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Topic: Stressful event years before diagnosed?

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Feb 7, 2015 01:45AM

oceangirl654 wrote:

Did you have a super stressful event sometime in the seven years or so before you got diagnosed? How many years before was it? I'm just wondering if there is some connection with this. A researcher told me he believes it starts from stress about seven years before.

Dx 12/5/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/5/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/15/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 1, 2018 08:18PM catlady44 wrote:

Houmom and Notinuse I'm really sorry you have gone through this. It sounds like a nightmare. I wish I knew what to say.

Dx 11/2014, LCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/11/2014 TAC Surgery 6/4/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Feb 2, 2018 04:15AM WorriedMe77 wrote:

oceangirl654 that’s interesting my brother was murdered 7years ago major stressful event in my khfe

Dx 11/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 11/14/2017, Left, <1cm, Grade 2 Surgery 12/4/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 2/8/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/9/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 5, 2018 08:47PM - edited Mar 5, 2018 08:47PM by catlady44

This is kind of related so I thought I'd post it. I read some research that said that many cancer patients expereience a major depressive episode or other psychiatric disorders, before they know they have cancer. I'm friends with a psychiatrist and she said, "The body knows." I also asked her if the fact that I've always struggled with depression and anxiety could have caused this, and she immediately said, "No. It's all in the genes." i was relieved because I was afraid that this was my fault somehow. I think they're looking in to the role that stress has on a cancer diagnosis, but so far, the results aren't clear yet.


Dx 11/2014, LCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/11/2014 TAC Surgery 6/4/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 5, 2018 09:46PM Denise-G wrote:

Through the last 6 years, I have heard from thousands of breast cancer patients through my blog. One thing I've noticed - almost all of them

have experienced a really stressful event numerous years before diagnosis. It always makes me wonder...especially because I certainly did.

www.denise4health.wordpress.com my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/27/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/11/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 6, 2018 12:37AM Bosombuddy101 wrote:

Interesting, I did experience a major life changing stressful event 7 years prior to diagnosis.

“Trouble that can’t be named, tigers waiting to be tamed” ----Coldplay Dx 7/4/2017, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/20/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/31/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Mar 6, 2018 03:02AM buttonsmachine wrote:

I had an extremely stressful life event seven years before diagnosis, and then another one two years before diagnosis. In both instances I was in fight or flight mode for months. I remember thinking to myself "Wow, it's amazing that I can be under this much stress and it doesn't break my body." Maybe it did break my body after all.

I have sometimes wondered if those events contributed to my breast cancer - intuitively I feel that maybe they did, but maybe it was some other factor and it would have happened anyway. I guess we will never know. Interesting thread though.

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/27/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/30/2018 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy 5/10/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 7/1/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 7/1/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2019 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Apr 1, 2018 01:24PM Newnorm wrote:

I beleive that stress definitely contributed to my BC. This thread is interesting as I had major stress 6 years prior to my diagnosis. I believe that there were some lifestyle factors like alcohol that also contributed. Good thread.

Dx 12/23/2016, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/6/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 7/27/2017 Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 7/28/2017 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 1, 2018 06:58PM Peacetoallcuzweneedit wrote:

I had two life events that occurred 10yrs before diagnosis and then 5yrs before diagnosis...the stress I lived under from 2012-2016 was palpable meaning I had always had a lot of stress and responsibility in my life, but this was different because I lost myself in it, which I had not done before...I usually saved myself pretty well....but I think with all that + perimenopause + what was also depression I sank - I was a high functioning sinker but none the less - I sank...no one else around me could see it, because everyone around me depended on me to be the "strong one" -

When I was diagnosed I talked to my BS about this theory, because I had heard it before and was thinking about everything. She said straight up --> "stress did not cause your cancer, but stress did/can give your cancer a great environment to grow." She told me to consider that thought.... so I have...and do...

