We are 224,828 members in 82 forums discussing 157,962 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Breastfeeding trouble a sign of DCIS?

Forum: DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for DCIS.

Posted on: Mar 1, 2011 03:38PM

xtine wrote:

I wanted to bring over this discussion from the DCIS to Stage IV discussion because I think it is interesting on its own and important to me personally.

I was diagnosed with DCIS about 1 1/2 years after weaning my twins... the first troublesome mammogram (calcifications) was seen more like 6 months after weaning, but they took a wait and see approach. I stopped breastfeeding rather early on (4 months), and supplemented with formula throughout, due to not being able to extract enough milk. To me, I felt like I was making a LOT of milk, as my breasts became very large, heavy, and engorged. But my girls weren't getting enough despite lots of enthusiastic sucking (we weighed them frequently to be sure), and if I pumped I could hardly pump any milk from my right (left was fine). I found the whole situation to be frustrating and puzzling, and consulted with both a lactation consultant and a doctor. I tried a lot of things to help, including Reglan (which probably made the cancer spread more quickly, from what I've read).

To me, it's obvious that my breastfeeding was affected by DCIS. In the end I had 10 cm of DCIS, mostly solid... so I don't see how milk could have gotten through the ducts if a significant amount of that DCIS was present during breastfeeding. However, when I asked for help, nobody suggested cancer as a cause, and my oncologist hasn't heard about any links between breastfeeding trouble and DCIS.

(I also think my problems were easily dismissed as twin problems... they expected me to have trouble with two!)

In the other thread, several people mentioned similar stories. I've also done other searches where this has come up anecdotally. But I can't find any studies correlating breast feeding issues with DCIS...

Early diagnosis is so important, and I was fortunate that I got a mammogram when I did due to family history (I am in my 30s). With DCIS you often have no lump, and many women have no reason for screening (youth, no history). If this was a common symptom, I would think that doctors and lactation consultants would want to refer women to cancer screening if they were having production issues on one side, especially if they seemed engorged and stuck...

Any thoughts on this or info I haven't found?

DCIS 10cm with 3mm IDC found in final pathology. Uni mx with gummy implant, Tamoxifen. Dx 10/8/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (23 results)

Posts 1 - 23 (23 total)

Log in to post a reply

Mar 1, 2011 03:43PM mom3band1g wrote:

Well, I was nursing when I found my lump and had been nursing for 10 yrs straight!  Whne I found my lump my dd was about 98% weaned and was only nursing from the cancer side.  Never had supply issues or any for that matter!  I was a little eeked out when I realized my dd had been drinking  milk that had been flowing through ducts filled with cancer.  Yuck.  I do wonder if my nursing and/or being pregnant for so long is why my hormones were messed up.  I do think that's what started my bc....messed up hormones.

lumpectomy 2/10/10 bi-lat mx 3/25/10 rads completed 7/10! Dx 1/19/2010, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+
Log in to post a reply

Mar 1, 2011 04:21PM CandDsMom wrote:

Yes! I am another one (I was posting on the other thread as well).  My DCIS was only caught due to early screening as well (I turned 35 during the wait for a biopsy).  My right breast for some reason wouldn't make as much milk and my son would not latch there when I was nursing (I weaned him in November and was dx in March).  My nipple on that side was a bit upturned as well (as opposed to the left one which pointed straight at the ground) but no dimple and nothing palpable.  I also had a large area of multifocal DCIS (the actual DCIS spots were small - I think they varied from 1-7mm) but the abnormal area that contained them was 8x9x5 cm as I recall.  Thanks for taking this onto a new thread!

intermediate to high grade multifocal multicentric ER/PR negative DCIS. HER-2+ of unclear significance. s/p BMX
Log in to post a reply

Mar 1, 2011 04:34PM Jelson wrote:

I heard a broadcast of Felina (Rutkowski??) Gallagher on NPR talking about her store Upper Breast Side www.upperbreastside.com/ located in Manhattan. In the course of the interview,Ms. Gallagher spoke about her own personal experience breast feeding - she breast fed from only one breast, because the other was non-functional. No one could diagnose the problem and she was eventually diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and had a mastectomy.

I don't know if Ms. Gallagher is on these boards, but perhaps through her own experience and  her contact with 100's if not 1,000s of breast feeding women - she might have insights to share on this issue.

