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Jan 18, 2014 11:20AM
Even though this thread is sort of dead, or maybe sitting in limbo, just thought I'd post to revive it a bit. I remember when I was first diagnosed, I was desparate to find more info on bilateral breast cancer, so figure there are still others out there looking.
I was diagnosed with synchronous bilateral breast cancer this past summer of 2013. I was 47 years old. I had a pretty big family history, though I am BRCA negative.
I was first diagnosed with IDC in the left breast in June, followed by more tests (pet scan, breast MRI, etc.) and another biopsy in July which also revealed cancer in the right breast. (it was first thought to be DCIS, but after surgery was found to be IDC also.)
In August I had my surgery: bilateral lumpectomies and bilateral SNBs. The cancer in the left breast was larger and somewhat more advanced than the right, and there were micro metastasis in the left sentinel node.
My oncotype dx tests showed low risk for both tumors, so no chemo was needed.
September through end of November I underwent 10 weeks of radiation, 6 weeks on each breast, (but overlapped a couple weeks where I had radiation treatments to both breasts at same visit, so 60 tx took 10 weeks instead of 12).
I did really well throughout radiation. I worked through it all. (The only time I missed work was for 3 weeks after my surgery.) My skin held up very well, and fatigue was pretty minimal. I did develop some later fatigue, starting a few weeks after finishing rads, and still continuing now, but nothing too terrible.
This month I started tamoxifen, for 5 to 10 years. (Maybe 5 of tamoxifen, followed by 5 of an AI once I reach menopause). So far so good, haven't noticed any side effects yet. Hope not to.
One thing I wanted to mention is when I first found out I had cancer in both breasts, I felt very devastated, and thought my prognosis must be very poor. But my MO said that they just go by the worse of the two sides, and that is your prognosis. So in my case, I am stage 1b. Still very good prognosis.
I also used to feel very fearful that since I had gotten cancer in both breasts, that I must be more prone to it, or somehow more "diseased". I mentioned to my MO I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. He said, well, maybe it already has. After that, I began instead to think maybe I already had a recurrence, it just happened at the same time. So, if that were the case, what would be the odds of yet another recurrence? So now I feel much less scared than I did in those early months after diagnosis.
So, that is my story, and hopefully it is of some help to someone.
Synchronous bilateral breast cancer. Age 47 @ dx.
6/20/2013, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
7/24/2013, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
8/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel