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Common Questions

  • Sarah Foster Profile

    My mom is HER2 positive. Is there a test that I can have done to see if I am a carrier?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 2 answers
    • Mary Foti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I am sorry about your mom's diagnosis. If you decide to get genetic testing, make sure you see a genetic counselor and/or a geneticist and ask that doctor if you are a candidate for BART testing. The genetic testing process is more complex than most people think. Your geneticist can explain the...

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      I am sorry about your mom's diagnosis. If you decide to get genetic testing, make sure you see a genetic counselor and/or a geneticist and ask that doctor if you are a candidate for BART testing. The genetic testing process is more complex than most people think. Your geneticist can explain the different available tests. There is "basic" testing and BART testing. My mother, who has fought breast cancer 3 times, tested BRCA negative after her first diagnosis in 2006 but she in fact really wasn't. (She only had the "basic" test). When I was diagnosed in 2010, I consulted a geneticist with enough brains to order BART genetic testing for me, which confirmed I have a BRCA2 mutation. My mother was re-tested and is also positive. Several cousins were subsequently tested and are also positive. If I hadn't had the BART test, they would not have known. Genetic testing is a scary process but it can give you and your family potentially life-saving information.

      3 comments
    • Becky G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Yes. It's the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic test to see if you carry the breast cancer gene. Having the gene doesn't necessarily mean you will get breast cancer, but it may increase your chances and give you information to take care of yourself and be proactive.
      Here is some information from...

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      Yes. It's the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic test to see if you carry the breast cancer gene. Having the gene doesn't necessarily mean you will get breast cancer, but it may increase your chances and give you information to take care of yourself and be proactive.
      Here is some information from www.breastcenter.com on the test:
      In 1994, the first gene associated with breast cancer — BRCA1 (for BReast CAncer1) was identified on chromosome 17. A year later, a second gene associated with breast cancer — BRCA2 — was discovered on chromosome 13. When individuals carry a mutated form of either BRCA1 or BRCA2, they have an increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. Children of parents with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene mutation.

      Your Mom's doctor would probably be able to refer you to a genetic counselor to have the test done. They do take a sample of your spit instead of a blood test now. It's an easy test to take, but can cost quite a bit (fyi).

      Hope that helps!

      Good luck and all the best to your Mom!!!

      Comment
  • sabrina brown Profile

    Last chemo tomorrow. How long before my hair will start to grow back in?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    about 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      And congrats on making it through chemo!!!!!!!

      1 comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I went through chemo twice. My chemo with Adriamycin/Cytoxin & Taxol I began growing my hair back before my last dose of Taxol. Then it just began growing like crazy! Congrads on your completing chemo!!! It's a huge achievement!!

      1 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
    about 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,...

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      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
  • Brenda Jackson Profile

    Has anyone had problems with dry cracked hands and feet during chemo? What helped?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 5 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Jennifer Velander Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      This is my first time posting anything, so bear w/ me. I have had the same problem with hands, but esp feet. Gross, I know, however, any sort of thick salve (I use Burt's Bees cuticle or hand salve, or Gold Bond hand salve, or MaryKay Emollient Salve works).

      It's amazing the little ways...

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      This is my first time posting anything, so bear w/ me. I have had the same problem with hands, but esp feet. Gross, I know, however, any sort of thick salve (I use Burt's Bees cuticle or hand salve, or Gold Bond hand salve, or MaryKay Emollient Salve works).

      It's amazing the little ways that cancer affects you that you simply Re not prepared for. Once I get better, I really think I'm going to write a book like "Breast Cancer for Dummies". FYI, I'm not making light of the situation anyone is in when faced with breast cancer, but there are so many issues that come up that are not in the brochure.... Good luck to all of you reading this.

      Comment
    • Sarah Phinney Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I had terrible issues with dry and cracked hands and feet. I found that hand sanitizer was part of the problem with my hands and it improved once I switched to sanitizer that didn't contain alcohol. But urea cream (got prescription strength from my doctor) was the only thing I found that truly...

