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Common Questions

  • Deborah St. Aubin Profile

    I am four months post chemo and my hair seems to be growing back so slow, about I/2 inch and slightly longer in the back is this normal? Before Breast Cancer and Chemo my grew really fast , now I am scared it May never grow as before.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 12 answers
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    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Deborah,
      Not to worry!!! I, too, had the fast growing hair but after chemo, that initial growth seemed to take 8 months. It will grow, and it will go back to the way it was growing. Be patient, it will come back, it just takes awhile. Hang in there, Sharon

      Comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Oh please don't worry it takes a long time, mine grew slowly the first year, really slow.

      Comment
  • Giselle dominguez  Profile

    My mom was recently told she was in stage 2 of breast cancer - I'm really scared and want to know how bad is stage 2?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Janice Baker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Its going to be okay. I am a survivor that was diagnosed with stage 3c. I have completed surgery, chemo and radiation. My cancer also went into my lymph nodes. I'm praying for you and your mom.

      1 comment
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Giselle,
      My sister & cousin both had triple negative breast cancer (in their lymph nodes, too) & are both survivors! My best friend is fighting stage III triple negative breast cancer right now at the age of 26 & she's kicking it's ass! Your mom will, too. If there is a family history of breast...

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      Giselle,
      My sister & cousin both had triple negative breast cancer (in their lymph nodes, too) & are both survivors! My best friend is fighting stage III triple negative breast cancer right now at the age of 26 & she's kicking it's ass! Your mom will, too. If there is a family history of breast cancer or your mom is younger than 40, you might talk to your doctor (&/or hers) about genetic testing. They have identified gene mutations that drastically increase your risk of breast & ovarian cancer. I don't mean to freak you out or imply that anyone in your family has one of these gene mutations, I am merely passing on information that might prove helpful.

      Like Diana, I recommend your mom get in touch with other women who have or have survived breast cancer. She may meet some during treatment or you can help her search for a local support group.

      And at 10 weeks pregnant, your mom has plenty of time to enjoy your pregnancy! If she begins chemo treatments or undergoes surgery soon, I'm sure just thinking about you & that little one will lift her spirits & help her fight. You ladies can get through this! I'll keep you all in my most positive of thoughts.
      Sending Love!

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How soon after mastectomy is it ok to have intimate relations with your spouse?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    almost 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I can't tell if you are the patient or the spouse, but I am a patient. I know that for us, "intimate" became something different than sex. He waited for me to initiate. Realize that there are so many emotions to deal with having had your breasts removed. Positioning, energy, everything about...

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      I can't tell if you are the patient or the spouse, but I am a patient. I know that for us, "intimate" became something different than sex. He waited for me to initiate. Realize that there are so many emotions to deal with having had your breasts removed. Positioning, energy, everything about our first, second ... 30th time is different than before. I am not in the mood in the same way. My heart is, but my body could care less most of the time. I want to let him know I love him and I feel allowing him some normalcy of a sexual release seems important for him, so I do what I can.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      As soon as you and your special other are comfortable . My husband was afraid I'd break. He got over it. :-)

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am scheduling my biopsy. What should I know to ask a breast surgeon? Don't want to be awake during biopsy. Can they see what it is, and just do either Lumpectomy or Masectomy? Hubby not helpful, and no friends in the area....

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    almost 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it...

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      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it involves minor surgery. You don't really have to be awake, but you don't need general anesthesia either. What they can do is give you what they call "IV sedation" which really relaxes you. They may also throw some stuff in there so you don't remember the procedure at all. They will definitely make the entire biopsy area numb so you won't feel any pain. the biopsy doesn't take very long -- putting you under general anesthesia would probably take longer!

      Third, a diagnosis isn't a one-step process. We ALL want to know right away. A breast surgeon will have an idea once he/she sees the lump. But in my experience they don't usually do frozen sections (a quick look by a pathologist) during or immediately after a biopsy. They send the tissue to the pathologist so he/she can look at it carefully and make a proper diagnosis.

      If it's cancer, the doctor will want to talk to you about what type of cancer it is, along with a number of other things. Most importantly, he/she will discuss options with you. Ultimately it will be your decision, but as long as your doctor is a BOARD CERTIFIED surgeon who likely specializes in breast surgery, he/she will steer you in the right direction.

      Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy...

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      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy has some information to share. A small area of the breast is numbed, and the needle used to take the sample, doesn't hurt, you just feel pressure. Again.... just because you are having a biopsy, certainly does not mean you have breast cancer. So many of my friends have had biopsy's and of all of them, I am the only one who turned up with breast cancer. Please take one thing at a time. If you have not had a biopsy and actually been told you have breast cancer assume you DON'T until the biopsy results are back. In the world of breast cancer.... there are a lot of testing, and decision making that goes into it even before you have surgery. One step at a time....
      You have the biopsy, in about a week, you get the results. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong and you just go on with your life. If you do have breast cancer, you will have a series of testing before you have surgery. After surgery, you will hear about the rest of your treatment. Every woman is treated as an individual. A diagnosis of breast cancer is NOT a death sentence! We, who have had breast cancer, will be your friends, and sisters in this journey. BUT FIRST.... you have to be diagnosed with breast cancer!
      Hang in there darlin' you may not join our Ya-Ya Sisterhood until you hear those lousy words.... "You have breast cancer...." Here is wishing you WON'T be one of the members!
      Hugs and caring, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I found a lump and had a mammogram and ultrasound, which were normal- but I still feel the lump and now I have pain under my arm when I raise my hand. My dr didn't seem too concerned, but I am. Cancer runs in my family. What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Becky G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I suggest getting a new doctor and demanding an MRI. I found my lump during a monthly self exam. I went to my gynecologist and then was referred to get a mammogram. My lump showed up a lot better on an MRI, then I got a biopsy on the mass. It was 5 cm!!! It was there for a very long time...

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      I suggest getting a new doctor and demanding an MRI. I found my lump during a monthly self exam. I went to my gynecologist and then was referred to get a mammogram. My lump showed up a lot better on an MRI, then I got a biopsy on the mass. It was 5 cm!!! It was there for a very long time before I even caught it. And, I don't have any family history...but, that doesn't seem to matter.
      I would keep pushing until you get some answers. It's sad but you do have to be your own health advocate. Do the research and find a doctor that will help you. You are worth it!!!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      If I were you, I would ask your doctor to order an MRI. Tell him you are still concerned and want to check this out further. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was shocked to see how the tumor showed up like a light bulb on an MRI. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.

      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
    about 7 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
  • Linda Wells Profile

    What is necrosis of the breast? I have had SEVERAL mammograms done and 2 biopsies on my left breast and the necrosis didnt show up until I had a sonogram. I have had pain in my left breast continually and I cannot hold a book or my grandchild against it.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 1 answer
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Necrosis is tissue - such as breast fat - where damage to the cells has occurred. Necrotic is a Greek derivation and it means death. So in medical usage it refers to prematurely dead tissue when the host body remains alive. The thing is the dead tissue in a live organism can arise from a...

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      Necrosis is tissue - such as breast fat - where damage to the cells has occurred. Necrotic is a Greek derivation and it means death. So in medical usage it refers to prematurely dead tissue when the host body remains alive. The thing is the dead tissue in a live organism can arise from a multitude of causes. It can be a blow to the area, radiation can do this - even the bite from a white spider can cause tissue death. So if you have a breast histopathology report stating after a biopsy that they found necrotic cells within a tumour positive for breast cancer, this means there were dead cells in the tumour site. In a normal breast, if necrosis is present it normally does not mean breast cancer as it can happen from so many things. A friend had this from a grandchild accidentally kicking her hard in the chest for example. The question to ask is - is your necrosis associated with breast cancer or some other condition.

      4 comments
  • Betsy Krueger Profile

    What is a good cream for a mastectomy scar?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Alison Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I like eucerine, it's at most pharmacies. 2 year after treatment and I still use it each night.

      2 comments
    • Betsy Krueger Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Thanks for the continuing suggestions. Since my separate surgeries, I used Mederma on scars. I waited till scars stopped feeling so tender after all the scabs healed. I still look somewhat like I had open-heart surgery,

      I look better as time goes on. I'll always know that I had the...

