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Topic: breast cancer recurrance....same spot, or different location

Forum: Second or Third Breast Cancer — For those confronting a new primary diagnosis or undergoing treatment.

Posted on: Oct 18, 2012 04:29PM

lea321 wrote:

I am curious to see if the ladies who have had breast cancer come back a second or even a third time, did it occur in the same spot as the first diagnosis, or a completely different location (or breast)?  just a quick, short answer is fine.  I was first diagnosed with DCIS in 2008, had lumpectomy and rads, and surprise....breast cancer was found in the exact same place as the first time.  why didn't the rads work???  not only did the rads not prevent me from getting it again, it also complicated my reconstruction.  Anyone care to share their experience?

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Posts 1 - 13 (13 total)

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Oct 19, 2012 10:11AM glostagirl wrote:

Hi Lea,

Yes this happened to me, a true local recurrence (same spot, same pathology) and I wondered the same thing; why didn't chemo and rads work?  No good answers, it is what it is Frown.

...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee

Dx 1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)Surgery 06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)Surgery 11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)
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Oct 19, 2012 11:56AM wrsmith2x wrote:

Me too.  Same spot (except the 2nd time I had 2 tumors), same pathology and yes, surgery, chemo and rads should have taken care of it.  And now I wait, again to reach the magic 5 year mark.  So close last time....4 years, 1 month, 3 days.

1st dx, 2007, IDC, Stage 1 (1.2cm), grade 3, 0/1 node, TriNeg.....2nd dx, 2011, IDC, Stage 2 (3.2cm & 1.5cm) grade 3, 0/1 node, Tri-Neg......BMX with DIEP 2/16/12.

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Oct 19, 2012 04:47PM Beesie wrote:

Unfortunately, no treatment currently available completely eliminates the risk of recurrence.  Rads cuts recurrence risk by about 50% but this means that 50% of the women who would have recurred without rads still have a recurrence, even after having rads.  

lea, I'm curious.  Was your first DCIS also grade 1?  And do you know what your margin size was after that first surgery?  Grade and margin are two of the most critical factors in determining recurrence risk after a diagnosis of DCIS. I also notice that your signature line indicates that your second diagnosis was DCIS but it mentions Stage I. Did you have some invasive cancer along with the DCIS and is that why you are Stage I?  The other thing (sorry, I'm full of questions!) is that I notice that your first DCIS was ER+/PR- but your second diagnosis ER+/PR+.  Hormone status can change with a recurrence but the fact that the hormone status is different also raises the possibility that this isn't a recurrence at all, but is a completely separate primary breast cancer, unrelated to the first diagnosis.  That would mean that the rads worked, but now you developed a new breast cancer, just as any woman can, whether she's had BC before or not. Any of us who've been diagnosed with BC face both the risk of recurrence (i.e. the original cancer wasn't completely removed and/or killed off and it develops again) and the risk of a new primary (a new unrelated breast cancer).  Even those of us who've had a mastectomy still face both risks, although the odds are obviously quite low if almost all the breast tissue has been removed.

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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Oct 21, 2012 01:34PM, edited Oct 21, 2012 01:36PM by karenmarie1

1st recurrence was on same side, same place. Given Aromasin. Just dx'd with second recurrence in opposite side lymph nodes. Had PET Friday, do not know results yet. waiting, nervous.

Karen Marie Orig DX 2/2001,IDC, 5cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, A/C 6 rounds, CHF Due to Chemo, 7/2005, Recurrence, 1/26/2010, Recurrence 11/2012 Stage IV, Taxol 11/2012, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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Oct 22, 2012 06:55PM debjoisme wrote:

Hello, first was dcis on left side, estrogen negative in 1-09. Fast forward to 9-12 same breast same place but estrogen positive. Had bilateral mastestomy 10-9-12. Now I don't know what to do, couldn't take any pills after the first one, but don't know if I should take them now?????  

Dx 1/6/2009, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER-, HER2-Dx 9/24/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2-Surgery 01/20/2009 Lumpectomy (Left)Radiation Therapy 02/10/2009 ExternalSurgery 10/09/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)
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Oct 24, 2012 12:47PM lea321 wrote:

thanks for the comments and feedback.  Beesie, I am double checking my pathology.  I was going from memory and could have the details mixed up.  (pretty important to get it confused!)  My doctor did say it was a recurrance rather than a new primary.  Karenmarie, I pray you have good results on your PET.  I just hate waiting for results.   Did any of you have difficulties with recon due to the rads?  It is awful enough to go through the first time, but a second is dreadful.  In additition, I also had thyroid cancer in between the 2 BC diagnosis.  both of my doctors have said there is no relation, but a genetisist that i saw said otherwise.  Even years have been my challenge.  I will be holding my breath through 2014!  I pray I am done with cancer!  I am very thankful though, that each was caught very early.

