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Common Questions

  • Aida Rivera Profile

    I was just diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday - the doc thinks it's stage 2 ... Do people die from this?? Why is everyone being so positive ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 28 answers
    • View all 28 answers
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      People die from car crashes, cancer, or even a common cold (depending on their health). The reason people are so positive is because YOU are NOT going to die from this. You have to find the fight inside you & use the love & support around you to kick some cancer ass. Without a positive attitude,...

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      People die from car crashes, cancer, or even a common cold (depending on their health). The reason people are so positive is because YOU are NOT going to die from this. You have to find the fight inside you & use the love & support around you to kick some cancer ass. Without a positive attitude, the ass kicking is not as easy. Cancer & chemo may take your hair, possibly your toenails, & likely your breasts...but it doesn't have to take your life. You've got cancer...it doesn't have you.

      It's scary, I realize. And you have every right to go through phases of sadness or anger or whatever else you feel. But in the end, it comes down to a battle. And cancer is a tricky little bugger, but this is a battle you will win! If ever you need support or just want to vent, know that people like me are here for you, too. Sending love your way!

      25 comments
    • Eleanor Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was told in 2003 that I had stage 3 Breast Cancer. Ten years later by the grace of God, i'm still here and doing great.

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I found a lump on the edge of my areola about the size of a small pea. Found it a 1mth ago thinking it was a swollen gland, but it hasn't gone away. I'm starting to get very nervous. Has anyone else ever felt a lump there & what did it feel like?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 2 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,

      Evelyn really said it all in her experience and advice. Most of these things turn out to be benign BUT there is no way to differentiate breast cancer and a benign condition without further diagnostic testing. Breast cancer is a sneaky, stealthy, disease, you need to contact your...

      more

      Anonymous,

      Evelyn really said it all in her experience and advice. Most of these things turn out to be benign BUT there is no way to differentiate breast cancer and a benign condition without further diagnostic testing. Breast cancer is a sneaky, stealthy, disease, you need to contact your doctor ASAP to get this checked out even if it is just for your peace of mind. Do not panic if your doctor requests multiple tests.... even at that, this does not mean you are going to be diagnosed with breast cancer. The younger you are, the more dense your breast tissue is. Sometimes that density masks being about to really identify the lump in question. It may go to an ultrasound and a biopsy.... again.... just because your doctor may order those tests, it is just because they need to identify what they are trying to see. All of my pals who have gone all the way up to a biopsy, not one of them ended up with breast cancer.... I was the only one. So many more of these lumpy-thingy's end up being benign. Hang in there but GO CALL YOUR DOCTOR NOW. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
  • Carrie Bates Profile

    What does a cancerous breast look like on an ultra sound?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 2 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Carrie,
      Sheesh... I was WRONG.... I found a great site that shows what breast cancer lesions look like on an ultrasound. SO sorry for the former post which I deleted and put this instead. http://www.ultrasound-images.com/breast.htm This site shows many different breast cancers. Keep...

      more

      Carrie,
      Sheesh... I was WRONG.... I found a great site that shows what breast cancer lesions look like on an ultrasound. SO sorry for the former post which I deleted and put this instead. http://www.ultrasound-images.com/breast.htm This site shows many different breast cancers. Keep scrolling down and you do not have to download any special "viewer". Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Alice Klobukowski Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      It might help to google words like "breast cancer ultrasound." I tried this and many images showed up. I have very dense breasts. As I recall, the malignancy was dark and the rest of the breast appeared white.

      Comment
  • Ethel Brooks Profile

    If you have bilateral mastectomy, how long does it take to recover from the surgery? I hear about the tubes for drainage - how long are they kept in you? What are extenders if you have reconstruction surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    over 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Cheri Davis Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I had an unilateral mastectomy in 09. I also had a tissue expander. My drain tubes were in place for almost 2 weeks. They really were annoying! Didn't hurt, but just bothersome. I used a mastectomy cami and it was wonderful. It had a pouch in front to stuff the drain tubes in. I wore...

      more

      I had an unilateral mastectomy in 09. I also had a tissue expander. My drain tubes were in place for almost 2 weeks. They really were annoying! Didn't hurt, but just bothersome. I used a mastectomy cami and it was wonderful. It had a pouch in front to stuff the drain tubes in. I wore bagging, button down or zipper up tops and it was fine. The tissue expander is not fun though. It is a hard, implant like thing that has a magnet in it. The magnet is for the fills. The doc fills a syringe with saline and with the magnet guides the needle to the right spot and then he pokes your skin and into the expander. How long you have to have the expander in all depends on how big you want and how long it takes for you body to stretch. It didn't hurt at all except for the stretching of the muscles. My neck and back would ache for a few days. I was lucky, it only took 2 months before I was ready for the permanent implants. Over-all it isn't a horrible surgery as far as surgery goes. I have had worse for sure!! And I was only in the hospital 1 night too.