Julie E

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
Log in to post a reply

Jan 24, 2012 09:12AM Kimmy3 wrote:

Hello,  I know this is coming in years after the original post, but I have experience in the same. I became pregnant with my first child at age 34.  I was super excited about breast feeding, however my milk never came in,  I tried and tried for a month, my baby gained only a little weight and I had to formula feed.  I saw lactation consultants and they had no answers.  I wasn't shy, or afraid, and was doing everything right. When I pumped with the industrial pump at the hospital with the specialist I produced scant amouts of milk.  I had 2 more children after that, and tried initially, but the same thing happened.  I never experienced my breasts becoming full, or let down, or leaking or any of that.  Fast forward to age 44.  I was diagnosed with extensive DCIS, high grade, requiring a mastectomy.  Testing was triple negative. The oncologist and surgeon told me I was cured and could put breast cancer behind me, for which I am very thankful.  They both dismissed me when I told them that I think I may have had this DCIS for some time because of my lack of milk production.  I do think more needs to be studied in this area.

Log in to post a reply

Feb 14, 2012 07:39AM - edited Feb 14, 2012 07:41AM by Meredith26

Have any of you seen any studies on the impact of children's exposure to milk from cancerous ducts? I breastfed for 15 months from both breasts, then was diagnosed with extensive DCIS on the left side at the 17 month mark.

I am very worried that my daughter will have some ill effect, and wonder if the fact that she has has persistent acidic poop and diaper rash since turning one year is related.

Dx 1/5/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-
Log in to post a reply

May 3, 2012 02:40PM AshlandMom wrote:

I had a similar experience to those posted above. From the very beginning, I had trouble breast-feeding from my right breast, but I could easily produce milk from my left breast. For the first six months that I nursed, I had horrible pain in my right breast (a shooting pain through my ducts every time I nursed), but I kept nursing through the pain. Two lactation consultants confirmed that my latch was correct; one finally suggested that I must have an anatomical problem (a bent duct or something?) that would cause the pain. She suggested that I take calcium, which I did. After six months of nursing, I began the calcium supplements, and the pain eased, but I never produced as much milk on the right side. At ten months of nursing, I suddenly (literally overnight) developed a large (6 inches across) mass in my right breast. I saw my OB/GYN, who was confident that it must be mastitis. She advised me to take the usual steps for mastitis (massage, heat, etc.), but there was no change. I had two inconclusive ultrasounds a month apart. The radiologist said to come back in 3 months after stopping breast-feeding, as ultrasounds do not present reliable information for dense breasts (and nursing breasts are especially dense). However, the technician caught me alone and told me that she'd seen a similar ultrasound that had turned out to be cancer, and she suggested that I get a biopsy. Within a few weeks of finding the lump, I had a FNA and then a core needle biopsy that confirmed DCIS with some amount of high grade invasive cancer (I haven't had surgery yet, so I don't yet know the extent of the invasive cancer, but the response that I've had to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy suggests that it is likely DCIS with microinvasion). I have just finished 6 rounds of chemotherapy (Taxotere, Carboplatin, and Herceptin) and will have surgery in a month, followed by radiation. 

I believe that the trouble (and pain!) that I had breast-feeding from my right (affected) side was caused by DCIS. I am curious about what triggered the dramatic inflammation that occurred overnight (was that the point at which the DCIS shifted from DCIS only to DCIS with microinvasion?). I had recently taken a topical hydrocortisone cream for an unexplained rash on my back (directly "through" from the affected breast). I had a persistent itch there from just prior to the emergence of my lump/inflammation until after the first round of chemotherapy. Possibly unrelated, but certainly curious!

The best words that I've ever heard were when my breast surgeon told me that my daughter would not be affected by having drunk 12 months of breast milk filtered through cancer-laden ducts. I have sought but not found any studies to confirm this (doctors explain the absence of studies by saying that no one would choose to subject their children to breast-feeding on a cancerous breast, but that does not reassure me).

I would be very interested to hear from other women who have had similar experiences with breast-feeding and cancer! 

Dx 12/20/2011, IDC, 6cm+, Stage II, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

May 10, 2012 10:57PM 25weeks wrote:

I'm curious about this as well.  I was just diagnosed today with DCIS (haven't even met with surgeon yet for full report - that's tomorrow morning), but I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding my now 5 1/2 and 3 year olds.  I couldn't seem to produce enough milk and had to supplement both of them.  My milk spoiled very quickly (couldn't even freeze for more than a few days), and my daughter had frothy poop that severely irritated her skin, to which we chalked up to the dairy & soy in my diet.  My daughter was also treated for acid reflux and slept on a wedge for five months!  Looking back, maybe DCIS was in play.

I also wonder if the DCIS was present, then 1) did it have any affect on the milk I produced, and 2) could there possibly have been ill effects on my childr?

Dx 5/11/12 @ 40yo, rt brst IDC 1.7cm & DCIS 1.5cm, stage 1b, grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/10/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 7/24/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/18/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2013 Surgery 2/19/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
Log in to post a reply

May 14, 2012 12:20PM Meredith26 wrote:

Here are some of the explanations I heard:

(1) Non-metastatic cancer from the mother cannot become metastatic in the child.  Even if the baby is ingesting breast cancer cells, the baby has not gone through puberty and doesn't have the hormones which create breasts, and therefore could never contract breast cancer in this way.

(2) The stomach acid kills the BC cells that pass through.

(3) If it were possible to transmit BC in this way, it would be an observable trend and one of the first questions young women are asked upon diagnosis.

 I would have preferred to find an article, but there don't seem to be any studies on this topic.  Although it is the least scientific, I found (3) the most comforting, since it does seem logical that if breastfeeding could transmit breast cancer we would have heard about it by now in the media and it would be a widespread problem. 

Dx 1/5/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-
Log in to post a reply

May 14, 2012 12:32PM - edited May 14, 2012 12:33PM by leggo

Add me to the list of women who had trouble breastfeeding (second child) which resulted in a BC diagnosis. Couldn't get the doctor to listen to me either. I was also livid that I was passing cancer cells onto my child. Screamed my Dr. stupid!

"The stomach acid kills the BC cells that pass through" - I highly doubt it works that way...if only....I wouldn't be in this position.

And....

"we would have heard about it by now in the media" - doubt that too. Can you imagine the frenzy if they released information like that?

Sorry to be pissy.

"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
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2017 08:59AM BanR wrote:

read this post years after it was posted. Well i was not a BC patient then.

I asked the same question to my dr. He said cancer can't be transmitted from mother to child. Her body will consit as a foreign object and discard.

Theory of randomness...so unfair! Dx 9/12/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/5/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/10/2014
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2017 11:54AM Diagnosisbreastcancer wrote:

I also suspect that my breast-feeding twins (while also pumping milk) is linked to my breast cancer. Apparently the pump doesn't empty all the milk from the breast and I had mastitis 2X in that 9 month period. I wonder if it is related too...

Author of "How to Deal with a Cancer Diagnosis" book on Amazon.com Surgery 12/7/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 12/18/2016, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 1/10/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/24/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/20/2017 AC Targeted Therapy 4/19/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/19/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/9/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy 10/14/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2017 11:56AM Diagnosisbreastcancer wrote:

I also suspect that my breast-feeding twins (while also pumping milk) is linked to my breast cancer. Apparently the pump doesn't empty all the milk from the breast and I had mastitis 2X in that 9 month period. I wonder if it is related too...

Author of "How to Deal with a Cancer Diagnosis" book on Amazon.com Surgery 12/7/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 12/18/2016, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 1/10/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 1/24/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 2/20/2017 AC Targeted Therapy 4/19/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/19/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/9/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy 10/14/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2017 05:45PM BanR wrote:

same here! I had my tumor on the same spot where i had the painful bacterial accumulation twice. There can be some link which my dr mentioned too. There is something called pregnancy associated breast cancer.

Theory of randomness...so unfair! Dx 9/12/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/5/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/10/2014
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2017 11:33PM MinusTwo wrote:

Below is a link to the NCI - National Cancer Inst about pregnancy associated breast cancer,. Sound to me like it just means diagnosed during pregnancy or the first years postpartum. It doesn't appear to mean that nursing or pregnancy cause breast cancer. I don't see a causitive link.

PABC) is defined as breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or in the first postpartum years

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC34105...


2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
Log in to post a reply

Jun 21, 2017 11:58PM LAstar wrote:

My recollection is that breastfeeding decreases the risk of breast cancer. I had clogged ducts on my left side when I was breastfeeding and was diagnosed with DCIS 5 years later. Maybe a coincidence but I wonder.