Dx 7/1/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+Dx 2/28/2012, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-Surgery 07/28/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 08/11/2008 Lumpectomy (Right)Radiation Therapy 09/24/2008 ExternalSurgery 03/29/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)Surgery 08/23/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent), Latissimus Dorsi flap (Right)Surgery 12/21/2012 Reconstruction (Both)Surgery 01/21/2014 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
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Oct 24, 2012 12:49PM lea321 wrote:

to add....the recurrance was stage 0.  changed that, but meant to do so before my last post. 

Dx 7/1/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+Dx 2/28/2012, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-Surgery 07/28/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 08/11/2008 Lumpectomy (Right)Radiation Therapy 09/24/2008 ExternalSurgery 03/29/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)Surgery 08/23/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent), Latissimus Dorsi flap (Right)Surgery 12/21/2012 Reconstruction (Both)Surgery 01/21/2014 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)
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Oct 24, 2012 01:15PM susan3 wrote:

2002 double mastectomy, snb, 5 nodes removed, 1 node micro cancer found, it was the first node. tamoxifen 5 yrs, famera almost 3, 2011, nodes returned in both auxiliary, both sides clavicle, both sides around jugular and stm muscle. now on a/a and have the node involvement down to around 7 instead of 40 plus. that's my story :)

Dx 3/2002, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 40/5 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 24, 2012 03:38PM karenmarie1 wrote:

Well, my PET scan showed only cancer in the right lymph nodes, but no cancer in the breast. And thankfully no cancer in body yet!  :-). My case is at Tumor Board today to discuss whether I should have a mastecotmy on the right. The doc is not sure where the cancer is coming from if it is not showing up anywhere but the lymph node. I am leaning towards asking to remove my tram flap as well as the rt. breast, but then of course, I go back and forth and  being very upset about it all. I am very afraid the cancer is hiding in the tram. (the place of the 2010 recurrence)

Karen Marie Orig DX 2/2001,IDC, 5cm, Stage IIb, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, A/C 6 rounds, CHF Due to Chemo, 7/2005, Recurrence, 1/26/2010, Recurrence 11/2012 Stage IV, Taxol 11/2012, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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Oct 25, 2012 02:51PM jmf424 wrote:

Lea321-I was dx in April 2012 with a local recurrance - from 18 years ago! I was only 29 then. As the years passed and I got further away from the cancer, I felt less concerned that it would come back. I kept going for yearly mammos of course, and was called back a few times over the years. This time there were 3 lumps that I felt....none visible Oct 2011! I have gone through AC and then 12 Taxols and bilateral in Sept. I waited almost 2 weeks for the pathology and was shocked to find that I had skin involvement and lymphovascular invasion! Now I am in my 2nd week of radiation....Terrified! I hope you are doing ok. What a horrible disease!

Dx 10/1994, DCIS, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+Dx 4/2/2012, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIb, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 11/04/1998 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 12/10/1998 Cytoxan, fluorouracil, methotrexateRadiation Therapy 05/07/1999 ExternalChemotherapy 04/27/2012 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolSurgery 09/14/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)Hormonal Therapy 09/28/2012 AromasinRadiation Therapy 10/16/2012 External
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Nov 1, 2012 04:41PM dimidani wrote:

I was DX with a positive lymph node 0.8mm/ 0.4 mm with extranodal extension of 9mm a few weeks ago after 2.5 years of my initial DX of stage 2. Just had surgery 7 days ago.

 It looks like I will start chemo next week TCH X4. 

My first chemo was dd AC/TH, bilateral mastectomy + axillary dissection and reconstruction. I was on Tamoxifen while this happened.  I was soo happy that I had a complete pathological response and I did not think that the cancel will return however the surgeon and the oncologist are not calling this a recurrence . According to them this was residual cancer left behind.  HMMMMM frustrated.

Dx 3/29/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+Dx 10/1/2012, IDC, <1cm, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 11, 2012 10:19PM Eileen0417 wrote:

When the first cancer is invasive and cancer shows up again in a different spot, it is a new cancer and only as bad as its pathology, however if it is in the same spot, it is a recurrence and the rognosis could be worse because it has come back despite treatment.

With DCIS, no matter where the new cancer shows up, it is a new one and not the more ominous recurrence.

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Nov 11, 2012 10:25PM Eileen0417 wrote:

Jmf, I noticed that your first cancer was DCIS which means it was containd inside the duct, right? Then why did they give you chemo? I was told that if it does not break out of the duct then it has not traveled anywhere else in the body and therefore no chemo. And then your second cancer would have to be a new, second cancer instead of a recurrence,right?  I am wondering if I had the wrong information....