      10 comments
    • Pam Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had bilateral mastectomies 8 months ago. Stage I invasive but very small. Genetic testing negative. Sentinel Lymph node negative. Estrogen progesterone positive. Post menopausal. Age 56. I had tissue expanders for silicone gel implants for only 3 weeks before implant exchange. Drain tubes...

      more

      I had bilateral mastectomies 8 months ago. Stage I invasive but very small. Genetic testing negative. Sentinel Lymph node negative. Estrogen progesterone positive. Post menopausal. Age 56. I had tissue expanders for silicone gel implants for only 3 weeks before implant exchange. Drain tubes for almost the whole 3 weeks. They are annoying but not horrible. I wore my surgical bras and loose tops. Not a huge issue, really, but was ready for them to come out! The exchange surgery was quick and not a big deal. Went to opening home game of OU football 2 days after!! Made it thru half! Taking Arimidex ...no chemo needed. Doing fantastic'nnb

      12 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am wondering if anyone has had persistent fatigue after breast cancer, radiation and taking Tamoxifen 20 mg? I am 3 years out and have to nap every day! I sometimes feel like the radiation destroyed me!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Buster OBuster Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      7 month survivor, radiation, no chemo, taking arimidex. Fatigue has been the worse side effect.

      4 comments
    • marcie nance Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am on my third year after chemo and radiation. Had stage 2 BC. I am on tamoxifen and Effexor. let me tell you the Effexor gives me more energy than I can handle. Had to get the dosage corrected a couple of times. I highly recommend it if you are tired all the time. Don't even feel like I went...

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      I am on my third year after chemo and radiation. Had stage 2 BC. I am on tamoxifen and Effexor. let me tell you the Effexor gives me more energy than I can handle. Had to get the dosage corrected a couple of times. I highly recommend it if you are tired all the time. Don't even feel like I went through radiation or chemo. I am blessed with the best oncologist in Georgia !

      4 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    How long does it take for eyelashes and eyebrows to grow back after chemo? Does anything help them to grow?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 2 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I didn't lose my lashes and brows until I was almost done with chemo and they came out in waves. So they thinned a lot. I didn't notice the brows were coming out actually until they started growing back in b/c they were darker. My lashes were totally gone for a few weeks and since I was...

      more

      I didn't lose my lashes and brows until I was almost done with chemo and they came out in waves. So they thinned a lot. I didn't notice the brows were coming out actually until they started growing back in b/c they were darker. My lashes were totally gone for a few weeks and since I was finishing up with chemo, they came back shortly after. Both are back now (was done end of sept). My hair is about 4 inches long. Best wishes to you

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      My eyebrows and lashes became thin but I never completely lost them. Unfortunately, the lashes grew back, sparsely but my eyebrows.... not so much. Take care, Sharon

      8 comments
  • Kreesha Kuru Profile

    What are the symptoms of breast cancer ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Alice Eisele Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      It's very hard to define symptoms for breast cancer. Everyone is different. Some women do not have any noticeable symptoms. Others notice a lump or a discharge from the nipple.

      The safest course is to have your yearly exames, Know your own body, and know your family history. If you have...

      more

      It's very hard to define symptoms for breast cancer. Everyone is different. Some women do not have any noticeable symptoms. Others notice a lump or a discharge from the nipple.

      The safest course is to have your yearly exames, Know your own body, and know your family history. If you have concerns, discuss them with your doctor right away.

      4 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Patient

      I also had bad night sweats. I could sleep naked w no sheets and still b drenched

      Comment
  • Kristine Fonseca Profile

    What is the survival rate of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2, Triple Negative and what are the side effects of TAC Chemo treatments?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2006

      Hi Kristine I honestly don't have a definite answer for you regarding the survival rate . I have researched and read conflicting answers. I do know that it depends on the type of breast cancer that you are diagnosed with as well as other issues. However, I hope that you are encouraged by...