Dx 3/5/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery 4/6/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/4/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): SGAP flap/hip flap; Reconstruction (right): SGAP flap/hip flap Surgery 10/5/2012 Reconstruction (left): SGAP flap/hip flap; Reconstruction (right): SGAP flap/hip flap Surgery 1/26/2015 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap
Log in to post a reply

Jun 22, 2017 10:45AM gb2115 wrote:

This is very interesting. I pumped exclusively for my daughter, and getting milk out of the right side (where the cancer eventually was) was not as easy as the left side. Like it made about half the milk that the left side did. I wonder, I mean, they say that cancer grows for years before it can be spotted...maybe the breast was compromised already.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
Log in to post a reply

Jun 22, 2017 03:06PM MinusTwo wrote:

LAStar - you are right. Breast feeding decreases the risk of getting breast cancer.

Otherwise there are no definitive answers as to what causes BC. Although genetic tests so showing some inherited concerns.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
Log in to post a reply

Jun 22, 2017 05:41PM - edited Jun 22, 2017 05:43PM by BanR

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC46531...


Says pregnancy associated bc ( tnbc being a subtype)can occur upto 10 years from pregnancy.

Theory of randomness...so unfair! Dx 9/12/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/5/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/10/2014
Log in to post a reply

Jun 23, 2017 12:15AM MinusTwo wrote:

Thanks for the link BanR

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
Log in to post a reply

Jul 17, 2017 09:06PM calidancer wrote:

I had DCIS in the breast with better supply. I did have more clogged ducts while breastfeeding though, in similar area to the ducts with DCIS.

Cancer is not transmitted from person to person. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/is-cancer-contagious.html

43 at DX. Implants are over the muscle. Ruptured saline expander, 3 months flat. Exchange to silicone. Capsular Contracture at 18 months. Revision at 2 years. Implant was ruptured. Dx 5/5/2015, DCIS, Left, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+ Surgery 6/8/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Saline implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant, Tissue expander placement Dx 6/12/2015, DCIS, Left, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 10/28/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 10/16/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
Log in to post a reply

May 2, 2018 02:31AM Belle86 wrote:

Also posting years later. I had difficulty during breastfeeding with both my children (2012) and (2015)

On both occasions I initially became engorged and had mastitis on the left only. Even though the second time I knew what to expect and had a pump ready to relieve the engorgement - nothing would come out!

I saw a lactation consultant as my second son had nappy problems. Green, frothy and foul. Also had (and still has) a distended belly. She told me I was “underdeveloped” and this is why I would not produce.

I ignored her because I don’t think a person’s size has anything to do with it - especially considering the right was fine! I continued to produce less than an ounce on the left, he showed preference for the right also.

Ultimately I couldn’t feed from the left side. So I went around with one boob about 4 times the size of the other!

Now. I just can’t help but wonder, was it the calcifications in the ducts? Is that what stopped the milk from coming out? Because the engorgement tells me it was produced. It just couldn’t come out so the whole supply/demand thing couldn’t work.

Then... how could I NOT have caused some harm to him from what he did get. If only I gave up sooner. If only I hadn’t tried so hard!

Dx 12/22/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
Log in to post a reply

Nov 5, 2019 04:03PM Ndth86 wrote:

I know this is an old thread but this topic sounds familiar to me... I had struggles breastfeeding my now 16MO so I threw in the towel at 4 months. He would get so mad at my left breast he would literally punch it because he couldn’t get milk. I also got many clogged ducts on the left side. And I never had a surplus of milk, ever. I was lucky my LO got what he did. Anyway, fast forward to today... I still have shooting, burning sensations in the area where the blocks were, and that same spot gets quite itchy. I had a mammogram in May because I had discharge from both breasts where they diagnosed me with duct ectasia and said I have scattered micro-calcifications. The crusty discharge is only on my left side now and has been for months, it’s almost like notice ting grains of sand around my nipple- my question is, should I push for an MRI or ride this out? I want to have another baby soon.

Log in to post a reply

Nov 5, 2019 10:28PM LAstar wrote:

Having a baseline MRI to detect changes over time might be helpful, and if nothing concerning is found you can ease your mind and work on getting pregnant. Best wishes on both fronts!

Dx 3/5/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- Surgery 4/6/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 5/4/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 6/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): SGAP flap/hip flap; Reconstruction (right): SGAP flap/hip flap Surgery 10/5/2012 Reconstruction (left): SGAP flap/hip flap; Reconstruction (right): SGAP flap/hip flap Surgery 1/26/2015 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap

Page 1 of 1 (23 results)