Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Breast Cancer
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Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

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Breast Cancer

Hi, My paternal grandmother got breast cancer in her mid 30's and beat it. My great aunt on my maternal side had breast cancer and died. My aunts, mom and cousins on my mom side have issues with lumps in there breast. It seems that every year they have to have a lump removed. Always benign.  

My paternal grandmother and I are like two pea's in a pod. Every health issue she had growing up I have gotten, right down to thinning hair and a short stature.

I guess I am wondering how likely It would be that I too will get breast cancer. AND isn't there a test you can take that will tell you if you are genetically at risk to get it.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Mom2girls0204:  The familial risk of breast cancer is most closely associated with first degree relatives (mother, sister, daughter).  The genetic form of breast cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2) that we currently know is relatively uncommon.  There is testing for these genes.  It is usually offered when there are more than 2 first degree relatives with breast cancer whose situations meet criteria suggesting that the cancer may be inherited.  Usually, the person WITH the cancer is tested first.  If that person carries the gene, then her family members have the option to be tested.  Before testing, it is usually advisable to discuss all aspects of the testing, cost, results, insurance isssues, etc. with a genetic counselor.
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Avatar_n_tn
I believe a physician would say that you are at risk.  You can get a genetic test to see if you are a carrier for the BRCA1 gene.  Good luck.
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165308_tn?1323190145
It seems that there is definitely a high risk there....the minute there are 2 names with breast cancer or just one name of someone very close (like mom or sister) you are high risk.  How old are you?  have you gone for a baseline mammogram?  You should not wait until you are 40 (if you are not there yet.)  Discuss possibilities with your gyno.
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Avatar_n_tn
There are genetics testing that can be done.  Look on the internet or insurance provider for a genetics testing counselor.  I just went to one and I was very lucky my insurance would cover it.  Although I went because I already was diagnosed with BC and wanted to understand my reoccurence factor.  Your OBGYN should also be able to provide a name.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just a note to let you all know that my surgery has been scheduled.  I went to the surgeons yesterday and they set up the surgery for next Thursday November 2nd. I go for my pre-op procedure on Tuesday Oct. 31st.  I was hoping it would be this week, but the Lord has worked it out so that I will be out of work only 2 weeks then have the week of Thanksgiving(which we are out the entire week).  Then I can go back after Thanksgiving and work that week and then if I am doing good, and the doctors say it is okay, we will still go for our week in the mountains, which we need desperately.  My husband has really been so worried and working too much!  The surgery will last from 6-7 hours, and I will be put into ICU afterwards for overnight to be closely monitored.  Then I will go to a room the next day and hopefully come home by Sunday.  This is considered major surgery, but this is the way I prefer it to be done.  Then hopefully I will not have to have anymore major stuff done.  The doctor said that he will not have to take the lymph nodes, which is great!  The plastic surgeon said I appear to be a good candidate for the Tran Flap.  Just keep us in your prayers, I know God is with me and my family, I have such wonderful friends and family members praying all over.  A friend of mine at work came up and told me I was on prayer lists all over the country, and I told her that is wonderful...I feel you can never be prayed for too much!  Also, when praying, Lift up the doctors and all of those involved.and those everywhere facing this dilema in their lives..they need our prayers too!
My husband cut the back of his left hand on some tin helping our son Monday evening and we had to go to Urgent Care and they put 5 - 6 stitches in it.  So this has not been our week.  Still haven't heard from my Daddy's CT scan yet(he has CLL and is 84 years old).
  Today has not been a real good day for me, I think one thing, I did not sleep too good last night and then today would have been Mama's 87th birthday!  She died 2 years ago with hydrocelphus.
Thanks for being such a supportive group.
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Avatar_n_tn
You're in my prayers. I just went through a terrible scare and also had people I didn't know praying for me. My heart goes out to you and your family. And of course, my prayers are with your doctors. God bless you.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so glad it will work out for you to have your week in the mountains. I think getting away is an important part of taking care of ourselves! What do you teach? Are you going to say anything to your students about the surgery? I will keep you, your husband, and your health care providers in my prayers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey,
I made it through!  My surgery was last Thurs. November 2nd.  Everything went wonderful....except for the usual...pain, pain, pain!  I had to be at the hospital at 5:00 am and was taken in at 6:30 am.  They took me to the holding room and then took me to the OR at 7:05.  The procedure with the general surgeon doing the mastectomy took right at 2 hours.  then the long part came.  I was in with the plastic surgeon for 6 hours!  He did an excellent job according to all the nurses in ICU.  I was placed in ICU from about 3:30 pm on Thurs. until 10:30 am Friday(Nov.3).  Then they put me in a room and I came home on Monday, Nov. 6th, with 3 JP drain tubes(2 in abdomen, and one in breast area)  I did very good until my spastic colon IBS showed up.  I was very sick, had not had a BM since Wed. Nov. 1st.  I was getting very bad, drs. called in meds, nurses called me and stayed in touch, then yesterday morning Thurs. Nov. 9th, my husband had to end up giving me a Children's Fleet enema.  Finally, only thru prayer, we made it!!  We had a prayer meeting in the bathroom.  Went to the plastic surgeon today, and he was very pleased with everything.  The tran flap has taken thus far with no problems.  He took the 3 drain tubes out and said for me to come back next Wed. to have the breast and abdomen sutures removed.  No driving for another week though, and no lifting or doing anything much for 6 more weeks.  I am not returning to work until after Christmas.  I go back to the general surgeon for check up and results on Nov. 27th.  Our church and friends have been bringing food in every evening.  They have been wonderful!  My husband has really been great through this also,  He is a good nurse, and loving husband!  My son and his wife have also pitched in as well as other family members.  God is so Good!