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      Hi Kristine I honestly don't have a definite answer for you regarding the survival rate . I have researched and read conflicting answers. I do know that it depends on the type of breast cancer that you are diagnosed with as well as other issues. However, I hope that you are encouraged by knowing that I celebrated my 5th year of being cancer free on 8/23/11. I was diagnosed with Triple Negative, Invasive and Stage 2A. I was 52 Yrs old when diagnosed and I am now 58.
      I know that God is in control of all our lives therefore I live my life a day at a time staying focused on what is most important to me and what makes me happy no matter what and that is my family and God. Follow your Dr's Advice:) always have hope, faith and love.
      Stay encouraged and enjoy each and everyday!
      Your Sister of Hope!!

      5 comments
    • Cindy Rathbun Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Don't get caught up in numbers for "survival rate." If those statistics were important, we might never drive a car! I was diagnosed w Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Triple Neg in Jan 2008. I had chemo, lumpectomy, and radiation. This past March 2011, I felt a lump in the same...

      more

      Don't get caught up in numbers for "survival rate." If those statistics were important, we might never drive a car! I was diagnosed w Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Triple Neg in Jan 2008. I had chemo, lumpectomy, and radiation. This past March 2011, I felt a lump in the same breast...diagnosed DCIS, again TNBC. I elected to have bilateral mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. Post op pathology showed 2 additional types of micro malignant cells waiting to happen. I feel totally at peace with my decision. Life is good. I am back to playing golf and exercising. Yoga and meditation are high priority for staying focused and strong. The path to wellness starts in our own minds...know it, believe it, and you will be better than ever!

      3 comments
  • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile

    What is the difference between the grades and stages of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 2 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My...

      more

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My stage was was a 2B..... (a 2.3cm with 1 positive lymph node.) The grade is how agressive the cells are.... grade 1-relatively non-agressive, grade 2 - middle of the road. grade 3 more aggressive cells. Within the grade, there can be varying degrees of aggressiveness. You will also have a report on your cancer's sensitivety to hormones. It will be ER+ or - PR + or - and HER2 + or -
      Breast cancer is very individual to each person. You can have the same type of breast cancer as the next woman and that is where the similarities end. Your cells are unique to you. Your treatment will be developed because of the cells seen at your biopsy. You will wonder why your treatment is different from mine but it is because our breast cancer may be completely different on a cell level. It's confusing for sure. Each woman reaction to their treatments are all different too. Just as Jo says... bring every single itty bitty question to your interview. Best too, if you bring a friend who can either take really great notes or bring some kind of recorder with you. You are given a lot of information and you won't necessarily remember it all. We are always here for you as you go through your treatment. Hang in there.... there's a wonderful bunch of "sister's" out here to help. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
    • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      i have grade 3 breast cancer but i dont understand that, im scared it is growing everywhere else. what does that mean?

      11 comments
  • Blair Jenkins Profile

    I was recently reading my pathology report and it said Triple Negative Breast Cancer grade 9 (3+3+3) on the nottingham scale - my tumor was about 6cm but had not spread to any lymph nodes - what is grade 9?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2009
    over 3 years 2 answers
    • Janelle Strunk Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Hi Blair,

      I was curious about your question and did a bit of research. Here is the best answer I came up with. It was given by:

      Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of...

      more

      Hi Blair,

      I was curious about your question and did a bit of research. Here is the best answer I came up with. It was given by:

      Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

      The Nottingham histologic score is simply a scoring system to assess the "grade" of breast cancers.

      It is a total score based on 3 different sub-scores. The 3 sub-scores are assigned based on 3 components of how the breast cancer cells look under a microscope. (The details of these 3 components are not critical for you to understand). Each of the 3 components is assigned a sub-score of 1, 2, or 3, with 1 being best and 3 being worst. Once the 3 sub-scores are added, a Nottingham score is obtained: the minimum score possible is 3 (1+1+1) and the maximum possible is 9 (3+3+3).

      A histologic grade of III is assigned to any patient with a Nottingham score of 8 or 9. Grade I refers to Nottingham scores of 3, 4, and 5, while Grade II refers to Nottingham scores of 6 and 7.

