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Do you know anyone who NEVER had a recurrence?

I just engaged in fb post (mistake!) where the group agreed that cancer always comes back...even if years later. I just finished chemo and surgery (50 hrs old, triple neg and brca2) and was told I have a great prognosis so was disagreeing with group. Then I started trying to think if I know anyone who has had cancer but then ultimately died old of something else and can't think of anyone. Freaking myself out. Does anyone have a good cancer free forever story?

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Comments

  • Aries1
    Aries1 Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2018

    Yes, my mother, 14 year survivor. She is 86.

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 955
    edited January 2018

    Triplepa, such discussions are pretty silly. Women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis die of other causes without cancer ever being found again.

    If I got hit by a bus a month after my treatment ended, would it be said I had been cured of breast cancer? If I was diagnosed at 40 years-old and lived to be 100, would it be correct to assume I had NOT been cured, I just didn't live long enough for mets to show up?

    My mom will be 94 next month. She had a two separate mastectomies in her 60's, I think. No cancer ever again, at least not yet!

    And that's just my mom. I know many older women who are many years out and have not been diagnosed with recurrence or mets. The study that was released earlier this year with the word "relentless" in the headline scared a lot of people, but no matter how you slice it, more women who have had breast cancer DO NOT have recurrence or mets than those who DO.


  • BellasMomToo
    BellasMomToo Member Posts: 93
    edited January 2018

    My aunt (mom's sister) was dx'd with BC at age 48. It has been 30 years and she is still cancer free! She is healthy and active -- she is basically the nanny to her two granddaughters, about 4 and 8 years old.

    She told me I had to survive BC cause she did.

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
    edited January 2018

    My great aunt had mastectomy in 1985. She will be 95 this year. Blind but no cancer and no Alzheimer's.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,701
    edited January 2018

    The list is so long that I don't know where to begin. Some famous women who never had a recurrence are Nancy Reagan, Betty Ford, Shirley Temple Black, Sandra Day O'Connor, Cheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Joan London...... A friend of mine who is a 40 plus year survivor (and had 3 children after her treatments), my aunt who had BC in her 50's and died at 88 without a recurrence, my next door neighbor's mom who just turned 90.....most people who are diagnosed with BC (and have the appropriate treatment) do NOT die from BC.

  • farmerlucy
    farmerlucy Member Posts: 596
    edited January 2018

    Yes, yes, yes! I spoke to a lady who had BC forty years ago. My grandmother had two different types in her fifties and died in her late eighties of heart disease. My DIL's Mom is BRCA1 pos. Had BC in her thirties. She found it herself. Said it was as big as a peach pit.Triple negative. She is around twenty years out. We share three granddaughters.

  • Falconer
    Falconer Member Posts: 801
    edited January 2018
    My mom, dx'd 25 years ago, is now 76. No recurrence. Her claim to fame is not breast cancer survivor, but Class Wit, 1959.
  • peachyjeanne
    peachyjeanne Member Posts: 155
    edited January 2018

    When I was first diagnosed, my best friend's aunt told me it has been 30 yrs since she was treated for breast cancer and I should not let it scare me. I can't say I wasn't still scared at what I was facing, but definitely less so.

  • mustlovepoodles
    mustlovepoodles Member Posts: 1,248
    edited January 2018

    Two aunts. Auntie Gladys was diagnosed with BC when she was 24, in 1912. Truly the Stone Age of cancer treatment. They knew practically nothing back then. Auntie had a mastectomy and was sent on her way. No follow-up of any kind. The family story was that she could never get married, because, you know, she was missing her breast (rolls eyes.)  She never had another bout of cancer.  Auntie Gladys lived well into her 90s and died of dementia. 

    Aunt Ann was diagnosed when she was 43, back in the 1970s. Still pretty primitive, but Aunt Ann was included in one of the early trials at Johns Hopkins that used mastectomy, radiation AND chemo to treat. Back then they didn't use anti-hormonals. In fact, they didn't really understand how estrogen and progesterone affected BC, and HER2 hadn't been discovered.  Aunt Ann never had a BC recurrence. She lived to her 80s and died of lung cancer, a victim of second hand smoke.(her lung cancer was not connected with breast cancer.) 

  • ibis
    ibis Member Posts: 56
    edited January 2018

    Yes. My mother lived 30years after having a mastectomy and radiation in 1977. She died at 94yrs of a stroke

  • Katwal
    Katwal Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2018

    I know several people, not to mention people in my own family. Yes, there are also two members of my family who died young due to mets, but there were many more who died of other causes in their eighties and nineties. I intend to be in the latter group. Don't let fear rob you of living.


  • marijen
    marijen Member Posts: 2,181
    edited January 2018

    Nancy Reagan’s cancer didn’t come back.

  • JesusIsmylight
    JesusIsmylight Member Posts: 2
    edited January 2018

    my grandmother, braca 1 positive. Had BC age 25, had a mastectomy and sent on her way. Had three children right after, lived to ripe old age 87.