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      Thanks for the continuing suggestions. Since my separate surgeries, I used Mederma on scars. I waited till scars stopped feeling so tender after all the scabs healed. I still look somewhat like I had open-heart surgery,

      I look better as time goes on. I'll always know that I had the surgeries, but the scar tissue on each side of scars no longer looks so reddish and painful. I think, too, that the rubbing I did. It helped me not think it was weird and ugly, and it has helped me not feel so regretful that all the cancer occurred. Maybe that's part of "touch."

      Thank, again. This thread does get read by others, so I think it's valuable to continue to have suggestions.

      Comment
  • Betsy Chapin Profile

    I am struggling with how cancer consumes my everyday thoughts. This month is especially difficult when we are bombarded with pink everywhere. I finished treatment 7 months ago and I still have it on my mind everyday. When will it go away?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2010
    almost 7 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Betsy, unfortunately I can't answer that. I often wonder the same. Will it ever end? I am still in the middle of my treatments. I finished my last chemo just a few weeks ago and will have a double mastectomy in less than two weeks. Then finally radiation. And you're right...pink is everywhere...

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      Hi Betsy, unfortunately I can't answer that. I often wonder the same. Will it ever end? I am still in the middle of my treatments. I finished my last chemo just a few weeks ago and will have a double mastectomy in less than two weeks. Then finally radiation. And you're right...pink is everywhere this month. Of course you and I...and all the other women

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Thank you to each and every one of you for answering. You have really helped me become more optimistic about this and I know this all consuming breast cancer feeling shall pass. In most moments of the day, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life due to my cancer journey. Time shall heal and...

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      Thank you to each and every one of you for answering. You have really helped me become more optimistic about this and I know this all consuming breast cancer feeling shall pass. In most moments of the day, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life due to my cancer journey. Time shall heal and cancer will stay in the background of my life. Today is a good day!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My good friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. What can I do or say to help her through this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Francine Williams Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello my name is Francine and I was where ur friend is now all I wanted to here was that my family/friends were goin to be there for me every step of the way !!Assure ur friend that GoD Makes no Mistakes and there's a million and one prayers goin her way!!Take care and remember to always smile...

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      Hello my name is Francine and I was where ur friend is now all I wanted to here was that my family/friends were goin to be there for me every step of the way !!Assure ur friend that GoD Makes no Mistakes and there's a million and one prayers goin her way!!Take care and remember to always smile that is one thing Cancer can't take from u

      2 comments
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Be there as often as you can. I remember it getting hard when ppl kept asking "how are you feeling?". Bc if I was honest I would have said I feel like crap, I'm scared, I feel sick, I'm afraid of dying, etc. So, get in the habit of saying: I hope you're feeling well today, or I was thinking of...

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      Be there as often as you can. I remember it getting hard when ppl kept asking "how are you feeling?". Bc if I was honest I would have said I feel like crap, I'm scared, I feel sick, I'm afraid of dying, etc. So, get in the habit of saying: I hope you're feeling well today, or I was thinking of you today. Also, don't say "let me know if there's something I can do" bc it puts the burden back on her and it's so hard to ask for help. Instead, ask when her appointments are and plan to go with her (if she has no one else that can go), stop by (call or text first) with a meal when she's sick from chemo and clean up a little while you're there. Bring funny movies or books ('the sh*t my dad says' is hilarious--someone gave it to me), bring gossip, distractions are good. Try not to probe by asking a ton of questions all the time, but let her know you're always there to listen. She'll start to open up when she wants. If she's sad, let her be. Be comforting but don't give advice. (like empathize and say you know it must be hard and scary, but don't say things like, look for the silver linking, or try to be positive...some days, she'll just be sad and angry will need a shoulder to cry on)

      When she's feeling well, keep her busy! If you aren't always free, create a calendar for friends/colleagues that can cook, visit, take her out, etc.

      If she plans on wearing a wig, offer to go with her to pick it out before her hair falls out. Then, when it starts to fall out, offer to shave it (my friend gave me a Mohawk).

      When her treatments are over, months from now, keep checking in...that's a tough time emotionally, even when hair starts to grow back. Breast cancer is life changing and we still think about it even post treatment.

      Of course, you can't do it all, but get your friends together to help with all of this.

