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Common Questions

  • Kendra Klindt Profile

    Tomorrow is my 1st of 4 chemo treatments. Getting Cytoxan and Taxotere! Taking steroid pills today - dexamethasone. Have my 3 kinds of nausea meds ready to go for after chemo. Any thoughts or suggestions? I know I can/will do this but scared to death!

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_1 Patient
    over 4 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Great attitude! Yes you can do this! Drink lots of water. Rest when needed, but walking helps too. Take your meds before you need them. Easier to treat then to take away. Use plastic ware to help with the metal taste. Eat what you want. It's all trial and error. What is good one day may not be...

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      Great attitude! Yes you can do this! Drink lots of water. Rest when needed, but walking helps too. Take your meds before you need them. Easier to treat then to take away. Use plastic ware to help with the metal taste. Eat what you want. It's all trial and error. What is good one day may not be the next. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Drunk lots if fluid today... And keep drinking to flush it out.... Most of the time T/C is not the scary combination. I wish you well. Remember to have infusion nurses number posted at home in case you have questions.

      Comment
  • Susan Fox Profile

    What are the permanent effects of chemotherapy? Friends and I have experienced lasting changes in body systems and functions.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2008

      Wow! I just feel like there are so many.
      1. Joint pain and stiffness
      2. Loss of libido
      3. 50 point increase in cholesterol
      4. Severe pain with intercourse.
      5. Sweats - not night sweats. I get hot and sweat more easily now.

      5 comments
    • Mariah Mariah Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2008

      Thanks for sharing. I thought my doctor was just brushing me off when she told me it might be due to the chemo.

      2 comments
  • 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
    almost 6 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
  • Rea Fielden Profile

    What is the life expectancy of Metastatic Breast Cancer which has metastasized to the spine and bones if left untreated?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Rea,
      No one knows how long any of us will live. Even leaving a cancer untreated, no one actually knows. There isn't anything the the "direction book of life" that can be a predictor. I don't like when a doctor presents their guess and says to a patient.... "You have 6 months to live". I think...

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      Rea,
      No one knows how long any of us will live. Even leaving a cancer untreated, no one actually knows. There isn't anything the the "direction book of life" that can be a predictor. I don't like when a doctor presents their guess and says to a patient.... "You have 6 months to live". I think that sets up a negative mind-set in a persons thoughts. Doctor's aren't God, and as far as I am concerned HE is the only one who truly gets to play that role.
      I had a friend who had Stage 4 ILC with nearly all lymph nodes removed were found to be positive (19 out of 21). She quit her treatment but ended up living 5 years after surgery with no further treatment.
      It would be my thought gift to you, not to think of giving up but think of hope and the possibilities for the future.
      It is bad enough to be diagnosed with this creepy disease but we do NOT want to lose another one of our sister's to it. We really need you to keep up the good fight! I truly think of mets as a chronic condition. Hang in there darlin' take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Rea I too am stage IV bc with mets to lungs. The time will come to do or not to do? I have chosen to begin a new journey at this time. We will see where this road will lead me. I always hope that the treatment I receive might help someone else on their journey. No one knows their life...

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      Rea I too am stage IV bc with mets to lungs. The time will come to do or not to do? I have chosen to begin a new journey at this time. We will see where this road will lead me. I always hope that the treatment I receive might help someone else on their journey. No one knows their life expectancy with or without cancer. I do know, from family history of cancer that it is not in our hands. I have had family members experience remission and fast growth after treatments have stopped. It is not for us to know. Sending gods blessings and prayers your way to live life to it's fullest one day at a time. Keep us posted.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What does T1 cN1 mi MO mean?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 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
  • sabrina brown Profile

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    over 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
  • Sheryl Love Profile

    I am post surgery. A lumpectomy and one lymph node removed. What are other doing for shaving and using for deodorant. I read that razors are frowned upon due to the risk of cutting oneself, which can easily cause infection.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 5 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I must confess that I didn't shave at all for weeks after my mastectomies. My armpits were completely numb and I was nervous about shaving near my lymph node scar. Also, i couldnt raise my arms fully. Once I got a bit of feeling back, I used an electric razor to minimize the chance of a nick. As...

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      I must confess that I didn't shave at all for weeks after my mastectomies. My armpits were completely numb and I was nervous about shaving near my lymph node scar. Also, i couldnt raise my arms fully. Once I got a bit of feeling back, I used an electric razor to minimize the chance of a nick. As far as deodorant, I switched to Tom's of Maine after my DX because of the questions associated with aluminum. Good luck to you!

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I used Toms deodorant during radiation, making sure to wash it plus any lotions off before each treatment. I don't have any hair growth under my affected arm yet and I finished radiation in May. I got second degree burns under that arm so I guess it destroyed the hair follicles.

      Comment
  • Patricia Carnell Profile

    Are there topical treatments to help with the burn from radiation. I was just diagnosed with Stage 0 dcis and had lumpectomy on Friday last week, surgeon is supposed to set up radiation with an oncologist soon

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Doreen Finley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests...

