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Topic: women over 50 treated differently

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

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

Posted on: Mar 14, 2016 05:54PM

jen1 wrote:

hi ladies maybe its just me but it seems that we that are over 50 are not treated the same. I don't mean necessarily our treatment. It seems younger women ate treated better. I feel like youngerwomen with BC are given more support and are not dismissed by the doctors or others. We older women are holding down a lot. Taking care of elderly parents / still working full time despite difficult treatment/taking care of grandchildren adult children./ many doing it alone. and we do it without whining

Dx 10/11/2013, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/15/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/7/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 6/22/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2014 Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 15, 2016 06:47AM dtad wrote:

Im so sorry you feel this way. I haven't noticed it. Breast cancer is a disease of aging. The average age of diagnosis is 62. Although many young women are getting this dreaded disease, the risks definitely increase as we age. You should not feel dismissed by any means. Maybe its time to look elsewhere for treatment. Good luck to you....
Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Mar 15, 2016 07:16AM glennie19 wrote:

Actually, what I've heard on this board, is that younger women get dismissed all the time. **oh you are too young to have breast cancer, You are only 30, 35, etc ** We certainly know that there is no "too young for BC".

I'm sorry that you feel dismissed. I echo dtad: maybe it is time to find another doctor?

Fibromyalgia and Truncal Lymphedema,,, some of the fun things I live with. Total hysterecomy 9/29/14 Prophy MX Righty 11/30/17 Dx 6/27/2013, Paget's, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx DCIS
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Mar 15, 2016 03:55PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Jen,

Another echo hear, the salient point being that women most often dx'ed with breast cancer are well over 50! I have never felt my age made a negative difference in my tx If you do feel that you are being treated differently, do find another doctor.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Mar 15, 2016 04:07PM ChiSandy wrote:

If anything, I was taken more seriously once I hit my mid-50s: I got reminders from my PCP to keep my mammos & BSEs current, even more so than Paps & pelvics. But one reason some doctors seem to treat younger women’s breast cancer (once it’s diagnosed) more urgently and aggressively is that in young women it tends to be higher-grade and more aggressive. There’s a reason why some people give grade 1 & 2 node-negative Luminal A tumors (ER&PR+/HER2-) the nickname “old women’s cancer:” it’s much more common the older we get, and even though it’s 75% of all breast cancers, among those of us past age 60 or so it’s more like 85-90%. It grows more slowly in older women, and DCIS in older women is usually even less aggressive (though a friend of mine who just turned 70 was recently diagnosed with a grade 3 DCIS--but she hadn’t had a mammo since 1991). And at our age, cardiovascular disease kills more of us--whether or not we also have or had bc.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/22/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/1/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/30/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 15, 2016 04:32PM New-girl wrote:

Can you be more specific? Do you feel it from the doctors? Your friends? Family?

I was diagnosed at age 49. Now I am 53 and going through it again. The first time when I was seeing a PS, he made the comment I was 49 so making me look whole and pretty wasn't as important to me. I found a new PS super fast and was thrilled I did.

Maybe try to evaluate why you are feeling the younger women get better treatment. The younger women I know who have it are also dealing with small children and need lots of extra help and assistance. For me, my youngest is 17 and is very self sufficient. She can also drive me around if I need it. So to an outsider, I may not be getting much attention or help but I am really doing fine since my responsibilities are far different now than say 10 years ago.

Dx 1/19/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, ILC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 7/26/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/14/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction Dx 1/19/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2016 04:47PM Beatmon wrote:

My PS surgeon said there is no reason not to get implants.....you have thought about it for a year post mastectomy. You are healthy except for the cancer...you travel and have fun...62 is young these days.

Now, 2 years later post mets, not sure I feel so young, but I have always received the best of medical care.