      I've truly seen who my true friends are with how they've dealt with my diagnosis. I'm young(32), and I've read and agree that breast cancer is lonely for young women bc most of our peers have no idea what it's like. If your friend is young, help her check out programs for young women with BC

      best wishes

      Comment
  • Deb  Liebzeit Profile

    PORTA-CATH PAIN. My PORTA-CATH was inserted 2 days ago and I have to say it actually hurts worse than my mastectomy. Anyone else experienced this? Cripes this is some damn ride I am on! ;-)

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I'm 2 years out. I hated the port every minute of every day that I had it. I hated the way it looked, the way it felt, and what it represented. I was, by the onc, told to keep it in at least 1 month after my last chemo. I jad mine out 1 month and 1 day after my last chemo. BUT, with time and...

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      I'm 2 years out. I hated the port every minute of every day that I had it. I hated the way it looked, the way it felt, and what it represented. I was, by the onc, told to keep it in at least 1 month after my last chemo. I jad mine out 1 month and 1 day after my last chemo. BUT, with time and distance it was the best thing I did for me and my treatment AND taking it OUT it put an !!!!!! to the end of chemo. I not only survived I won, and you will to. I chose to put 2 rose buds and a pink ribbion tattoo over my scar. It is my own personal badge of honor. God Bless your journey.

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      My port surg too was more difficult than the double mass. Like Sarah said it was short lived discomfort, as the pros out weighed the cons. Got mine put in oct 2009 and it still remains in. I have been so blessed and not had any further problems with it since in the beginning. Good luck. N god...

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      My port surg too was more difficult than the double mass. Like Sarah said it was short lived discomfort, as the pros out weighed the cons. Got mine put in oct 2009 and it still remains in. I have been so blessed and not had any further problems with it since in the beginning. Good luck. N god bless.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I was Reading my post operative pathology report and found out I jumped from grade 2 to grade 3. Feeling like it's no longer curable. How do you cope?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I understand hoe you're feeling. I was diagnosed last year at 49 with stage 3C breast cancer. I was scared beyond belief. The cancer was also in my chest wall and 13 lymph nodes with some breaking outside the node. Went through 8 rounds of chemo then a bilateral mastectomy. They discovered that...

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      I understand hoe you're feeling. I was diagnosed last year at 49 with stage 3C breast cancer. I was scared beyond belief. The cancer was also in my chest wall and 13 lymph nodes with some breaking outside the node. Went through 8 rounds of chemo then a bilateral mastectomy. They discovered that chemo hadn't helped as much as they thought. So....I switched chemo drugs and had 8 more 3 weeks after my surgery. Then 33 radiation treatments. I'm on tamoxifen now and I'm happy to say I'm in remission!!! It wasn't easy. You just take it one day at a time. If that's too much....one hour at time. You'll get to the other side of all this. And we're cheering you on.....every step of the way!!!!!!

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I, too, had a disappointment in my post-op pathology report. After hearing from my surgeon right after my surgery that all 5 sentinel nodes were clear.... one came back positive in the pathology report. I know how you feel, as it is a huge let-down and you MOMENTARILY watch your life pass...

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      I, too, had a disappointment in my post-op pathology report. After hearing from my surgeon right after my surgery that all 5 sentinel nodes were clear.... one came back positive in the pathology report. I know how you feel, as it is a huge let-down and you MOMENTARILY watch your life pass before your eyes. You just get back up on the pony and keep on riding! The shock of this will pass.... you will get better, you will get well, you will be ok. You got through your treatment, and charge ahead with your life. This is just a piece of the puzzle of your disease. This is not charting your course of life. There are a vast majority of us who are alive and well years after beating breast cancer. You just work on being one of us. I swear a positive attitude will do more for you than 50 gallons of tears you could cry over this small fact. You reaction should be.... SO WHAT! Kick booty darlin' do not let this get you down. Fight like a girl and you will be a winner.
      Hang in there, much love and strength, take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Will I be able to care for my cats (liter boxes, feeding etc) when I have chemo and radiation treatments?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous:
      My Onc. was dead set against litter box cleaning when I was going through chemo. because of the possibility of picking up some kind of disease. Feeding my kitty's was ok. My hubby took over litter box cleaning. My onc. also did not want me to spend any time around my horses. Being...

