Feb 29, 2016 04:27PM Valstim52 wrote:
I'm on other threads, but in 1992 had breast cancer in my other breast. I was 31 with a 3, 5 and 7 year old. I had a lumpectomy which was new then and tamoxifen and radiation. After my lumpectomy, i did NOT have clear margins so had 12 radiation treatments. Never knew what my stage was, they said to worry about the surgery and radiation. I do know my tumor was 1cm and I had 2 positive nodes.
That 3 year old is now 28 I never thought I'd see my kids grow up. I was fortunate and went to a very large teaching hospital for treatment. (University of Chicago) The standard (which i now agonize over not having done) was double mastectomy in my small town. . I wonder only briefly if I'd had it, would I have IBC now. (just diagnosed 12/15 with idc with ibc symptoms and triple negative on top of it all. . (not sure what all that means except it's grim to google it. ). oh and i have positive lymph nodes.
Chemo was never an option mentioned for my original tumor . So much was either explained and I didnt hear it, or they didnt do it. I never had a scan, only a chest xray. Later I had a CT and an MRI but I was well past treatment. I never heard of a PCR until recently. I've had so many friend in the years since, have breast cancer. Some at early stage think they are fine after treaatment , that comes back with a vengeance and others that are stage III or IV and live many years.
in 24 plus years there have been so many breakthroughs. For instance, chemo before surgery was rare in my olden days. Or I didn't know about it. . Lumpectomies were considered 'new and risky' (one Dr, told me, my cancer would come back if I didnt have a radical surgery) The best thing my current MO told me is people forget that the purpose of chemo before surgery is to shrink the tumor, if you get total pcr that is a bonus. chemo shrinks, surgery gets what the eye can see, and radiation does the mop up.
20 plus years later, though in the other breast, i can say that worked for me. You never know how your body will respond. Plus the worry and what ifs, and maybe can really work on your well being mentally and physically.
As for genetic testing, i'm negative, but all of my fathers sisters (5) had breast cancer with an onset in their 50's and 60's. Only one died of breast cancer (after 10 years), the rest of old age. And the only treatment so far we can tell is they had surgery after having large lumps that could not be ignored. It was the 70's and early 80's.
Just my 2 cents. I'm no expert, but you can not put a price on piece of mind. Since I have to have cancer again, I'm glad this one is now and not back then.
I can only share what I know and have experienced. Hopefully it will help.