Hopefully, you can seek out different providers

Dx 7/27/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 12/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/1/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 8/9/2014, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/27/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 16, 2016 09:34AM - edited Mar 16, 2016 09:37AM by labelle

Jen wrote that she didn't necessarily mean in terms of treatment (medical treatment I'm assuming) but in how this crisis is perceived. Some people do seem to think BC is somehow more tragic when it strikes younger women.

I actually had a former co-worker say to me shortly after I was diagnosed, "Well, at least you got to see your children grow up. A lady at our church just died of cancer and left behind small children." Well, excuse me, but I was hoping for a life after the kids grew up and yeah, this guy is a dick. I didn't know my only goal in life was to get them raised and on their own-actually our youngest was only 16 when I was diagnosed and definitely not grown.

Perhaps because BC in older women is sadly now almost commonplace, it is only tragic and shocking to some when it strikes younger women. I don't know how widespread this kind of thinking is, but I believe it is there and maybe that is what Jen was getting at. This is a tough row to hoe no matter how old you are when diagnosed. It is horrible for women with small children, but it is also quite awful for those of us who are older, often with teens and sick/aging parents to deal with and care for as Jen wrote.

Dx 9/29/2014, IDC: Tubular, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/13/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 16, 2016 09:39AM leggo wrote:

Funny you should bring that up. Quite some time ago, I was freaked out by what I overheard my onc say about that. I'm gonna look for the thread and put the link here.

"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Mar 16, 2016 09:43AM leggo wrote:

Here's the link.

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/55/topics...


"Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I'll ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day." - The Grey
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Mar 16, 2016 10:42AM LovingIsLiving wrote:

Cancer is tough at any age, for any person to deal with. I've heard those "Oh you're too young" comments, even from my mother in law. But let's not get into that or I might give myself a hot flash!

My oncologist at first pushed me to do chemo regardless of my oncotype score simply because I was young (51, post menopause 2 years) and could handle it. After the score came back low risk, she was more sympathetic to my concerns and agreed that my decision was reasonable. I think it's important for doctors to know your story and background, and take into account your personal life before throwing the book at you so to speak. That's what I like about both oncologists that I saw before making my decision. They gave me the "standard" recommendation but told me that skipping chemo was reasonable and probably fine, we just don't know for sure yet. And doctor's cannot tell you to do something outside that standard recommendation (unless it's a clinical trial).

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalms 27:1). The stats below are mine. ♥ My brother lost his fight against breast cancer on Feb 27, 2017 ♥ Dx 10/1/2015, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/10/2015 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 12/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 16, 2016 09:16PM jen1 wrote:

labelle you articulated so much what I was trying to say. Thank you for understanding.

Dx 10/11/2013, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/15/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/7/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 6/22/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2014 Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 16, 2016 09:18PM jen1 wrote:

We matter also

Dx 10/11/2013, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/15/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/7/2014 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 6/22/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2014 Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 19, 2016 10:47AM MargM wrote:

I feel I don't get great care, but I don't think the young ones are doing any better. I had an oncologist that was fantastic with all his patients, now I have one that's not. I do know that charities use younger faces most of the time, and some even specialize in serving young women (so they say). Not long ago a friend of mine, with a different kind of cancer, said she wished she had breast cancer because there is more support - an illusion probably, based on all the ads and the pink ribbons, making it look like we somehow get our bills paid, or better than relentless "think positive, drink water, get exercise" advice for all the side effects of treatment.

Chemotherapy 10/1/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/7/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 19, 2016 11:07AM mustlovepoodles wrote:

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer, at 58. For the most part, I have received excellent care from my doctors (except for one bozo oncologist--fired him!) I have also been well supported by friends. Interestingly, my siblings have been a bit uninterested. I think they are afraid. I came up with 2 gene mutations which caused my breast cancer. I imagine they are worried about that. only one has been able to get genetic testing and she was, thankfully, negative. My DH and children have been great. My mother...well, she just is who she is. She's 82 and has no filter. She is very worried and her brand of "help" is to tell me all her stories of friends and family who got BC and DIED. Yeah, thanks Mom.

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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