5/2017 Left Breast DCIS 6cm Grade 3 6/2017 Right Breast IDC Stage 1A, Tmic 0.5mm, 100% ER+/100%PR+/ HER2- 6/2017 BMX, SNB left, TEs x 2 8/2017 TE deflated -Replaced Oct 2017 Hysterectomy + ooph 11/2017 Implant Exchange June 2018 Nipples.
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Apr 8, 2018 11:15PM catlady44 wrote:

Personally, I think what triggered my cancer was a severe MRSA infection about 10 months before my diagnosis. I had a facial abcess and was in the hospital for 4 days on hardcore antibiotics. I've read that traumatic illnesses can lower your immune system, so what the body would normally be able to fight, it can't. The cancer just takes off and starts duplicating itself fast. It's a real ahole.

Dx 11/2014, LCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/11/2014 TAC Surgery 6/4/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Apr 9, 2018 10:35PM amygil81 wrote:

Catlady, hadn't seen you around for a while. I remember that we chatted a few years ago. You'd just finished your chemo, and you were trying to decide whether to have one breast off or both. How are you doing these days?

Osteosarcoma in left leg at age 13. DCIS in left breast at 33. IDC recurrence in left chest wall at 42. Dx 12/2000, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/10/2000 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/2009, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, 3/10 nodes Surgery 12/17/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 1/11/2010 CMF Chemotherapy 5/31/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/31/2010 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 10, 2018 01:12PM Micmel wrote:

wren~ I am so speechless at what I just read about your son. That is so unbearably awful, I don't even have words. That is stress I can't begin to imagine. I am so very sorry for your loss and on top of everything else. Dealing with this beast also. I am sending you a purple heart!

I completely agree with the stress aspect.. good marriage turns to bad marriage..... man doesn't want divorce.... woman does..... women meets man of her dreams.....man doesn't want divorce, gets mean..... gets ugly....1/2 of my turns family against me! Spend next 15 years loving that man of my dreams long distance, by choice to raise his son and my two kids in their schools, DH and I wanted normalcy in slowly building a blended family. We did a great job! Siblings are seamless together. This year finally at the end of it, we will finally to be able to be moving in the right direction to finally be in One Home. Since the day I was put on this earth, I have been stressed. So a hell yes. Stress to me is a definite connection. ~M~

Young girl times:Step monsters mean, controlling and manipulative. Parents divorced since I was four

My teens : stress:: Step monster trying to pretend to be Mom. Then ends up with luekemia. Very ill. Somehow makes it. Is some how even more mean and evil. Lose my fathers relationship because of her games and interferences

Early twenties:: sucked it up and apologized to step monster.... missed my dad. Went well until, had my own children who wanted to control and tell me what to do. She would gossip until the moon turned green. If she could. Lose fathers relationship again when kids are aged 7 and 8. Kids own relationship with their father always shaky!!

Threats to gang up on me to take my kids from ex husband and step monster, due to them finding out about man of my dreams and same man now my DH. 15 later. Can you say loser? So I believe that is where my cancer came from. No history of it in family at all. Makes no sense. Stress terrible. Makes sense. ~M~


Dx 1/22/2016, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 13/35 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/9/2016 AC Surgery 6/20/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 7/19/2016 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/6/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Chemotherapy Chemotherapy
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Apr 10, 2018 02:37PM - edited Apr 10, 2018 05:04PM by mustlovepoodles

I think we'd be hard pressed to find ANYONE who hasn't experience stress in their life. If we live long enough we'll have some stressful event. My first bout of depression was at age 15. My son's first bout of depression was at age FOUR!

Over the years our family has endured a lot of stressful events-- birth of a severely disabled child, bipolar disorder, extended illness, DHs disability, multiple psychiatric hospitalizations, autoimmune disorders, suicidal ideation, open heart surgery, cancer, loss of parents, more cancer.