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      Anonymous:
      My Onc. was dead set against litter box cleaning when I was going through chemo. because of the possibility of picking up some kind of disease. Feeding my kitty's was ok. My hubby took over litter box cleaning. My onc. also did not want me to spend any time around my horses. Being with my horses is like --life-- to me. I took care of all of my animals, including my 7 horses as much as I could. When I couldn't, my wonderful Husband was always there to share the load. Trying to make me stay away from my animals was just not going to happen. I took my chances, and never had any kind of illness. I was fastidious about keeping my hands washed but my animals were and are part of my reason for living. If you get the word you can't clean litter boxes, ask if it would be acceptable if you wore gloves and a mask? I can't imagine you would lesson your chances of picking up any kind of disease. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      During treatments, I did everything that was part of my regular routine (including taking care of my cats- litter, food etc, and working daily as a kindergarten para- with the boogie noses and all)! I had a good immune system to begin with, so i just made sure to wash my hands and sanitize. I...

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      During treatments, I did everything that was part of my regular routine (including taking care of my cats- litter, food etc, and working daily as a kindergarten para- with the boogie noses and all)! I had a good immune system to begin with, so i just made sure to wash my hands and sanitize. I only got one sore throat during treatments and was put on antibiotics as a precaution. Do what is best for you and you will be fine!

      Comment
  • Cynthia Flexen Profile

    I dont know whether I should have a Bilateral mastectomy or just single mastectomy? I have DCIS in my left breast. I do not have the BRCA1 or 2 gene so that is why I dont know what to do??? Any advice please?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    almost 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my...

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      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my non-cancerous breast has several calcifications and a fluid filled cyst. Trouble brewing there. So I've chosen to have both removed. It's such a personal choice I can only relate my story to you. A good medical site to go to with fact based research is breastcancer.org. Or the book "Dr Susan Love's Breast Book". both has so much helpful info. Thinking of you on your journey,

      Diana

      2 comments
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just had a bilateral mastectomy one week ago. I have cancer in one breast only. I choose a bilateral because it made more sense to me to have two breasts that could look as similar as could be.

      Comment
  • Laura Gaspard Profile

    Are Mammograms Painful?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Juliette Zweig Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just got one yesterday. I personally don’t find them painful, and not even that uncomfortable. My breasts are very tender and I have no problem. Plus, they are fairly quick. You’re out and about fast. Making the annual visit no big deal.

      Comment
    • Kim Flackey Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      No. I find them to be more uncomfortable than painful. It also depends on the time of the month. Your breasts are usually more tender right before your period. Try and schedule it after your period and this should help. Of all medical tests, this is the one I dread the least. It's no biggie.

      2 comments
  • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 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...

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      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
  • Saana Malik Profile

    Are you able to have sex while getting chemo and/or radiation treatments?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I found during treatment that sex became more important than ever to me as some days it was the only way to feel good and I really enjoyed the closeness it gave us at a time that was very scary. I didn't feel attractive after surgery or without hair, but my husband embraced all these changes and...

      more

      I found during treatment that sex became more important than ever to me as some days it was the only way to feel good and I really enjoyed the closeness it gave us at a time that was very scary. I didn't feel attractive after surgery or without hair, but my husband embraced all these changes and made me feel beautiful at my lowest moments. After my lumpectomy, I was afraid at how my breast would look and how I would cope with this disfiguration. Sometimes at night when I was having a hard time, he would just reach over and hold my hand and i was amazed at how he was there for me when i was struggling. Cancer brought our sex life alive again. I was thrust into early menopause due to chemo and my oncologist prescribed the estring for lubrication. That has worked extremely well for me. It took a couple of weeks to get used to, but now I find it very comfortable and don't even know it's there. It turned out all the worries and insecurities I had about my body were erased with love from my husband.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I agree with Marianne the only other advise I would give is to talk with your gyn as far as what are your options for birth control. They usually advise you not to get pregnant while going through breast cancer treatment. Some women also do egg retrieval prior to chemo depending on the chemo...

      more

      I agree with Marianne the only other advise I would give is to talk with your gyn as far as what are your options for birth control. They usually advise you not to get pregnant while going through breast cancer treatment. Some women also do egg retrieval prior to chemo depending on the chemo drugs used sometimes it makes it hard to conceive after chemo.

      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
    almost 7 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
  • Thumb avatar default

    Anyone having lower back pain while on tamoxifen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • R. SUTHERLAND Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Yes!!