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      I had terrible issues with dry and cracked hands and feet. I found that hand sanitizer was part of the problem with my hands and it improved once I switched to sanitizer that didn't contain alcohol. But urea cream (got prescription strength from my doctor) was the only thing I found that truly helped -

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Who is the best oncologist in Houston and how to schedule an appointment from overseas? I need second opinion from a professional oncologist. Thnx

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      If you're open to other places, consider Dana Farber in Boston. It's one of the best cancer centers in the country and arguably, the world.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I live near Seattle WA. and don't know anything about health care in Houston. I just did a search for Oncologists in Houston and came up with 3 searches. All of the doctor's listed have phone numbers and addresses for their offices and that is how you would make an appointment. Some will have...

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      I live near Seattle WA. and don't know anything about health care in Houston. I just did a search for Oncologists in Houston and came up with 3 searches. All of the doctor's listed have phone numbers and addresses for their offices and that is how you would make an appointment. Some will have a link that says... "Make An Appointment"

      The first "healthgrades" is kind of a popularity contest. It asks patients to rate their doctors. As for the best, this isn't the way you pick THE BEST. It could be based on how they interacted with the patient, how friendly they were, their staff's. This has nothing to do with with his actual skill as an oncologist.
      http://www.healthgrades.com/oncology-directory/tx-texas/houston

      Again, this is another list of oncologist from WebMD
      http://local.webmd.com/local/texas/houston/oncologists.htm

      This is a great place...
      http://www.mdanderson.org/

      These lists may help get you going. My regular doctor is an internist. He referred me to an oncologist who he has worked with for several years. He is the oncologist he would send his family or himself to. I am so grateful to have both doctor's treating me.
      Remember, some oncologists specialize in certain cancers. Another thing to consider is some breast cancers, depending on type, size, stage, and mets, etc. are common and treatments are well established . If the cancer is late stage, you might consider a facility where you could become involved with drug trials, a teaching facility or true cancer insititute. I would start with your own doctor first, and see what he or she can find out for you. They probably have a better grasp of qualifications and better connections. It is a tough search if you are out there on your own trying to do your own search. My oncologist is connected with several facilities in Seattle. If he had questions, he has a lot of other professionals he could contact. Good luck on your search. Sharon

      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
    about 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...

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      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
  • carol driver Profile

    Do you need to use a special toothpaste during chemo? And do you have to change your toothbrush more often? Thank you ladies.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      No special toothpaste during or after chemo. I was told to brush often because of a risk of mouth sores.

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I wasn't told to change anything, but regular toothpaste burned my mouth so I used biotin toothpaste. Felt so much better. I also used a baking soda, salt, water mixture. I rinsed my mouth every time I went to the bathroom & after eating. My mouth got tender, but no sores. Tho sometimes my gumes...

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      I wasn't told to change anything, but regular toothpaste burned my mouth so I used biotin toothpaste. Felt so much better. I also used a baking soda, salt, water mixture. I rinsed my mouth every time I went to the bathroom & after eating. My mouth got tender, but no sores. Tho sometimes my gumes would bleed, but nothing bad. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • K G Profile

    My friend Amanda is finishing chemo in Nov. I want to do something special for her. Any ideas?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    over 5 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Start by giving her a great big hug! How about a celebratory meal or spa afternoon a month after treatment is over. As others have said, I was totally drained after the last treatment as the side effects of treatment were cumulative and it takes a bit for that metal taste to leave. I couldn't...

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      Start by giving her a great big hug! How about a celebratory meal or spa afternoon a month after treatment is over. As others have said, I was totally drained after the last treatment as the side effects of treatment were cumulative and it takes a bit for that metal taste to leave. I couldn't wait to go out for a nice meal to celebrate after I got my strength back!!

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Thanks for all your suggestions. On my last day of chemo she brought me 12 pink roses and a bottle of champagne. She is finishing Herception, all the major stuff is behind her so she is feeling good. I live 1.5 hrs from her, so I may show up and suprise her. I will have to find something fun and...

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      Thanks for all your suggestions. On my last day of chemo she brought me 12 pink roses and a bottle of champagne. She is finishing Herception, all the major stuff is behind her so she is feeling good. I live 1.5 hrs from her, so I may show up and suprise her. I will have to find something fun and unique to bring. I like the massge idea! Thanks ladies!

      Comment
  • Cheryl Wornham Profile

    Going for my first mammogram in August after a year out of treatments any suggestions I am still sore I'm scarred that they won't do it. Is there something I should take for the pain?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had excruciating pain with the first mammograms I had a year after my lumpectomy. I have dense breasts which were tender even before breast cancer. I have a small seroma [fluid filled sac] under the surgical scar that causes shooting pain, even with mild jiggling. Then there is the scar itself,...