will keep you updated.
Thank you all for your prayers, and please continue to pray, because one of my drain areas was really bleeding bad earlier today.  but think we got that under control,
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Avatar_f_tn
It's so good to hear from your. I'm glad the major surgery is over and will pray for continued healing. That IBS doesn't sound like fun...I've never had a prayer meeting in the bathroom but I'm glad it worked! LOL  You sound upbeat and strong and I know that will help with your healing.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so glad you posted. You have been in my prayers every day and I have been anxious to hear how you were doing. Yes, God certainly is working in our lives. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You and your husband have been through so much. I'm very grateful for your church family, too. You will continue to be in my prayers. Hope you feel better soon.
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127512_tn?1193745816
So glad everything (almost everything) came out well.
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Avatar_n_tn
You sound wonderful, thats great.....
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Avatar_n_tn
Just another update to let you know that prayers have definitely been answered for me.  I am getting stronger every day!  My stitches are beginning to itch, which my husband says that is a good sign of healing.  I go tomorrow afternoon back to the plastic surgeon's office to get the stitches removed hopefully.  I just sit, read, e-mail, or watch TV nothing else.  Last week our church families provided food every day, this week, my school co-workers are bringing food in every evening.  This is really wonderful, especially with my husband trying to work and not having a lot of time to do.  We have really been blessed!  I will just be glad when I am up and back at work.  We are still planning to go to the mountains the first week of Dec. then we will come back on Friday and if things are going well, I will probably go into work the last 8 days before we are out 3 weeks for Christmas holidays.  That way I will still have about 10 or 11 sick days left to use if needed.  Thank you all so much for your support and prayers.
Just keep praying all will go well.
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127512_tn?1193745816
Sounds as if things are going great. You have such a positive attitude. You are strong. Keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad you are healing well and feeling upbeat. Thanks for keeping us posted. My prayers continue...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I have so much to be thankful for this year.  I am really doing great since my mastectomy with reconstruction.  I am getting stronger every day.  I am taking my herbs again which help greatly.  The seepage from my reconstructed breast has finally stopped.  I am still sore and have some burning around the incision areas.  I go back to the general surgeon on Monday, then to the plastic surgeon on Dec. 19th.  We are still planning on our trip to the mountains Dec. 2nd.  I guess I will get my pathology report on Monday.  I have hestitated on calling for the results, since everytime I've called to get results, they were not good.  Keep us in your prayers!  God is sooooo Good!
***@****
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Avatar_n_tn
So glad to see your post. I'm so happy that you are feeling better. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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Avatar_f_tn
Enjoy Thanksgiving and your trip. Yeah for your recovery.
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127512_tn?1193745816
Been waiting for you to post. Sounds like you are **** well. Enjoy your vacation. You are a strong women.
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127512_tn?1193745816
Been waiting for you to post. Sounds like you are **** well. Enjoy your vacation. You are a strong women.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't consider myself a strong woman, I just have a strong faith in a Powerful God.  The Lord has truly been with me and my family through this.  I don't know how people go through this without Him.  I had gotten an e-mail prior to my surgery that stated about Will-Power.  It said if we are willing then God is Powerful, so there you have WILLPOWER.  Thank all of you for your prayers during this time.  I feel my strength returning every day.  We had a great Thanksgiving day yesterday.  I had dressing and all frozen that my sister had brought earlier so we had a feast.  My dad(84)was with us.  Keep him in your prayers, he has leukemia and is going to the surgeon on Monday about a large lump under his arm.
Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!  We have so much to be thankful for!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wonderful news!  I went back to my surgeon today and he said the pathology report was great!  The DCIS was only in the milk duct; there were no signs of anymore cancer or any other cells present in any of the other breast tissue!  He said I would not have to have any chemo or radiation, but he still wants to make me an app't with the cancer doctor to go over the reports and see if he thinks I should take the antihormone meds or not.  He said now there is a new type rather than the Tamimoxifen(sp?) anyway, that is truly a praise! I go back to him in 3 mos. However, my dad did not get a good report.  He has to have surgery to remove the "axillary mass" under arm.  This is very scary.  Also, we got news this morning that our great nephew, 15 years old, was airlifted to Shands with a aneurism (aneurysm) in his brain which is leaking!.  Keep all in your prayers!  Thanks for being so supportive.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so happy that you recieved positive news from your doctor! I will continue to keep affirming thoughts for you, your dad, and your nephew. Seems we're often challenged in life...and darn it, all at once at times!! Stay strong and trust that we are all on the path we need to be on at this time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, it is good to hear your good news. I will pray for the rest of your family. I'm going to share the info about an alternate drug for tamoxifen with boninclyde. She's having a tough time with tamoxifen. Do you know what it's called?
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Avatar_n_tn
Raloxifene Equals Tamoxifen in Preventing Breast Cancer
This is the medicine I was talking about.  There is an article about it, if you want me to copy, paste and send I will.  Let me know.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the info. I'll pass it along and see if boninclyde wants the article. The Lord does wonderful things. I'm so glad to hear about your nephew.
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Avatar_n_tn
No, I don't remember what he said it was, but when I find out I will let you know.  He said it doesn't have the same risk factors as Tamoxifen and he said it works differently.  I just really hope and pray I don't have to have to take anything, but I will just have to wait and see.  Thank you all for your prayers...We got wonderful news about our nephew yesterday afternoon...his aneurysm has disappeared!!!  The doctors are baffled...but we KNOW that God is in Control.  His pain has stopped and the bleeding has stopped.  They are keeping him 7 more days and then will rerun the tests to make sure...PRAYER WORKS...IF WE HAVE FAITH AND BELIEVE!!!!
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127512_tn?1193745816
Snoopy/Montana girl - great news for you and your nephew. How is your dad? Thanks for the medicine info. I will search the site and call my doctor today to see if this is an option for me. Thanks Montana girl for thinking about me. Sorry I haven't checked in. Had a sick kid. I just hit the couch for a couple of days for some much needed rest. Husband went to Dr. yesterday to have a mole removed that came up in a couple of days on his temple. Was the size of a piece of pepper then three days later the size of a dime. The doctor froze it then instead of removing to send for a biopsy they burnt it off. Oh well he is the doctor what do I know. I told them when I made his appt. that skin cancers run in his family. Hopefully it want return. I do feel better today. Still dizzy from this med and somewhat emotional but like I said I feel much better today. Husband brought home some Christmas gifts for the kids. So he got some of the shopping out of the way. That made me feel lots better. I felt like things were closing in on me trying to squeeze in Dr.s appts between holidays. Sorry so long winded. Have a great day girls!
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Avatar_f_tn
Please do copy the article you mentioned. Or, if there is a web-site we can go to and read it, just copy the web-site. Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=62355
is the website, or just go to GOOGLE.COM and type in
Raloxifene Equals Tamoxifen in Preventing Breast Cancer
this will give you links to a lot of medical pages on these items.  Let me know if you have success in doing this....
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Avatar_n_tn
Another way to try is :  www.medicinenet.com
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the info. I will pass it along. I hope things are still going ok with you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey, We made it back from our trip to the mountains!!  We really had a great time, it was good just to get away from everything.  I did very well on the trip.  We just took a long time getting there because we kept stopping for me to walk around.  It even snowed before we came home.  We had beautiful weather.  I go to the Pearlman Cancer Center this next Monday morning to see one of the doctors there to see if he thinks I need to take any meds.  I sure hope not.  I am an "herbal" person myself.  The nurse told me on the phone when she took my medical history prior to my visit, that even though there was no history of breast cancer in my family, that since my dad had had colon cancer(1985) that now there is a direct link between either parent having colon cancer and a higher risk in their daughters having breast cancer....have you heard that?  Anyway, will let you know the outcome.  For 2 days I felt terrible.  Today I feel better.  I have had trouble I guess with the feeling returning in some of the incision areas...and one spot of fat neurmosis(sp)(hard spot) in my reconstructed breast.  It's not as bad as it was, but at times I still have the pains.  Not sure how long these will last either?  Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that I am home again...we came in on Friday.
Hope all of you and your family have a blessed Christmas!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so glad your trip to the mountains went well. The trip was probably good medicine for you at this time. You have a wonderful Christmas, too. Hope the pain is gone next time we hear from you.
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127512_tn?1193745816
It sounds like you are doing pretty good. Glad you had a great trip. I love going to the mountains. In fact the girls and I would much rather go to mountains than the beach. Anyways,  I have never heard that colon cancer could be related to breast cancer but I guess it could happen. I am no doctor and there are so many different research studies going on that it very well could be. Later.
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