      In the end, the Nottingham score and histologic grades are not very useful in the big picture, as they do not alter final overall treatment recommendations. High-score cancers tend to relapse more often than low-score cancers. Ultimately, however, we don't use the score in making clinical decisions.

      I hope that this helps clear up any confusion. I wish you the best.

      4 comments
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Do you have a family history? If yes, I suggest genetic testing for the BRCA gene mutation.

      1 comment
  • Diane Oberholtzer Profile

    What is inflammatory breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 3 answers
    • Kris Shortridge Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was dx with inflammatory breast cancer in July 2008. It is always stage 3 or 4. The symptoms are different from breast cancer. It looks

      15 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive form of cancer that is usually Stage 3 or 4. The videos under "Learn" on this site have some great info about types of breast cancer, including inflammatory breast cancer. Here's the direct link: http://beyondtheshock.com/learn#5/7

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Breast lumps on both breasts, sized 3cm, 2.8 0.8 & 0.5 on the ultrasound. I also have a family history of breast cancer - my dad's Aunt. It increases my risk that it's breast cancer. What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Lori A Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You should go to your doctor immediately. Early detection makes a big difference.

      Comment
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I found the tumor in my left breast 2 years ago, at 42 y.o. Same week I did the ultrasound - we jump the step of mammogram because it was clear where the thing was. With the ultrasound we found 2 more tumors, and the confirmation of being a mass. One more week I had the biopsy. Then surgery - I...

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      I found the tumor in my left breast 2 years ago, at 42 y.o. Same week I did the ultrasound - we jump the step of mammogram because it was clear where the thing was. With the ultrasound we found 2 more tumors, and the confirmation of being a mass. One more week I had the biopsy. Then surgery - I opt for double mastectomy because I had a high risk over 60% to have in the other breast in the future. Best thing I did because in the biopsy post surgery, they did find a tinny tumor on my right breast, still not detectable by any test.
      Started chemo 1 month after surgery. Then had the genetic test done, and I'm BRCA 2 positive - high risk for ovarian cancer. As soon as I finished the chemo, I had a surgery to remove the ovaries. Then did reconstruction, and now I am healthy, happy and with really little risk of reincidence! Easy? No, it was a trip to hell, painful, scary, I still have neuropathy, joint pains and chemo brain. But I wouldn't change any of the steps I took because I'm alive and happy, very happy!!!! My conclusion and answer for you: don't waste time. As soon as you can have the alien removed from your body, better chances for everything to be all right!!

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm 23 year old. I have a lump in the upper outer quadrant of my right breast. I had it biopsied 5 months before... it's stage 2. I sometimes feel pain in that area not very often. Does it mean it has metastasized??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Connie Demarest Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      GET TREATMENT RIGHT AWAY!!!!!!!!

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would ask your doctor to be sure nothing has changed. Have you had surgery, chemo or radiation?

      5 comments
  • Catherine Nodurft Profile

    Is there an expected phase of depression after a lumpectomy or mastectomy? During or after chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 3 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • sandy glisman Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I'm only four weeks out of surgery but i already know i will never be the same. Not physically or emotionally!! It forever changes you but not all bad. Alot of wonderful things have come from this!! I have learned to be more patient, not sweat the small things, appreciate things i took for...

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      I'm only four weeks out of surgery but i already know i will never be the same. Not physically or emotionally!! It forever changes you but not all bad. Alot of wonderful things have come from this!! I have learned to be more patient, not sweat the small things, appreciate things i took for granted, found kindness where i never knew it existed, and met amazing courageous ladies, like all of you!! I get depressed, but i try to focus on the good things that have happened. We just all have to find and accept our new "normal" We can do it, with each others help!!! Us pink ladies ROCK!!! Stay strong and focused!!

      11 comments
    • Lisa Cefaratti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I am a BC survivor. Diagnosed in August of 2009. Had single total mastectomy followed by 4 rounds of chemo. As I was going through everything I was sort-of in a holding pattern. Just doing everything day by day as I needed to, but once the chemo was finished I felt this overwhelming sense of...