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      I had excruciating pain with the first mammograms I had a year after my lumpectomy. I have dense breasts which were tender even before breast cancer. I have a small seroma [fluid filled sac] under the surgical scar that causes shooting pain, even with mild jiggling. Then there is the scar itself, which remains tender. My skin can also break if put under pressure. Many women with skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema or even just thin, ageing skin have told me mammograms are much worse for them.

      By the second year, when I came up for second mammogram, I was determined not to tortured like that again - ever. If you are already worried about the pain, then to me that is a good indication you may already have tender breasts and pain issues - so you deserve to have that respected and taken seriously. Many women sail through their post breast cancer surgery mammograms, but I urge you strongly to listen to yourself, listen to your own knowledge of your body and make plans based on actively alleviating your concerns. After all - some people are capable of cutting off a pinned arm with a blunt pocket knife without no pain relief- but it would not be sensible for those of us who know or strongly suspect we could not do that, to live our lives built around the assumption we too are capable of it! You need a plan:

      1. Write to the head partner of Managing partner of the imaging clinic you will attend 6-8 weeks in advance of your mammogram. Clearly state your concerns including any history of pre existing breast tenderness, easy bruising,slow healing, seromas, scar management problems, existing pain post surgery as well as any other problems with pressure or mammogram techniques pre breast cancer. State you are very concerned about pain levels and ask them if they are willing to provide you with EMLA cream to rub on an hour or so before the mammogram. and or an injection of lidocaine before the compression. Ask them to reply to you and get this sorted out well before the mammogram date. I was able to get mine to agree to both.

      2. I also went to the GP and explained the problem - so I got a script for a muscle relaxant [Valium] which I took a few hours before the mammogram. I also had a stronger pain killer called Oxycontin 5mgs left over from surgery recovery period, so half an hour or so before the mammogram, I took one of those as well. The medication meant my muscles were not tensed and I was relaxed from the Valium, and the Oxycontin is an effective pain killer especially for the deeper internal structures. The EMLA cream numbs the skin on the breast. The lidocaine numbs the fatty structures in the breast. It is a multi pronged approach to addressing the different levels of pain from mammograms.

      3. When I arrived at the clinic I had been making this arrangements with, I again raised the issue and the agreed solution with the operator. There is always a risk the operator has not been told or communication systems went awry. She appeared to know about it, but also my impression was she trying to talk me out of accessing pain relief. I made it clear I was not going to be talked out of it, at which point she called her supervisor to oversight the process. He was the one who also gave me the lidocaine injection - which they normally do not do. The compression also seemed to be less intense - not blowing the blood pressure through top of my head like before - so I think my preparation plan meant they were more attuned to being careful. She was also very gentle. I have dense, larger breasts so mammograms often meant many more images taken and a lot of repositioning, which extended the pain. On my third last mammogram the female operator had been so rough, pulling my breasts this way and that, that she actually tore the flesh where the breast met the rib cage.So I was being imaged with blood dripping on to my shoes! I made sure I told the gentler clinic about that experience, so they understood how mistreated I had been with past mammograms, so they knew why I was insistent.

      4. The mammogram at the clinic where I undertook all this preparation was the best I have ever had. So - it worked for me.

      5. You may notice many sporting events, if a great big fit male footballer twists a leg or pulls a muscle, the medics rush on to the field and give them as green tube to breathe on. Ambulances in Australia also carry them and use them at car accidents. These green tubes contain aerosolised pain relief. I have often pondered at the sexism here - big, fit male athletes accustomed to pain get this instant form of pain relief yet women who know in their bones a life saving test like a mammogram will be agony or significantly painful for them, are not offered this cheap, effective and easily available form of pain relief. I genuinely believe women's pain is constantly being under-rated, under-acknowledged and under-treated. Society places less value on women's pain as opposed to men's pain and therefore less resources, less empathy and less interest in alleviating it. It is even more noticeable when the pain relief solutions are so obvious, yet not offered.