      Comment
    • Sandra Dakin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes. I am having an MRI next week to rule out disk issues. My Onco however did not think there was a correlation.

      1 comment
  • Karen G Profile

    I am going in for my Oncoplasty surgery tomorrow. Please pray for me and wish me clear margins. This is my third surgery and my last try to keep my breast. If this doesn't work I will need a Mastectomy.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 6 years 13 answers
    • View all 13 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      God bless and praying for you

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Surgery isn't easy but God willing you will go through this surgery and be much healthier in the end. You are in all of our prayers. Take care, jayme

      Comment
  • Lisa Doheny Profile

    Has anyone been on taxotere& cytoxan for chemo? I'm also taking steroid pills the day before, the day of, and the day after. Is this normal? Is this what makes you gain weight? Do I need the steroids? Very nervous, I start chemo tomorrow.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Lisa,
      Try to think of the chemo as your path to getting back to a normal life and wiping out that nasty BC. You have a lot of company with your mix of chemo., and the combination of drugs is pretty common. Even though we may have diagnosis that sound the same, there are always differences in...

      more

      Hi Lisa,
      Try to think of the chemo as your path to getting back to a normal life and wiping out that nasty BC. You have a lot of company with your mix of chemo., and the combination of drugs is pretty common. Even though we may have diagnosis that sound the same, there are always differences in many components of individual cells. The steroids are used as a preventative to some reactions to the chemotherapy drugs. Steroids can cause weight gain but so will lack of normal exercise. You aren't on the steroids all that much. You only take them around and during your treatment. Did your oncologist have a port placed for the delivery of your treatments?
      I can only tell you of my experiences with chemotherapy. I started losing my hair about 2 weeks after the first treatment. I never had nausea but the first few days after my treatments, I felt very tired kind of like the flu. After about the 4th or 5th day, there was a big turn-around and I was back to normal. I was taking a different combination of drugs than you, but my taste changed. Before chemo, I LOVED coffee and chocolate. During chemo, I craved greens! I used to consume bags of spinach and salads. After chemo, back to the coffee and chocolate. I lost a little bit of weight.
      The time I spend in the place where the chemo is given was like a little party room. Much laughing, talking, and eating with the other patients. I loved the people and had a great time.... no kidding!
      I would take something to read, MP3, or other electronic thingy, or a crossword puzzle... anything that you enjoy. I always slept through part of my treatment which lasted about 1.5 to 2 hours. I ALWAYS asked questions and I think you should bring a list of things you want to ask for tomorrow. Be your own best advocate. If something doesn't seem right, speak up! Be polite, but be sure and check when that inner voice says "Something doesn't seem right." I always dealt with the entire breast cancer thing with a whole lot of humor. It seemed to take the place of my fear. Hang in there.... you will be ok. Tomorrow will be one treatment checked off on your road to recovery. BE SURE TO DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS! Take care, and God's blessings, Sharon

      4 comments
    • Kris Shortridge Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had both of those drugs. The steroid you are taking is to help with the nausea. It really worked for me. It kind of makes you wired fir a couple of days though. It did make me put on a little weight. If you feel well enough, walking might help with that. As forth drugs, the taxotere caused some...

      more

      I had both of those drugs. The steroid you are taking is to help with the nausea. It really worked for me. It kind of makes you wired fir a couple of days though. It did make me put on a little weight. If you feel well enough, walking might help with that. As forth drugs, the taxotere caused some numbness & tingling in my fingers &

      Comment
  • misty wilbanks Profile

    Will it increase my chances for breast cancer coming back if i have a lumpectomy or will it decrease if i have mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Becky card swerdloff  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      there is no right answer. Some women take the brac test and have their breast removed in fear of getting cancer. Unfortunately, I learned that even if you have your breasts removed you can get breast cancer. Remember cancer is in each one of us. Whether hormones, change of llfe body changes,...

      more

      there is no right answer. Some women take the brac test and have their breast removed in fear of getting cancer. Unfortunately, I learned that even if you have your breasts removed you can get breast cancer. Remember cancer is in each one of us. Whether hormones, change of llfe body changes, food, plastic, stress can trigger cancer. If there are cancer cells floating on your chest bone, you will still get breast cancer. Some suggest a super diet, less stress, prayer and hormone regulation will help. I was told by Dr. Cox in tampa that my type of lumpectomy breast cancer should not reoccur for at least 10 years. I am not taking any tamoxifin or other cancer preventative drugs. If I have 10 years left, I want to be drug free.