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      I am a BC survivor. Diagnosed in August of 2009. Had single total mastectomy followed by 4 rounds of chemo. As I was going through everything I was sort-of in a holding pattern. Just doing everything day by day as I needed to, but once the chemo was finished I felt this overwhelming sense of depression. I felt lost, left at the side of the road. There were no more treatment appointments, doctor's appointments went to every 3 months then every 6, and I really felt like...ok, it's time for me to pick up the pieces now. But I didn't know how. I didn't know how to feel, what to feel, or what to do for that matter. On top of all that, my body decided that it was time to launch me into menopause. Now, almost 2 years later, the depression has pretty much subsided, thanks to taking walks with my dogs. I do have a very bad case of extreme exhaustion, which has been very challenging. I can sleep from 10pm until 4 or 5pm the next day sometimes. I find I have to force myself to get up, and even then, my legs feel like they are lead. I am back to work part-time, and it is getting a little easier as time goes on. I found that most of my depression came from guilt. I felt that I should be able to bounce right back into my life. I don't think after breast cancer you ever bounce back into your life. For me, anyway, it's a somewhat "different" life. You look at things differently, you will notice that many things don't matter anymore...little things, that shouldn't have mattered before. You will also see people in a different light. I noticed the triteness in many people. People who take their lives for granted, and are focused on what they have and are going to get, rather than if they are kind to other people, and accepting of other's mistakes. Anyways, I digress. I guess in a nutshell, you very well may experience depression, but there are a whole lot of other emotions you will also experience. Just learn to take the bad with the good, and know that it WILL get better! Good luck to all you women who have yet to start on this journey. It really is a journey of the body, mind, and spirit. So, be good to all of them, because this journey really never ends...you will always be a survivor!

      8 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Just diagnoised with DCIS, stage 0, grade 1. Had a lumpectomy with clean margins. Not sure about radiation treatment. Do I need it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Joanne Pawling Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was diagnosed dcis, stage 0, grade 2 and 3. Lumpectomy done and also had clear margins. My doctors have recommended radiation, and I began treatments last week. I also began taking Tamoxifen. I wish you well in your decision. my thought was fight it now, and hopefully I will never have to deal...

      more

      I was diagnosed dcis, stage 0, grade 2 and 3. Lumpectomy done and also had clear margins. My doctors have recommended radiation, and I began treatments last week. I also began taking Tamoxifen. I wish you well in your decision. my thought was fight it now, and hopefully I will never have to deal with this again.

      3 comments
    • Douglas Feil Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      That's a question for your doctor. You should get your doctor's opinion. My mom had the same thing, though, about 5 years ago. I think she opted out of radiation, but again, you have to get some second opinions. I think they (doctors) do radiation after a lumpectomy because they want to make...

      more

      That's a question for your doctor. You should get your doctor's opinion. My mom had the same thing, though, about 5 years ago. I think she opted out of radiation, but again, you have to get some second opinions. I think they (doctors) do radiation after a lumpectomy because they want to make sure they got all the abnormal cells, so nothing has a chance to spread later.

      Comment
  • Kristine Fonseca Profile

    Has anyone had DIEP (using belly fat) breast reconstruction that can share their story of the surgery and recovery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 2 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Erin Ely Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My Mom had a double mastectomy with a DIEP flap repair on Feb 1st. It was a 10 hour surgery in all. She spent one night in ICU and the three nights on the regular floor. She has had very little pain, the six drains bothered her more than anything. She does fatigue easily but she is getting...

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      My Mom had a double mastectomy with a DIEP flap repair on Feb 1st. It was a 10 hour surgery in all. She spent one night in ICU and the three nights on the regular floor. She has had very little pain, the six drains bothered her more than anything. She does fatigue easily but she is getting stronger everyday. They did not have to use any muscle for the flap so she maintains her abdominal strength. Also, she has no lymphadema due to only two nodes removed during the sentinel node biopsy. At her fist post op visit, five of the six drains were removed. I encourage women to consider this surgery if given the option. Yes, the surgery is long, but she will look amazing and be cancer free when all is said and done. I am Han RN and have been very pleased with her healing and progress. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me.

      3 comments
    • dorothy harder Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I havent had my reconstruction yet but I was thinking about this procedure. Because its all your own tissue. I just am hesitant cuz it seems you are getting so chopped up. But in the long run you'll have less infections or complications--so I'm told.

      7 comments
  • Kelsey Ann Profile

    What causes breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Everyone says different things. Drinking, poor diet and being overweight can contribute. I don't drink much, am very healthy and active and I still got it. My doctor said it can sometimes be bad luck. So, get screened! Early detection is key!!!