      6. I have met women who avoid mammograms because of the pain and the mammographer professions lack of respect or interest in seriously attending to women desire for pain relief. Really, it is sadistic to behave this way. My view is you inhabit your body for 40,50, 60 years. You know far better than anyone else the tenderness levels of your own breast, as well as your own subjective ability to tolerate pain. There is a massive pain tolerance variation in humans, as well as between women. Red heads are well known for being far more susceptible to pain for example. It should be mandatory for every mammogram clinic to have the woman self assess her own pain history/levels on a scale from 1-10. Any women who report pain sensitivity or past history of mammogram pain above say a 6, should AUTOMATICALLY be offered pain relief options - without the condescending attitude, without any put downs and without value judgements.

      I for one am sick of medical staff using the ultra tough, stoic patient as the 'Normal" model on which they base their answers to the questions - does it hurt and do I need pain relief. Doing this is nothing more than lying to patients. The correct response is there is a wide range of responses to the pain from eg., a mammogram, from a zero all the way to someone fainting or screaming. Medical imaging staff obviously need mandatory pain management systems imposed on them and included in all Protocols because frankly, left to their own devices, they can become so calloused by repeat exposure to women's pain, that they simply blank it out or worse still, lie to us so they can get the image and get on to their next job in the least amount of time. Many operators have become highly institutionalised to the point where they deny mammographic pain even exists, or if it does, that it requires any pain relief.

      The only way for us to reclaim our bodies and to blast mammographers out of this state of denial about our mammographic pain is to insist our reality gets taken seriously, and insist that proper pain management systems be agreed to and implemented. To wait till a few minutes before your mammogram to raise this with the mammographers is ineffective. They need time to absorb your statements and for you both to come up with a pain management plan you agree to. Or for you to drop them if they won't and go to a clinic that treats women with dignity.

      I would also be super careful of any responses that dismiss or play down the pain levels. The experience of pain free or low pain mammograms may well be the genuine experience of 85% of those receiving mammograms, however, for the percentage who are bruised for weeks from mammograms, already have had painful mammograms in the past, have awkward surgical scars, breast seromas or other problems like broken skin or just know you have a low tolerance to pain - THAT is their reality. It is just as valid, just as real. Do not let anyone whose experience their own subjective pain thresholds are low ever convince you that if that is how it was for them, that is how it will be for you too.
      Keep in mind - you can also have a dual breast coil MRI instead of a mammogram. It is more expensive, but much, much more accurate than a mammogram. You are not exposed to radiation with an MRI and there is no compression of the breast. The MRI takes longer than the mammograms, and it is noisy, and you may need a contrast dye, but I found all that infinitely better than 99% of the mammograms I had had.

      The very fact that you are expressing this concern about this is already a red flag to me and that you have sound reasons for raising this issue, and there may be reasons not shared with or understood by those who sail easily through their mammograms.
      Sincere best wishes that irrespective of what path you take - that your mammogram is pain free and that you do not became a member of the group who avoid necessary mammograms because of unattended to pain.

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I just had my first mammo and am still sore as well. It wasnt bad. It did hurt a little, but nothing like what I have been through. You could always take tylenol or ibuprofen. Good luck

      2 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
    over 6 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...

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      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...

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      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
  • sally fakih Profile

    My LDH enzyme still high after two rounds of chemotherapy what does that mean ??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 2 answers
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      LDH is an enzyme that is found in cells throughout the body. The LDH value is elevated whenever there is any sort of cell damage/turnover. This means there are many situations in which an elevated LDH is totally normal. For example, older women who are undergoing bone loss from lack of...

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      LDH is an enzyme that is found in cells throughout the body. The LDH value is elevated whenever there is any sort of cell damage/turnover. This means there are many situations in which an elevated LDH is totally normal. For example, older women who are undergoing bone loss from lack of estrogen, or children who are growing have normal high LDH. In cancer the LDH is of interest because a high LDH can typically indicate cell death that is cancer cell death, whether from chemo or tumor necrosis.

      Comment
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Are you getting the neulasta shot as well? I was reading that can cause LDH to go up. It will go down when you are done taking it.

      Comment
  • Nancy Wing Profile

    I was diagnosed with stage 0 DCIS. I had a single left mastectomy on 11/8/11. I am so scared it is going to happen on the other side. I started on tomaxifin to help reduce my risk. Does anyone know what the chances are it can happen on the other side?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Donna Gray Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had stage 0 DCIS. I opted for a double mastectomy. I am 47 and did not want to spend the rest of my life worrying about getting it in my other breast. When the final pathology report came back after my mastectomy they found abnormal cells in the other breast. So for me I made the best decision....