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      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests results and planning treatment. However, my radiation techs and nurses have been amazing. They told me of this app. I signed up and browsed questions and FOUND answers. You are all wonderful and I cannot believe how much better I feel in 2 days. Should have dr appt Monday. Already have my list of questions. Today I'm going out o get some creams that were suggested. Just wanted to share my gratitude already Thank you - dor

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs....

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      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs. They'll help you when you need to see the radiologist . Mine were fabulous . My chest became an open book for all to read and I wanted it read WELL. :-D

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Oncotype score: 8 - 2 lymph nodes positive - onco said: 92% of cancer not coming back no chemo, radiation, tamox -WAIT - other onco: nope need chemo and all the rest cancer will still come back at 20%

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    almost 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Blair Greiner Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I say chemo if nodes were positive

      Comment
    • Lisa Doheny Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      My score was 12 with 1 node positive and I had 4 rounds of chemo & 5 years tamoxifen also with having a double mastectomy. I hope this helps you a little. Good luck to you & sending hugs your way

      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
    about 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...

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      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

    I have Stage 1 triple negative breast cancer. I have had my lifetime dose of adriamycin and was put on a regimen of Cytoxin and Taxotere. I had a moderately severe reaction to these drugs in my second treatment. What do I do next?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Sorry to hear about your reaction. When I was on the "cocktail" of Taxotere. My Onc prescribed steroid pills to take the night before and the morning of my chemo. Then of course....steroids and Benadryl via IV. She told me this was due to so many women having a reaction to the Taxotere. Was this...

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      Sorry to hear about your reaction. When I was on the "cocktail" of Taxotere. My Onc prescribed steroid pills to take the night before and the morning of my chemo. Then of course....steroids and Benadryl via IV. She told me this was due to so many women having a reaction to the Taxotere. Was this done by your Onc? If you are not able to tolerate those two drugs...not to worry. There are more chemo drugs used. I completed my rounds of Adriamycin, Cytoxin, and Taxotere and then had my surgery. Afterwards due to extensive lymph node involvement I am on chemo again using the drugs Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. These two chemo drugs are used for later stages of breast cancer as well as lung and ovaian cancer. Talk to your Onc about your different options. Best wishes and prayers to you in your fight!

      Comment
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am stage 1 and will soon be on cytoxin and taxotere as well. What kind of reaction did you have? Did you lose any hair or has it thinned?

      2 comments
  • Carla Victor-rawson Profile

    Is feeling tingling and strangely sporadicly numb, tinged with some pain normal after lumpectomy with SNB? I'm 4 days out of surgery and fingers are tingling as I'm writing this....anything I can do for it? Also, is swelling on the effected side normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 3 answers
    • Diane Washington Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Yes I still have those symptoms I been three months out of surgery. It can catch you off guard . But I sure in time everything will catch up with the other body parts.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Morning Carla, Had both, it was annoying but it's due to severed nerves. Still have both but to a lesser degree after 4 months. You will have sharp , piercing pain that will catch you off gaurd but it will eventually subside-also due to cut and damaged nerves. I call them GOTCHA pain. Those were...

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      Morning Carla, Had both, it was annoying but it's due to severed nerves. Still have both but to a lesser degree after 4 months. You will have sharp , piercing pain that will catch you off gaurd but it will eventually subside-also due to cut and damaged nerves. I call them GOTCHA pain. Those were really annoying during radiation.Hope you"re feeling better this morning and some of the anxiety is turning loose. I can"t speak to the swelling. Call your doctor and describe it. If you think it is increasing don't wait. Peace of mind is better than money. Do try to walk around to get the lymph sytem to pumping. It is bruised and traumatized and needs a kick start. Hang in there. Everyday away from surgery is a victory. Jo :-D

      5 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
    almost 4 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
  • Lisa Majka  Profile

    How many types of Breast Cancers are there? I'm also wondering if Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the worst one you can get?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You also wanted to know how many types of breast cancer...Types of Breast Cancer

      Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS)
      DCIS is a type of early breast cancer confined to the inside of the ductal system.

      Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
      IDC is the most common type of breast cancer representing 78%...

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      You also wanted to know how many types of breast cancer...Types of Breast Cancer

      Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS)
      DCIS is a type of early breast cancer confined to the inside of the ductal system.

      Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
      IDC is the most common type of breast cancer representing 78% of all malignancies. These lesions appear as stellate (star like) or well-circumscribed (rounded) areas on mammograms. The stellate lesions generally have a poorer prognosis.

      Medullary Carcinoma
      Medullary carcinoma accounts for 15% of all breast cancer types. It most frequently occurs in women in their late 40s and 50s, presenting with cells that resemble the medulla (gray matter) of the brain.

      Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
      Infiltrating lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that usually appears as a subtle thickening in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast. This breast cancer type represents 5% of all diagnosis. Often positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, these tumors respond well to hormone therapy.

      Tubular Carcinoma
      Making up about 2% of all breast cancer diagnosis, tubular carcinoma cells have a distinctive tubular structure when viewed under a microscope. Typically this type of breast cancer is found in women aged 50 and above. It has an excellent 10-year survival rate of 95%.