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My reaction has been to toss plastic. Go fresh and eat very little from the pantry. No soy no dairy and no minimal meat for me

      Comment
  • P C Profile

    Has anyone had a senoma form after surgery? How long does it continue to swell? (they drained it for me once)

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    about 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Alison Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I had 2 seromas form after surgery, it took almost two years for them to resolve, and I was in quite a bit of pain during that time. It did get better after about 2 years, though a residual of the seromas remain. The best pain control came from wearing a lidoderm patch.

      3 comments
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I developed a seroma quickly after surgery. I continued to feel pressure in the surgical scar. A few months after surgery I there was a visible swelling in the scare. I had an ultrasound that found the seroma. I then raised it with my Breast Surgeon who explained around 40% of women ended up with...

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      I developed a seroma quickly after surgery. I continued to feel pressure in the surgical scar. A few months after surgery I there was a visible swelling in the scare. I had an ultrasound that found the seroma. I then raised it with my Breast Surgeon who explained around 40% of women ended up with seromas - a pertinent medical fact I thought should have been mentioned prior to surgery but about which I will not make a fuss because he did a great job. The seroma was most uncomfortable around six months after surgery. I am 16 months post surgery now and it is uncomfortable occasionally only. I suspect this is hormonally and fluid dependent. I am normally not brilliant at healing after getting a cut, scratch etc so I have been pleasantly surprised at how little trouble the seroma is these days. I was offered a needle aspiration by my GP around the time the seroma was at its most intense however he warned me that having the fluid drawn out can make some seromas fill faster and bigger, so making it worse and also said any needle into flesh carries a risk of infection into my surgical scar. He felt most seromas spontaneously regress of their own accord especially those like mine that are not toughly encapsulated. Weighing up the pros and cons I elected not to aspirate.It has been shrinking away to almost nothing these past 6 months. I'm therefore glad I left it alone. My seroma was classified as small. If it was a large one and more incapacitating I may have made a different decision.

      2 comments
  • Connie Demarest Profile

    Is chemotherapy (except aromotase inhibitors) used for stage 1 lymph node negative breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 3 answers
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Yes one could have chemotherapy with a stage one diagnosis. I was stage one and had chemotherapy with no lymph node involvement due to the fact that my cancer was HER2 positive.

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Hi Connie,
      You have a lot happening this week. You will get through this. Sometimes the toughest part of treatment Is waiting. I believe you will have answers when you see your oncologist this week. Stay strong.

      Comment
  • kim sosa Profile

    I'm about to start chemo how soon after your first shot of chemo does your hair fall out?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 2 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Kim, my Oncologist told me my hair would start to come out approx 14 days after my first chemo treatment. She was right on the mark! I had long hair & I noticed it coming out when I shampooed. It's a very personal choice but I decided to have my boyfriend give me a "buzz" cut when I first...

      more

      Hi Kim, my Oncologist told me my hair would start to come out approx 14 days after my first chemo treatment. She was right on the mark! I had long hair & I noticed it coming out when I shampooed. It's a very personal choice but I decided to have my boyfriend give me a "buzz" cut when I first noticed it really coming out. It was easier for me. I felt it would be too difficult seeing it come out in clumps. I felt more empowered that way. Losing my hair wasn't easy...but I must say the fear and dread of losing it was harder than it actually being gone. I wore scarves a lot. And sometimes wigs. I just went "commando" around the house. Some women are comfortable going bald all the time & I think that's beautiful. Just put on some big hoop earrings & "work it". As you can see in my photo...my hair is coming back just as thick as it was before (just a little grayer but I haven't seen my natural hair color in years ;). There are beautiful scarves. My fav one I received through Good Wishes. Their website is Goodwishesscarves.org. They are lovely and are given free of charge. What a wonderful organization!

      2 comments
    • Nikol Vega Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I started to lose my hair a few hours after my 2nd treatment. I asked my husband to shave my head, with tears in both our eyes he did it. I love my bald head, the hair has started to grow now :)

      Comment
  • Janelle Strunk Profile

    How often should I perform a Breast Self-Exam?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Nikol Vega Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Once a month, that is how I noticed a lump which turned out to be cancer

      2 comments
    • Jo Ann Timberlake Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      A Breast Self-Exam is recommended monthly. At first you won't think you know what you are feeling for, but once you become familiar with the lumps & bumps naturally in your breast that are unique to you, then you will be in a position to notice a change.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Had surgery, finished chemo will still continue herceptin and rads but still don't feel ready to go back to work