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      I had stage 0 DCIS. I opted for a double mastectomy. I am 47 and did not want to spend the rest of my life worrying about getting it in my other breast. When the final pathology report came back after my mastectomy they found abnormal cells in the other breast. So for me I made the best decision. Best of luck to you.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I am like Donna had ductal carcinoma in situ 2003 had bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies they did find abnormal cells in other breast. 2008 had a reoccurrence on incisional line on affected breast. Again caught early had further bilateral simple mastectomies with negative lymph nodes. There is...

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      I am like Donna had ductal carcinoma in situ 2003 had bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies they did find abnormal cells in other breast. 2008 had a reoccurrence on incisional line on affected breast. Again caught early had further bilateral simple mastectomies with negative lymph nodes. There is no perfect treatment or "cure" for breast cancer even with mastectomies it us impossible to get all the breast tissue out unless they go back to the radical mastectomies of the old days. Main thing is to be your own advocate make sure you continue to have mammograms or breast ultrasounds. Early detection saves lifes. We all have in the back of our minds the "what if it comes back" thought. Even those that are 20 and 30 year survivors. Remember you are a survivor, and always try to stay positive. Don't let the negative thoughts interfere in a productive happy life. I always say no matter what there is something to be thankful for every day take care

      Comment
  • Kathy Whyte Profile

    How long until I get REAL hair after chemo? I have the beginnings of peach fuzz right now...did AC AND THEN T chemo.....finished 10 days ago....mastectomy and radiation are next

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3B Patient
    about 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Like a baby you are starting all over again curable around seven months. Coverage before then and styling much later than that. The fuzz is just a phase.
      Wish I could stick some on for you and me

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      About 6 weeks it will look like a short buzz cut. The fuzz will start to turn into hair. By 3-4 months you'll be able to get it trimmed to look like an intentional cut and not look so much like a cancer patient. Don't be surprised if you lose your eyebrows or eyelashes after chemo (mine fell...

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      About 6 weeks it will look like a short buzz cut. The fuzz will start to turn into hair. By 3-4 months you'll be able to get it trimmed to look like an intentional cut and not look so much like a cancer patient. Don't be surprised if you lose your eyebrows or eyelashes after chemo (mine fell out a month after...) but they grew back quickly. Also, I got that fuzz like on my head but on my face (ugh...) it will also go away. I couldn't stand it so I got it waxed once. Best to you!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What does T1 cN1 mi MO mean?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      I think I can interpret this. T1c N1mi M0
      T1c - referring to primary tumor size, it was more than 1 cm in greatest dimension but less than 2 cm.
      N1mi - means they found cancer cells in one to three lymph nodes outside the primary tumor. but mi means micrometastases which means that there were a...

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      I think I can interpret this. T1c N1mi M0
      T1c - referring to primary tumor size, it was more than 1 cm in greatest dimension but less than 2 cm.
      N1mi - means they found cancer cells in one to three lymph nodes outside the primary tumor. but mi means micrometastases which means that there were a relatively small number of cancer cells in the lymph node.
      M0 - means there are no metastases in any other part of the body

      Because it was classified as N1mi instead of regular N1, this would describe a stage IB rather than stage II breast cancer. So worse than stage IA, but better than Stage II.

      Comment
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Look up "pathology results" on the internet. I got great information from doing that.

      Comment
  • Cathy Hippe Profile

    Does breast cancer hurt?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Gail Horton Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I did have pain with mine that was localized in my nipple for several months but my tumor was located in my ducts and could not be felt by physical exam. It was detected by a mammogram. If you are having pain that last through several menstral cycles, please have it checked out by your doctor and...

      more

      I did have pain with mine that was localized in my nipple for several months but my tumor was located in my ducts and could not be felt by physical exam. It was detected by a mammogram. If you are having pain that last through several menstral cycles, please have it checked out by your doctor and a mammogram as soon as possible.

      Comment
    • Myles Digby Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Most often breast cancer is painless, unless the tumor involves the skin or the chest wall. Any lump that is new, painless or not, should be brought to your doctors attention.