  • rrobin0200
    rrobin0200 Member Posts: 78
    edited January 2018

    jesusismylife.. my grandmother had the exact situation, but was diagnosed at age 35. Had a baby after her diagnosis and mastectomy, and lived cancer free for the rest of her life. She passed at age 85.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050
    edited January 2018

    triplepa, I'm guessing you want to hear about TN survivors, not just any bc survivors. Check the signatures of people like wrenn (above) to find out who is in your situation and are doing well many years later. Or perhaps go to the TN forum discussions and ask your question there. To date their is no cure for this disease and we are all subject to differing recurrence odds. Certainly, though, survival is the most common outcome in this era of new drugs and targeted treatments.


  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited January 2018

    My husband's great aunt was diagnosed when she was 60 and died at age 100. Breast cancer never came back. She had a lumpectomy followed by radiation we think.

  • anothernycgirl
    anothernycgirl Member Posts: 821
    edited January 2018

    My Mom had a mastectomy in 1976, when she was 68 years old. She was one month short of her 99th birthday when she passed away. No chemo or radiation, she lived in her own apartment until the end, and drove her car until she was at least 95!

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited January 2018

    I probably know about 50 people who never had their cancer come back. Do not let people without knowledge scare you with statements like that.

  • HollyDollyD
    HollyDollyD Member Posts: 26
    edited January 2018

    I have 3 friends - 17 years free, 10 years free and 7 years free. The statistics show that cancer DOESN'T always come back. From the Komen website: "The lifetime risk of a second primary contralateral breast cancer is about 40-65 percent for women with a BRCA1/2 mutation [112].". The risk is lower if you do not have BRCA1/2.

    So there you go. Even if you are high risk, it's still not everyone - not by a long way - and think about how medicine advances. In 10 years we should have even more answers. Stay positive, work your lifestyle changes and have hope.

    Sending you love,

    Holly

  • shellsatthebeach
    shellsatthebeach Member Posts: 50
    edited January 2018

    Yes, my grandmother. She was diagnosed in her early 40s in the 1950s and told to get her affairs in order. She was told she had about 6 months. She had both breast removed. She ended up living 35+ years with no recurrence of cancer. She died of a stroke.

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
    edited January 2018

    Hi everyone. My dear friend was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer 15 years ago. Her tumor was 5 cm and she had 5 positive lymph nodes! She refused chemo but took an aromatase inhibitor for 5 years. She's been NED since her diagnosis. Another happy story

    Shellsatthebeach...did your grandmother have any other treatment besides surgery

  • stephilosphy00
    stephilosphy00 Member Posts: 161
    edited January 2018

    Thank you for all these encouragig stories!! These are what I really need now.

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited January 2018

    A sort of step-grandmother in-law who died in her late 90's, at least 30 years after diagnosis. I didn't know her, but the step-in-laws sent me her foobs.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,701
    edited January 2018

    A good friend of mine was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which has a very dire prognosis, 38 years ago while she was still in college. After a year of intense treatments; she has gone on to live a very happy, busy, interesting, productive life without ever having a recurrence (she was her young oncologist's first patient and he still calls her every year just to check in.......he is almost as delighted as she with how things turned out).

    My grandfather was diagnosed with stomach cancer when he was in his 60s (back in the 1950s). Doctors removed 3/4 of is stomach and sent him home to die......which he did....30 years later.....had an anerysm at the age of 93.

  • SavedbyGrace1972
    SavedbyGrace1972 Member Posts: 11
    edited January 2018

    Well I here is how I think of cancer,

    I think of it as an opportunist, it waits for an opportunity to strike again. Lies dormant. Some for years. Some for months. Some forever. With the right treatment, health regimens it may never come back. But one thing I do know is we all have a different story. Just like in life. Everyone takes different paths. Some choose college, military, jobs, marriage, kids, rent, purchase etc. So just like life cancer may or may not affect everyone, it may or may not return. I guess what I am trying to say is, we just have to enjoy the second chance we get once we have NED. No evidence of disease and try not to worry about it returning.

  • stephilosphy00
    stephilosphy00 Member Posts: 161
    edited January 2018

    I think most of those women who never had a recurrence are those didn't have node involvement, right? Do you guys know anyone who has node invovlment but never had recurrence?

  • marijen
    marijen Member Posts: 2,181
    edited January 2018

    That's a good question Steph, I would like to know too.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050
    edited January 2018


    Not just node involvement. To be scientific I'd suggest we need stage, grade, cancer type, etc of all long-term survivors for this discussion to be meaningful.


  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 955
    edited January 2018

    There are many people on BCO who had positive nodes and are many years out from their diagnosis, and remain NED.

    My sister was diagnosed with triple-positive inflammatory breast cancer in 2012. Many nodes involved. Like me, she doesn't have recurrence or mets.

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited January 2018

    My friend Minh, stage 3c, grade 3 over 20 lymph nodes caked with cancer is still NED over 20 years her youngest was 6 months old when she had a mammogram that lite up like a Christmas tree both breasts. Now her youngest has graduated from college. She did bmx, chemo, radiation twice and AI drugs. She also had double DIEP from abdomen tissue, looks great.