Topic: Just diagnosed 2nd primary same breast, 16 years later.

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Talk with others facing decisions about whether or not to have breast reconstruction, and if so, what type and when.

Posted on: Apr 14, 2022 11:51PM

Posted on: Apr 14, 2022 11:51PM

wendini wrote:

Just received Second diagnosis, same breast after 16 years. DCIS this time, last time Invasive, high grade, clear nodes, Lumpectomy, chemo, radiation in 2006. Will see surgeon in late April 2022. Likely not a candidate for more radiation to left breast. Assuming a mastectomy will be needed, and trying to decide if I should undertake DIEP flap reconstruction. Lots of differing info out there. I am 57 years old and in good health otherwise. Afraid of long term pain and hiding of new reoccurrences…Happy to have the support so evident in these forums!

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Apr 15, 2022 01:11AM katg wrote:


My story is different, but i am at the COH in Duarte and was told at the start I likely needed a mastectomy. Noone really said lumpectomy. At that time, I was not tested through the COH for over a month after that so i sat thinking "mastectomy?" . Biopsy and MRI, mammogram and ultrasound. Bone scan and appt after appt. My tumor was 5.1 to start, Big enough, to remove it with good margins was not good for a choice of a lumpectomy. Chemo was to start Aug 13th. August 12th i was called by the medical oncologist to be told i had BRCA2!! What? The geneticist told me weeks later it was likely my Mom. I prayed at each tun, and talked to friends and my sisters.

As i wait to have my right breast removed, I touch my fake and real and say thank you God. For the DRs, scientists and researchers have changed the way cancer is treated. I have had twists and turns, my long red hair lost nearly 2 weeks after starting chemo. Today I am in acceptance. My hair is 1/2 inch or so. I wear beanies and have 2 wigs. One barbie breast and one i will get to keep the nipple on. Surgery was Feb 9th, and last Friday i was diagnosed with a blood clot. Twists and turns. My 2nd surgery is postponed. A get to keep mine for a number of months. That surgery had an inflater, as i was to get radiation which causes shrinkage of the skin. Radiology Dr said no radiation, not enough benefit. Otherwise, the Plastic Surgeon said it is usually that the breast surgeon takes the inside of the breast and the plastic surgeon does his part next and inserts the implant if you choose. To get an implant or not? I choose to get my small breast replaced because i was at a well know cancer research hospital and they said it was a good idea. Would these hide a reoccurrence? For me, I am likely having regular MRI's, as with 2 fakes, I will never have another mammogram.

My health before was very good. Shingles and basil cell skin cancers. Seldom ever sick. 15 yrs a blood donor and 25 a platelet donor at the Red Cross. My family had cancers and i did wonder what i would get. NEVER thought breast cancer. 60 years old.

Once you speak with the surgeon and hopefully a medical oncologist, you can ask all the questions you have. Just know, you can do it. Whatever path you choose. Your body. Take care each day.

Chemotherapy 8/14/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2022 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/9/2022 Cryotherapy (Left); Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Left): Modified Radical, Nipple Sparing, Partial, Radical, Simple, Skin Sparing; Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): Aesthetic Flat Closure, Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Removal (Left), Tissue Expander Dx IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+, ISH, IHC
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Apr 15, 2022 10:51AM elle2 wrote:

Hi Wendini, I’m sorry that you find yourself on this forum after 16 years. I found myself here after 13 years of being Cancer free as well. I understand how frustrating and upsetting it is to suddenly be told it’s back after finally feeling that chapter of your life was over and that you had won. My original Dx was DCIS. Last summer my dx was IDC. You and I have similar dx but the primaries are switched in their aggressiveness. My biggest surprise was how much had changed in breast cancer treatments even in 13 years. According to standard care now, you will not be a candidate for radiation again, just as I was not a candidate because of my prior rads. Since your new primary is DCIS, there will be a lot of info out there that will force you to make decisions about your care and treatment. Take all the information you get and ask all the questions you need to, as well as getting second opinions before making your decisions.

I chose to do a mastectomy with the DIEP flap, using my own tissue for reconstruction. It was my second time with a bc diagnosis in the same breast; I didn’t want a third; I didn’t want to deal with implants in the future or cancer hiding behind it; it felt like a more natural approach to me. I am also 57 and I am 7 months out from the DIEP flap surgery and having no residual issues. This summer I will have a final surgery to balance both breasts.

I wish you all the best and will be supportive of your decisions, as you have many ahead.

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Apr 15, 2022 05:10PM wendini wrote:

Hi elle2, how kind of you to write with your story. It is very helpful to hear others experiences too.

My concern is I have so much breast tissue into my side and arm pit area, that something will either be missed, or the surgical approach will be so invasive to try to capture all the tissue that the recovery from just that will be a lot. I am only a 36 C, but side breast tissue. Reading the worrying situations of post DIEP flap pain, infection, abdominal issue, and a lot to contend with on top of the mastectomy. Of course you are familiar with these types of feelings, and are so kind to respond, now that you are well on the other side of the big surgery. Lots to think through and have my questions ready for appointment in 13 days.

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Apr 24, 2022 12:03PM elle2 wrote:

Wendini, I also have large, dense breast tissue, so mammograms can be annoying. I recommend doing some research into the best imagery facilities for the future. I have mine done at MD Anderson, so I know the technicians are good and the procedures are advanced. With my second dx, I’m wondering if my Oncologist will be requesting MRIs for future diagnostic mammograms. This may be an option for you as well.

As far as the DIEP flap procedure, remember that on these forums, the majority of people who post are looking for answers to issues they experience with a procedure or treatment. Those of us who have good results and outcomes don’t post about the negatives. So make sure you discuss thoroughly with a Breast Surgeon before making your decisions. Be as sure as possible that whatever procedure you choose is the right one for YOU.

I’m wishing you the best moving forward. I hope you get all the answers you need from your doctors.

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Apr 24, 2022 01:42PM wendini wrote:

I am so appreciative of the support and good info here. Thank you Elle and others. Doing a lot of discerning research and seeing an excellent breast cancer Surgeon in 4 days! BC Breast Health Centres in Vancouver and Victoria have latest technology in imaging. Looking for info on studying the tissue and having targeted therapy in future if any reoccurrence on that left breast should occur. A lot to look into and ask about.

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