      Comment
  • Dee Valentine Profile

    I recently had a mammogram, is it common to have to go back for another mammogram and ultrasound?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Cheryl Wornham Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes it is

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Yes, it's very common. I had micro calcifications show up on mine. The majority of the time it's nothing to worry about. Just make sure you're comfortable with their answer. I've learned you truly must be your own advocate. Best wishes! :)

      Comment
  • Bethany Greer Profile

    My mother has to do both radiation and chemotherapy for 6 weeks, what can I expect?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Chelita M Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Simptoms are different for everyone. During chemo my dr. Recommended to drink ginger ale, it helped me a lot with the nausea and was pretty much the only liquid I could take. Vitamin e helps a lot too, either orally or as an ointment specially during radiation. Take care.

      2 comments
    • Teresa Sewell Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Each person's journey is different. Your mother's oncologist will give you a list of medications and side aftects. These days, each type of cancer has it's own recipe card and the Dr follows that type of treatment. Depending on the reactions to the treatment, this can be altered. I was...

      more

      Each person's journey is different. Your mother's oncologist will give you a list of medications and side aftects. These days, each type of cancer has it's own recipe card and the Dr follows that type of treatment. Depending on the reactions to the treatment, this can be altered. I was allergic to one of my anti-nausea medications and I got migranes. My Dr changed medicines. Expect nothing after the first dose of chemo. The symptons usually begin after the second treatment. Radiation will follow. The radiation oncologist will set up a treatment regimine specifically designed for your mother. She may get sore and red in the treated area. The staff at the radiation clinic will give her lotion that is best suited for her reaction. Although this is a scary walk for your mother and your family, there is always support within the oncology and radiation clinics. If you or your mother has issues coping, make sure you let her doctors know. Some find support groups are available, but I chose not to attend. A cookbook, Eating Well Thru Cancer, was useful to me as it helped with food selections while I was having some symptoms. Bottom line is, if you have questions or concerns at all thru this process, the doctors and their staff are trained and more than willing to help you thru this phase of your mother's life. Take care and good luck.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is it normal to have irregular periods while on Tamoxifen? I've been on it for 4 months, but have only had one period.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    almost 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I had been on tamoxifen for three i have been on tamoxifen for 3 years had a period once a year. I had yearly endometrial biopsies and uterine ultrasounds to evaluate the uterine lining since endometrial cancer is a possible side effect of taking tamoxifen. You should give your gyn a call along...

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      I had been on tamoxifen for three i have been on tamoxifen for 3 years had a period once a year. I had yearly endometrial biopsies and uterine ultrasounds to evaluate the uterine lining since endometrial cancer is a possible side effect of taking tamoxifen. You should give your gyn a call along with your oncologist and make them aware you have had a period. Tamixifen is an estrogen blocker so periods should stop although it is not uncommon to have break through bleeding but it should be monitored

      Comment
    • Cheryl Wornham Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi I started tamoxifen in Jan and just had my first menstrual cycle in May my oncologist wasn't to concered about it

      Comment
  • Megan Eastman Profile

    Is it normal for the veins on your breast to be visible?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      It is not abnormal for the veins on your breast to be visible. Sometimes, your veins are more pronounced if you are pale or if your breasts are growing. From what I hear, visible veins on your breasts are not associated with breast cancer, but if you are concerned about it, it never hurts to...

      more

      It is not abnormal for the veins on your breast to be visible. Sometimes, your veins are more pronounced if you are pale or if your breasts are growing. From what I hear, visible veins on your breasts are not associated with breast cancer, but if you are concerned about it, it never hurts to consult your doctor.

      Take care!

      Comment
    • Sherry Downing Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I have always had visible veins as I am very fair skinned. I was grateful for that when they injected dye to locate the exact place for the sentinel node!

      Comment
  • Carla Victor-rawson Profile

    Has anyone had 35 rounds of radiation ? Scared, heard negative things. Please help , any advice would be helpful

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 33 treatments with no major issues. There was some sunburn like issues, but all was manageable.