There's no getting around stressful events. So, why doesn't everyone have cancer? No clue. I really don't think stress is to blame. In my case, it was gene mutations and I suspect my family has more than one, based on the number of autoimmune disorders and cancer.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/19/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Apr 11, 2018 12:17AM Aliceinchains wrote:

Stress brought on Crohns Disease and I’m positive it did the same with my BC diagnosis. The last 4 years straight have been stre

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Dec 9, 2018 02:52AM HoldingOnToHope wrote:

I may be one of the outliers here, but I have had very little stress in my life, and here I am with breast cancer. I’ve experienced sad moments and occasions, but I have never been one to internalize stress. In fact, my family has often commented about how at ease I am in the midst of my full and busy life (My husband and I have 4 kids who keep us on our toes). Prior to my breast cancer diagnosis, I had no health issues and I ate pretty well and enjoyedrunning half marathons. I have no idea what caused my breast cancer, but stress has never crossed my mind. My genetic testing was negative, so I’m thinking it may have been environmental.

Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10 Dx 4/23/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 5/2/2018 AC + T (Taxotere) Targeted Therapy 5/2/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 5/2/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 9/26/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/19/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Feb 10, 2019 09:51PM Jons_girl wrote:

Yes. I was under alot of stress from 2006-2014 and was dx in 2017. My tumor was slow growing but believe the stress I was under could have contributed to my cancer....

Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Feb 11, 2019 12:51AM AliceBastable wrote:

You get to adulthood, you're going to have stress. Blaming stress is like saying television causes cancer or having a dog causes cancer or using Q-Tips causes cancer, because you will find a large number of people with cancer who watch TV or have a dog or use Q-Tips. I'm a non-stress person and I collect cancers for an unwanted hobby. I know very high-strung people who lived in a state of constant stress who never got cancer. Who was doing this original "study"? If it wasn't someone affiliated with a major cancer research center, it's piffle. I can post a question on FB and say I'm doing a study. This crabby old bat is tired of people confusing fact and opinion, or thinking they deserve equal weight in a discussion.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 11, 2019 01:59AM - edited Feb 11, 2019 02:00AM by Jons_girl

wow. We all respect your opinion and viewpoint. But I think you should also respect others here....we aren't here to bash each others opinions. That isn't the purpose of this forum.....

Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Feb 11, 2019 05:53AM AliceBastable wrote:

I respect science and the medical professionals and reality too much to see those bashed and trashed so often here. We're expected to respect the opinions of people who believe the most outrageous, unscientific claims, but saying anything pro-science is considered bashing others. I thought there were threads for alternative treatments, and I do not post there, but it seems that several threads have now become home to that line of thinking. Guess I'll go into read-only mode on most topics so I don't upset anyone.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 11, 2019 06:40AM Jons_girl wrote:

Alice I respect your opinion as do probably all the others on this thread. I can’t speak for them. But I respect yr opinion. We were not trashing any science or medical professionals here.

Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Feb 11, 2019 06:32PM LovefromPhilly wrote:

I think it is really normal to self-blame with cancer. What is interesting is that no one self blames a person who has tuberculosis or has been an let’s say an elite athlete who suddenly suffered a heart attack. For some fascinating reason, people diagnosed with cancer want to blame something for it, and I often see our own stressful lives as being to blame.

Our brains/minds naturally want to find patterns and make sense of things, when things don’t make sense at all. Like a rape victim trying to make sense of the fact of why was she chosen by her attacker? Did she say, do, wear something wrong? But we all know that is not true.

I have struggled with blaming my cancer diagnosis certain things such as: the titanium screws and mesh screen that was put inside of me to repair an inguinal hernia, the time my dog almost died, because I was sexually molested as a child, because I abused drugs in my teens, because of the bad break up I went through in my early 30s, that I worked in a wood shop around a lot of dust for a couple years, because of how stressed I was in graduate school right before the cancer was discovered. Hard to say!!!

Was the cancer growing for 20 years or 5? This is all a mystery.

I want to blame SOMETHING for my body’s rebellious behavior in becoming a cancerous environment.

Cancer is viewed by so many as the fault of the person with it. It is viewed as something we should have been able to control more, somehow, by many people. That our own toxic emotions caused the cancer.

Meanwhile, there are creatures dating back to the dinosaur era that have had cancer.

I can’t blame myself or my life anymore.

With Love From Philly Dx 3/25/2017, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 4/5/2017 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)

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