      Mucinous Carcinoma (Colloid)
      Mucinous carcinoma represents approximately 1% to 2% of all breast carcinoma. This type of breast cancer's main differentiating features are mucus production and cells that are poorly defined. It also has a favorable prognosis in most cases.

      Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
      Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and very aggressive type of breast cancer that causes the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast to become blocked. This type of breast cancer is called "inflammatory" because the breast often looks swollen and red, or "inflamed". IBC accounts for 1% to 5% of all breast cancer cases in the United States.
      Learn more

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Any type of breast cancer has the chances of containing aggressive cells. When diagnosed with breast cancer, there is the ability to look at individual cells and grade them for their aggressiveness. So many factors go into staging and grading breast cancer and then the treatment is...

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      Any type of breast cancer has the chances of containing aggressive cells. When diagnosed with breast cancer, there is the ability to look at individual cells and grade them for their aggressiveness. So many factors go into staging and grading breast cancer and then the treatment is individualized for the patient. Inflammatory breast cancer has the chances of being one of the more aggressive types but it is also one of the more rare diagnosed.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am going to University of California San Francisco to add Dr. Rugo to my breast cancer team. I am stage 4 and have tried 4 types of chemo with little to no success. Does anyone see Dr. Rugo or know anything about UCSF? I am in Idaho.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Tamara Davidson Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Wow I wish we could talk ,, I don't want no more chemo ,,,I know. It can't cure cancer,,,wish I could get to California

      1 comment
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am going to get my second opinion from him in next couple of weeks... My email is mpeoney@aol.com..

      5 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
    almost 7 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
  • julie s Profile

    I'm halfway through chemo and as much as I try to stay positive but I'm depressed. Anyone else feel like this? Thinking about asking for an anti depressant, but nervous... Any thoughts?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 6 years 13 answers
    • View all 13 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Julie,
      When I was going through chemo I became horribly depressed. It turns out it was due to one of the additives in my "recipe". PLEASE tell your team ASAP. You might be having trouble with a steroid that is used often in your treatment. Hang in there, you can get help for this and they...

      more

      Julie,
      When I was going through chemo I became horribly depressed. It turns out it was due to one of the additives in my "recipe". PLEASE tell your team ASAP. You might be having trouble with a steroid that is used often in your treatment. Hang in there, you can get help for this and they can remove it from your recipe if that might be the cause. Hugs to you, take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I take Celexa, which is a non habit forming anti depressant. It helped me soooo much. Good luck!

      Comment
  • 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
    over 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...

      more

      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
  • 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
    almost 6 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...

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      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
  • 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...

      more

      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...

      more

      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
    over 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
  • Thumb avatar default

    Anybody Dx with stage 2A with Negative Nodes, Had To Do Any chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It depends on what is contained on a cellular level. What type of breast cancer, stage, grade, onco DX. Her2+ ER- PR- ? Lots of findings go into the decision for your treatment. It isn't just because it is a 2A. That is only part of it. You are still in the discovery-phase of your diagnosis. ...

      more

      It depends on what is contained on a cellular level. What type of breast cancer, stage, grade, onco DX. Her2+ ER- PR- ? Lots of findings go into the decision for your treatment. It isn't just because it is a 2A. That is only part of it. You are still in the discovery-phase of your diagnosis. Once your path is clear, you will honestly feel better about everything. You will know a lot more in days to come. Hang in there.... you will be ok even if you have to have chemo. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes, I was stage 2 ER/PR positive, her2 negative, and I had chemo first to shrink the tumor before surgery. Age also made a difference in my treatment, I was 29 when diagnosed.

      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
    over 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...

      more

      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
  • jan bursky Profile

    Has anyone had invasive lobular cancer metastasize despite mastectomy and chemo? Stage 3 and loss of lymph nodes are involved. Very scary.

    Asked by anonymous

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

      10 years ago, my best friend had stage 4 Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer. She had 4 rounds of AC before a mastectomy and complete axillary removal of nodes. 17 out of 21 nodes were positive. She was scheduled for different chemo treatments but would only allow radiation. After the radiation,...

      more

      10 years ago, my best friend had stage 4 Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer. She had 4 rounds of AC before a mastectomy and complete axillary removal of nodes. 17 out of 21 nodes were positive. She was scheduled for different chemo treatments but would only allow radiation. After the radiation, she refused any other treatment. She lived for 5 years until it metastisized to her bone marrow. She passed away just as I found out I had breast cancer. She said she'd lived long enough and died at age 64. It still upsets me that she gave up the fight before she had even begun. It was her life and her decision but her loss left a big hole in the hearts of many people. Sharon

      Comment
    • Patricia Stoop Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Oh prayers for you. Very scary. I had liver masses too and found meditation a great help!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have what looks like a spider/bug bite on my side breast. There is an "entrance point" where it looks like I was bit and is a bit raised and is surrounded by a red/pink circle. Should I get this checked out today? I'm worried its a symptom of IBC.

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Give it a week, see if it gets better. If not, have your doctor check. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Cheryl Wornham Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Ya I would get it checked
      To ease your mind take care

      Comment

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