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I am almost done with 28 treatments. I also had chemo and this is a breeze compared to that. The only thing is getting there every day which is getting a bit old, but the appointments are quick and easy. I have had no bad side effects aside from a little bit of fatigue very recently. Be sure...

      more

      I am almost done with 28 treatments. I also had chemo and this is a breeze compared to that. The only thing is getting there every day which is getting a bit old, but the appointments are quick and easy. I have had no bad side effects aside from a little bit of fatigue very recently. Be sure to use the cream/ointment they give you for the area and drink lots of water - both things keep the skin hydrated to help minimize the burning effects that the radiation can have. No worries! You'll be fine! :)

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is the prognosis of stage 3 medullary carcinoma? Ten years ago I had a lumpectomy and radiation. Now I have tumors in both breasts and face a bilateral radical mastectomy plus chemo. What is my prognosis?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      When I was going through cancer treatment, I refused to hear negative stories. It didn't do me any good and just depressed me. There are many more women alive today because of the treatments available. No human can really talk prognosis with any amount of certainty because we don't have a...

      more

      When I was going through cancer treatment, I refused to hear negative stories. It didn't do me any good and just depressed me. There are many more women alive today because of the treatments available. No human can really talk prognosis with any amount of certainty because we don't have a clue. If I were you, I would not focus on your diagnosis but on your fight that is ahead of you. Here is Marianne, who has fought a huge battle and won. There are many, many women on this board who have made it and are alive and well today. We are all here to support you. We know this is the scary thing to be facing but we have all been there. We know that terror but also know success. Please don't spend time and energy looking at that half empty glass.... you might at well believe you are going conquer this and win the battle. Do not put a limit on your life by talking prognosis because in reality, it doesn't help you.... it drags you down both mentally and physically. Who actually knows what YOUR prognosis will be?Prognosis, is a cold, analytical statistic.... you are a warm, loving, living, breathing, feeling, human being. Only God knows how long any of us have on this earth. Your job right now is to fight like a girl, get through your treatment and start living your wonderful life. Again, we are all here to support you and share our experiences with you. God's blessings to you. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      The minute that I was diagnosed I made the decision to have a bilateral mastectomy and it was the best decision I have made. I will soon have my implant exchange.

      Comment
  • celien thorne Profile

    Does anyone have suggestions to alleviate taxotere and cytoxan side effects? I've just had my first dose and I'm experiencing body aches and skin breakouts. Help!

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Celien,

      I also broke out in red spots all over my torso, arms, and face due to Taxotere. They itched and sometimes hurt. I found Gold Bond lotion made them feel much better. I'd put it on damp skin as I was getting out of the shower. Also, my oncologist gave me some low-dose steroids to...

      more

      Hi Celien,

      I also broke out in red spots all over my torso, arms, and face due to Taxotere. They itched and sometimes hurt. I found Gold Bond lotion made them feel much better. I'd put it on damp skin as I was getting out of the shower. Also, my oncologist gave me some low-dose steroids to deal with it.
      I had body aches for a week after my first three or so treatments, then felt much better before my next treatment. As I had more treatments, though, the pain lasted much longer and finally didn't end between treatments. Make sure you get good pain medication from your doctor, and don't be afraid to ask for something strong. You have to stay on top of it or you end up miserable all the time. I took Percocet, which also helped me take naps during the day. It eased the pain and made me sleepy.
      A word of caution, and THIS WAS MY EXPERIENCE, ONLY. As my treatments went on my reaction to Taxotere got worse. Please listen to your body and speak up if any of the symptoms get worse or if you develop new ones.
      Best of luck on your journey. Just remember that it's not going to last forever.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I did taxotere/cytoxan 6 rounds from March thru June 2011. It wasn't a picnic but it was doable. I worked through 1-4. 5&6 I was on summer break. Use the meds for side effects. Talk to your doctor. It wll be over and you will be better and alive.

      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
    over 5 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
  • Susan Odegard Profile

    So I would like any feedback on bras after lumpectomy and radiation. Anyone had any experience with the "Genie"bra. As See. On TV. Thanks, Susan

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Best advice to you is sports bras right after surgery. No heavy lifting at all and lots of rest.

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I got a Genie Bra in size XL and couldn't get the thing on. It kept rolling up because of the material being so thin and I was too sore still to keep tugging on it. I wear a 42C normally and I gave it to my daughter and it fit her perfectly and she is smaller. I guess i need to get a 3X.

      Comment
  • kate eshleman Profile

    I am 14 days past my first chemo treatment and having scalp pain. Any thoughts?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      You must be close to losing your hair. Sorry do you have your wig ready? I didn't wear wig. I learned no wig you need sun screen.

      Comment
    • barbara ehlers Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine did the same thing..my doctor recommended Benadryl..it helped alot..but shav

      1 comment

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