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    3 days 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Patient

      Yes I was the same exact way it took me 1.5 years before I went back. I think that is common I really feel chemo is what had made the biggest impact it's made me different .. Sucks wish I could go back to the before chemo me

      2 comments
    • Trisha Muller Quinn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      I was the same way after (treatment)was all done .... They told me about this .. After all the attention we have had over long period of time with everyone asking " how are you"?! ... It's back to normal .. We are now " normal" people ... Once our hair grows back its not obvious we were once...

      more

      I was the same way after (treatment)was all done .... They told me about this .. After all the attention we have had over long period of time with everyone asking " how are you"?! ... It's back to normal .. We are now " normal" people ... Once our hair grows back its not obvious we were once fighting for our lives ... It's a adjustment... And it's about " time heals"... After all my treatment I had almost 2 mths in hospital with a staph infection.. So I was off work for a total of 10 mths ... A lack of money and the need to move on in life drive me back to work ... I've been back now 4 mths and all is great in strong and well and happy ... So good luck to you.. And you have been to hell and back and now it's time to move to next stage ... :)))

      Comment
  • norma crutchfield Profile

    What type of cancer is DCIS?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • tina piser Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      dcis is stage 0, or pre cancer. dcis can be ductal or lobular. some docs now consider dcis cancer and others pre cancer. listen to your intuition, get 2nd opinion if you aren't happy with what your doc has told you so far.

      3 comments
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common NON invasive breast cancer! Ductal means is in the milk ducts. In situ, or encapsulated, means the tumor is in it's early stages, inside it's capsule. Better to understand is like a bubble that didn't rupture yet so the tissue around is,...

      more

      Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common NON invasive breast cancer! Ductal means is in the milk ducts. In situ, or encapsulated, means the tumor is in it's early stages, inside it's capsule. Better to understand is like a bubble that didn't rupture yet so the tissue around is, probably, contaminated!

      Comment
  • Caroline Foster Caubet Profile

    How do I tell my kids?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 1996
    over 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Caroline Foster Caubet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 1996

      When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my daughters were between 16 and 6. What could they hear? Obviously the message could not be the same for each one of them. I spoke to each one individually, without pronouncing the word "cancer". Their questions did come with time and I answered...

      more

      When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my daughters were between 16 and 6. What could they hear? Obviously the message could not be the same for each one of them. I spoke to each one individually, without pronouncing the word "cancer". Their questions did come with time and I answered with simple words. What I wanted them to understand was that I was very sick, that I was fighting hard and that there was a pretty good chance that I would win the battle. I tried to give a message of hope. 15 years later, we talk about it and they say they appreciated understanding progressively.

      1 comment
    • Elise Merchant Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Well ive just turned 12 and my mum was diagnosed on January 05 2011 and i was 11 at the time and she came in and said to me- a soon as she got back from the hospital- Ellie theyve found a lump and so we hugged and then i asked is it cancer and she said it was. i was greatful that she told me...

      more

      Well ive just turned 12 and my mum was diagnosed on January 05 2011 and i was 11 at the time and she came in and said to me- a soon as she got back from the hospital- Ellie theyve found a lump and so we hugged and then i asked is it cancer and she said it was. i was greatful that she told me straight out that it was and that she was going to be fine :)

      1 comment
  • Lindzey Ward Profile

    Does it hurt after having a mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      everyone is different, everyone feels and handles discomfort or pain in a different way; I had very little pain for a couple of weeks after my double mastectomy, other than a bit of a pulling sensation when I bent over forwards, but after the steri-strips came off, 20 days after surgery, I had...

      more

      everyone is different, everyone feels and handles discomfort or pain in a different way; I had very little pain for a couple of weeks after my double mastectomy, other than a bit of a pulling sensation when I bent over forwards, but after the steri-strips came off, 20 days after surgery, I had some swelling and fluid under my arms and a little under the ends of the incisions, and that was annoying, maybe a 2 on the pain scale; also I felt a little bit like the way you do when you run into the end of a door at night ... more a healing-bruise feeling rather that an acute pain .. the bruised feeling has mostly disappeared but the underarm swelling is still partly there, six weeks after surgery; mostly that is fatty tissue that may gradually dissipate as I lose weight (crossing fingers)

      Comment
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would like to know also

      1 comment

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