatment without anymore cancer growing inside me.

  I hope you are doing well and continue to do well.

Keep laughing,

Jenny

Bilateral cancer(3 tumors) & bilateral mastectomy

Dx 9/5/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 8/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2008 02:44PM leaf wrote:

Several months ago, I think there was a husband who posted who said his wife had between 3 and 5 different breast cancers (I can't remember the number) all diagnosed at the same time between both breasts.

I've read its not unusual for ILC to be 'mirrored' in the other breast.

If you're going through hell, keep going-Winston Churchill

Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, Stage 0, ER+/PR-Hormonal Therapy 07/15/2006 Tamoxifen
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Jul 4, 2008 04:28PM AnneW wrote:

I had two primaries, 6 years apart, but I keep wondering if the most recently found one wasn't there all along, and just suppressed by AI therapy. The first was IDC, the second ILC.

A good friend of mine had two primaries of IDC, very tiny, which were found when doing prophylactic bilateral for DCIS. Her mom died very young of BC, but my friend was BRCA neg.

Anne

2002 IDC stage 1, grade 1, rads & AI

Dx 9/18/2007, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2008 05:08PM Beesie wrote:

Jen,

Have you seen the forum for those who have a Second or Third Breast Cancer?  It's way down the list of forums in the "Connecting with others who have a similar diagnosis" section of this board.

Your situation - having BC in both breasts at the same time - is not overly common but it's not that unusual either.  I've seen a number of posts from women who were diagnosed with BC in one breast only, but upon having a bilateral mastectomy, were found to have BC in their other breast as well.  And sometimes it is known right from the start that there is BC in both breasts.  What's much more common is having a 2nd - or even 3rd - diagnosis of BC at a later date.  Once any of us have been diagnosed the first time, our risk to get BC again goes up to about double that of the average woman our age.  So unfortunately there are a lot of women who are making their 2nd visits to this board.  I suppose your case is not that different except that both your occurrences of BC happen to occur at the same time.  Hopefully that's it for you then and you remain clear of cancer from now on!

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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Jul 4, 2008 05:41PM Jen44 wrote:

Thanks leaf

Hey AnneB,  I will be praying that you are now done with this.  It will be so nice when the cure is found so we don't have to spend the rest of our lives looking over our shoulders waiting for this beast to jump us again.

Thanks Bessie for telling me about the other forum.  I hadn't seen it but I will certainly look for it.  I know it sounds strange but it does feel better knowing that my situation is not as unheard of as my doctors make it seem.  It is scary enough having this happen but when your doctors start calling all the doctors they know telling them about me because I am the first case like mine they have had.  Not that I would wish this on anyone, but it does help to know you are not the only one out there.

Keep laughing,

Jenny

Bilateral cancer(3 tumors) & bilateral mastectomy

Dx 9/5/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 8/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 21, 2008 05:26PM Turtlegrl wrote:

Hi Jen

I feel a bit like an odd duck, too! Bilateral + simultaneous is unusual. With all due respect to Beesie, it's NOT the same as a recurrence later, regardless of which breast is affected.I was treated for DCIS in my right breast, which led to more thorough screening, which found IDC in my left breast three years later. Very small tumors, early stage. I'm comfortable with my risk profile. DCIS could be considered a wild card, after all.

Glad your scans are clear and you're free of the known mutations! But our risk profile -- certainly yours, maybe mine -- is almost certainly higher than unilateral gals. There was some research presented in 2006 at the San Antonio Conference by Dr Hartman from the famous Karolinska Institute that was...not so hopeful. On the other hand, Dr Mansell, from the UK, said he found no "survival disadvantage" from contralateral disease. E.g., you'll live as long as the onesies.

 I think we should keep our eye on the research. As more women live through their first and second diagnoses, whether simultaneous, bilatereal or whatever,researchers will have a bigger population to study.

Dx 5/01 DCIS R;

Dx 6/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Aug 27, 2008 03:02PM 2z54 wrote:

I'm just starting chemo next week, but I was diagnosed on 7/23/08 with one 3.5 cm in left breast (triple neg)  and one tiny 7 mm in right breast - estrogen pos.  My genetic testing comes back next week, but I'm certain to be some kind of BRAC since all of the women on my father's side have had or died of breast cancer for the past 3 generations. 

So... we "simultaneous" cancers are a rare breed!  And I thought triple neg was exciting enough!  Seems like the gift that keeps on giving!

2z

Dx 7/23/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 29, 2008 03:06PM, edited Aug 29, 2008 03:14PM by auntgina

I had dcis in one breast and idc at the same time also. I was post menopausal, and the only one in the family that had had breast cancer was my mother who got it in her 80s. My qustion is we had ancestors and don't know what some of them died from. Are they also a part of this brac. For instance, my mother was adopted out, but she knew her mother, and she died from some form of cancer. No one will tell me what kind, but it could very well have been breast cancer. Would we go back that far. I just lost my Mom Feb. 15, 2008, and I am the only one of her 8 girls to get it. Thanks