We are 222,154 members in 81 forums discussing 156,588 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Guessing Game: Tell me what my mother had

Forum: Less Common Types of Breast Cancer — Meet others with less common forms of breast cancer, such as Medullary carcinoma, Inflammatory breast cancers, Mucinous carcinoma (colloid carcinoma), Paget's disease, Papillary carcinoma, Phyllodes tumor, Tubular carcinomas, Metaplastic tumors, Adenoid cystic carcinomas and Angiosarcoma.

Posted on: Aug 8, 2019 06:24AM

mom2bunky wrote:

Hello friends,

I wasn't sure where to put this. This seemed like the most logical place.

My family had zippo history of cancer of any kind until my mother. What happened with her was she felt nauseated on a trip, vomited a couple of times, and just felt a strong general malaise. Coming from a family of doctors, she went to the hospital where several cousins worked. It was discovered that she had cancer. It was found through a liver biopsy. By the time she felt ill, it was everywhere. Her liver, her bones, her spine, her brain. They tried chemo and it was like giving her water, zero benefit. She was dead three months later. The nexus of the cancer was never really understood, but this was 1997. The hospital was baffled.

Once, when I was helping her bathe, I noticed a very alarming looking left breast. It had a large pucker and was very discolored. I didn't see the point of asking her what that was about at the time. I also do not know how long she had it, but I can tell you she'd had a clear mammogram less than six months earlier.

Fast forward to my own diagnosis and I got tired of having to give the above convoluted and not terribly indicative diagnosis to each and every doctor I saw. In the end, "they" decided that it must have been breast cancer because what I saw sounded like it and that other cancers rarely migrate TO the breast, and I have breast cancer now, so obvs. BTW, genetic testing was negative.

So, assuming this was breast cancer, it was very different from what I had. I'm just wondering if anyone could enlighten me please on what she may have had. I thought at first inflammatory, but her skin was fine. What the hell kind of breast cancer kills in three months?

I guess this is another phase I have to go through because I can't stop thinking about it. Thank you so much in advance for your thoughts.

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/25/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/5/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (7 results)

Posts 1 - 7 (7 total)

Log in to post a reply

Aug 8, 2019 09:05AM WC3 wrote:

Cancer can simmer for years before it becomes detectable and even palpable breast cancer can yield negative mammogram interpretations. Also, some cancers metastasize while microscopic and the mets and primary tumor grow together and become apparent around the same time.

But I came across a case study which was very tragic. A 22 year old woman had swelling in her breast for 3 or so months and presented with a localized 5cm metaplastic tumor. These are fast growing and aggressive. Two weeks later she started chemotherapy. Two weeks in to the chemotherapy, the tumor had grown to 10cm and the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. An emergency mastectomy and axilliary lymph node dissection was performed, with 6 of 6 positive for mets, and the tumor measured 12cm x 14cm at that time. She then continued chemotherapy.

After chemotherapy the study says that she "defaulted follow up and underwent traditional Chinese medicine instead" against medical advice, but that might not be relevant because her cancer was triple negative and there wasn't much left to do except maybe radiation.

4 months later she presented with a large fungating mass which had killed her left arm requiring amputation.

She also had a mass growing on the opposite breast. Yet despite the severity of the disease, scans came up negative for advanced metastasis. She died two weeks later. I am guessing from advanced local disease rather than metastasis.

The total time that elapsed between diagnosis and her passing was 6 months.

It illustrates how fast some cancers can move.



Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
Log in to post a reply

Aug 8, 2019 09:13AM - edited Aug 8, 2019 09:14AM by mom2bunky

Thanks for responding WC3. That's just awful.

Shortly after my mother died, my uncle (her brother. who took it very hard) was on a safari in Africa and learned that one of his travel partners was an oncologist. So he told him about my mother. Every detail. The oncologist then asked him, seemingly out of nowhere, "Was she a dentist?"

She was. In the 60's, 70's, and 80's. He said he'd seen it before. In his opinion the stronger x-rays of that time and the lower attention to protection played a role.

Or, like you said, she may have just been very unlucky and gotten a particularly virulent cancer. I guess I'll never know. The woman wasn't sick a day in her life before this.

I used to worry that I wouldn't out live my mother, who died at 64. Look at me now, with a real reason to fear that. I really need to get past this.

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/25/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/5/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Aug 8, 2019 03:29PM WC3 wrote:

mom2bunky:

Originally my grandmother's two breast cancers were thought to be from an x-ray that burned her but given the fact that I got breast cancer at the same age of 36, I think genetics is more likely.

My grandmother made it to her 70s but, like you, I don't think I will have a long life, so I had a salad for lunch and came home with a brownie and peice of chocolate creme pie.


Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
Log in to post a reply

Aug 8, 2019 03:43PM - edited Aug 8, 2019 03:44PM by mom2bunky

I hear you. I don't fear chocolate croissants anymore!

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/25/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/5/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Aug 9, 2019 06:35AM santabarbarian wrote:

My friend was stage 4 de novo after being religious on annual mammograms. She had ILC. It seems like ILC especially coupled w dense breasts can really hide from mammograms. It did not kill her quickly but it did take hold very quickly. She only had bone mets for a long time.

One of the misapprehensions about cancer is that an annual mammo is "coverage." It seems like between cancer that hides and cancer that goes quickly, an annual mammo can be a false sense of security.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/10/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Aug 10, 2019 07:42AM vlnrph wrote:

We thought there was no family history except my mother’s younger sister who had bone mets from unknown primary and died within a year of diagnosis, in her early 60s. She was also religious about annual mammograms but, back then they were on film instead of being digital and may not have detected a lobular lesion.

By tracing our genealogy, we found a great-grandmother who had BC according to her death certificate. I’m glad there are better treatments available than even a decade ago. So, there is reason to be hopeful!

IDC too! 🎻💊👪🐩 🇫🇮 🌹🦋 Rt MX+DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema 9-2011; switch to letrozole 3-2014 for 1 yr; bone mets 8-2018: Zometa, rads to spine, Faslodex/Versenio Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Aug 12, 2019 07:15AM mom2bunky wrote:

Yes. There is reason to hopeful. Thank you both, very much.

Dx at 55. KI-67: 18. Oncotype: 24 Dx 3/26/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/25/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/5/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

Page 1 of 1 (7 results)