      11 comments
    • Becky card swerdloff  Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      it will not decrease or increase your cancer from what I have read, cancer cells float around everywhere and if you get mastectomy and new ones, they will have to remove everything when if it comes back. My theory is keep what you have until you have to really let go

      Comment
  • sheree oden Profile

    Has anyone had a recurrence in a previous mastectomy ? An identical tumor came back 10!yrs later in the tissue surrounding an implant where my left breast had been. Next week I will have a re mastectomy, followed by radiation and more chemo.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Lisa S Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Recently diagnosed in my lymph nodes on my chest wall as well as many lymph nodes regionally after mastectomy chemo radiation and hormonal therapy. First dx 1/2010 this time 2/2012. Prayers and hugs going your way. Keep in touch.

      1 comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      afternoon Sheree.
      I was first diagnosed in 2003 had subcutaneous bilateral mastectomies for DCIS had abnormal mammograms again in 2005 had further mastectomies for atypical hyperplasia and in 2008 again abnormal mammograms had simple mastectomies lymph node biopsies with my last mastectomies the...

      more

      afternoon Sheree.
      I was first diagnosed in 2003 had subcutaneous bilateral mastectomies for DCIS had abnormal mammograms again in 2005 had further mastectomies for atypical hyperplasia and in 2008 again abnormal mammograms had simple mastectomies lymph node biopsies with my last mastectomies the surgeon tried to scrap down to my rib cage and axillary area. I had reconstruction with my first surgery in 2003 I still have the original implants in place with my last mastectomies in 2008 my surgeon said it is now like I had a complete simple mastectomy and the remaining tissue was just enough as a skin graft over my implants. The surgery was a piece of cake third time around although more restrictions with movement and lifting for 3 months.

      It is impossible to get all the breast tissue out unless they go back to the radical mastectomies of the old days. My reoccurence was at the incisional line. Most important is even if you have mastectomies continue to have mammograms, breast ultrasounds or scans...I was fortunate even though I had a reoccurence it was always caught early and only microscopic invasive cells with negative lymph nodes. Have been on tamoxifen for the last three years and will be starting Arimidex in a couple of weeks for another 5 years.

      May God watch over you on your journey

      3 comments
  • Surf  Momma Profile

    How long does it take to be comfortable after a mastectomy? Are implants comfortable? Expanders sure aren't!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • Nicole Bernard Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I'm 27 years old and had a bilateral mastectomy as well. I just had my expanders replaced with silicone gel implants on September 1 and immediately felt relief while sleeping. I too am side/stomach sleeper and the expanders filled to capacity were rock solid large softballs sitting on my chest...

      more

      I'm 27 years old and had a bilateral mastectomy as well. I just had my expanders replaced with silicone gel implants on September 1 and immediately felt relief while sleeping. I too am side/stomach sleeper and the expanders filled to capacity were rock solid large softballs sitting on my chest making it impossible for me to get a good nights sleep. I just recently tried sleeping on my stomach (while wearing a compression bra) and felt very comfortable. When I'm able to go without the compression bra, I think I may be slightly nervous but know it's a world of difference then the expanders. It's funny, someone recently said they heard that when someone has an augmentation their breasts are slightly firmer... my response is I wouldn't know. I can only compare the implants to the expanders and "knocking on wood" nothing can be that hard. The implants feel real to me in comparison, that's for sure!

      Comment
    • rosa ramentol Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      After my mastectomy it felt like I was wearing an iron bra. It took me about 2 months after the surgery to sleep comfortably. I don't have my implants in yet but I don't find my expanders too uncomfortable.

      4 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have a recent lump at my areola, it feels hard and downy move much. I've had so "weird" feeling in tho breast over some months possibly years. Would cancer just "pop" up

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Absolutely have this checked. My breast where breast cancer was found felt "weird." This is NOT to say you have breast cancer at all. For your own peace of mind have this checked. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Cancer can be sneaky...have it checked out soon. I couldn't even feel my cancer and it was found on a mammogram. Keep us updated and prayers for you.

      Comment

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