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New Cancer - second time

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shaz101
shaz101 Member Posts: 51

hi, my last breast cancer was in my left breast diagnosed in January 2015. I was diagnosed at my annual check as having a 1cm cancer in my right breast. I get the pathology results tomorrow.
I had a partial mastectomy and lymph clearance last time. As well as chemo and radio. They are talking about a lumpectomy. But I want a bilateral mastectomy with flat closure.
How likely is this one to be related to the last one? I had 1 node positive last round.

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,285
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    Hi @shaz101, we're sorry to hear that you're facing another breast cancer diagnosis. Considering your preference for a bilateral mastectomy with flat closure, we wanted to recommend you the following discussion: Considering Going Flat? Start Here. Hope it helps!

    Keep us updated as you progress with your treatment, and know that we're all here to encourage and support you.

    Sincerely,

    The Mods

  • vlnrph
    vlnrph Member Posts: 493
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    I suggest getting a referral for genetic counseling (don’t just send a cheek swab to some on line company). Those master degreed professionals know so much more than doctors. MDs are way too busy treating patients to be up to date on all the mutations out there. If you decide to test and something is found, the counselor will describe the situation in detail.

    Then, they can assist in contacting possibly affected family members and explaining their risk. My 2 tumors had different pathologies ILC/IDC. However, using my medical journal research skills as a pharmacist, I could not locate any data about how often this scenario occurs. Lobular is likely to have more “satellites” since it grows so long prior to detection.

    Having a complete understanding of your particular status can help inform decisions regarding treatment. Bilateral with no reconstruction is certainly a valid choice. However, you don’t want to be second guessing yourself down the road. That’s why I like to gather all the information I can find. Then I collaborate confidently with my oncologist on actions we’ll take.

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    thank you both!
    I got the results today ! Invasive lobular this time.

    I shall do some research, your insights are invaluable. This site was my go to last time. I’m not sure what happened to my history and the chat starting chemo 2015 went. I wanted to refer back to some of the discussions I had there.

    vlnrph, you sound like you’re having a rough time, so thank you so much.
    ‘they are trying to schedule me in for surgery in the next 2 weeks. I’ll know more tomorrow.

    We live 600km away from the hospital, so each visit is a 2 day affair. Just exhausting. We’ve just got home.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,285
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    @shaz101, these are the only 2015 chemo groups we could find. Is any of them the one you mention?

    Starting Chemo September 2015; join us!

    August 2015 Chemo Group

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    Thanks for looking. It was definitely March 2015. 3 of these users were in the group. Jackbirdie, Italychick and trvlr. I live in Australia, most of them in the US. Most of us caught up in Mexico about 6 years ago. We also had a bracelet that travelled around and we all wore it and added a charm. We we called the sisters of the travelling bracelet. We also now have a Facebook group.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,285
    edited March 6
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    Oh… It seems like that thread might have been missed during the launch of the new platform. We're sorry for that! What a great group you made. It's wonderful that you can still stay connected and continue to share your experiences and friendship! 💕

    Best wishes to you and all!

    The Mods

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 745
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    Hi Shaz,

    I got a new cancer on the other side 5 years after my first one. I have a family history and have had genetic testing, and no known genetic mutations were present.

    My doctors are treating this new one as unrelated and crappy luck, but they are changing my hormonal treatment from SERMs to OS/AI. My preference was for another lumpectomy, but I think a mastectomy is a totally reasonable choice and I hope your docs will support it.

  • shaz101
    shaz101 Member Posts: 51
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    thank you @salamandra i’m now booked in for a bilateral masectomy. Did you find it emotionally easier the 2nd time. I have my moments, but I’m less anxious as I know roughly the process. Although I tend to have a mini tantrum most days. I do come out of it fairly quickly.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 745
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    I did find it emotionally easier the second time around. Fewer unknowns helped, including already knowing (liking/trusting) my doctors (well the rad onc was new).

    Physically it was a mixed bag. Radiation was easier I think due to improvements in the machines and a better prescription cream, but overall the process was more tiring and my recovery times felt longer. I'm attributing this to just being a few years older going through it.

    Also, I asked for prescription anti-anxiety meds right away rather than waiting for it to be acute. I ended up not needing that that much or that long, but just having them felt like a comfort.

    In the long term I think it's a bit harder. I felt really optimistic after the last time about being done with breast cancer, and after a second diagnosis I feel a lot more vulnerable. I also have more concerns about the long term impacts of OS/AI than I did about the SERM class of drugs. I'm responding to that by dialing back my long term savings a bit and dialing up my short term pleasure spending - especially for food service (I order Factor - I hate cooking and this is easy and gets me nutritious meals) and travel (scuba diving!!). This is a bit anxiety provoking since the memories of financial precariousness are still close to the surface, but that's more history-based anxiety than reality-based anxiety.

    When is your surgery? Good luck!!

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,240
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    shaz101 I had breast cancer three times. IDC left 2003, then Dec 2018 dx of ILC lfeft breast, and DCIS & IDC in my right breast;

    I do not regret the two lumpectomies I had in 2003, but in Dec 2018 I went to FCCC in Philadelphia and the breast surgeon I had lied to me and refused to allow me to have both breasts removed! So, he did a left mastectomy and three years later I got cancer in my right breast, had another mastectomy and absolutely HATE the way I look. One reconstructed breast, looks like my real breast, one breast with an implant, looks nothing like my real breast. I have one big, one little.

    I had strong family history, mother, two of my three sisters and a cousin had breast cancer, yet after being tested for over 54 genes, no defects were found.

    I would highly recommend a double mastectomy and genetic testing if you have kids, not to help you decide on what to do now, but to know if you could have passed anything on to your children. That is why I had the testing done.

    Even though I had new breast cancer three times, I felt like I had breast cancer for the first time, three times!

    I wish you all the best!

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,240
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    shaz101 I had breast cancer three times. IDC left 2003, then Dec 2018 dx of ILC lfeft breast, and DCIS & IDC in my right breast;

    I do not regret the two lumpectomies I had in 2003, but in Dec 2018 I went to FCCC in Philadelphia and the breast surgeon I had lied to me and refused to allow me to have both breasts removed! So, he did a left mastectomy and three years later I got cancer in my right breast, had another mastectomy and absolutely HATE the way I look. One reconstructed breast, looks like my real breast, one breast with an implant, looks nothing like my real breast. I have one big, one little.

    I had strong family history, mother, two of my three sisters and a cousin had breast cancer, yet after being tested for over 54 genes, no defects were found.

    I would highly recommend a double mastectomy and genetic testing if you have kids, not to help you decide on what to do now, but to know if you could have passed anything on to your children. That is why I had the testing done.

    Even though I had new breast cancer three times, I felt like I had breast cancer for the first time, three times!

    I wish you all the best!