I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy before Christmas.  I have to have radiotherapy and then Tamoxifen for 5 years.

I have a telephone consultation with the oncologist, specialist nurse and dr who told me about the treatment I would have.  She said I would be contacted 6 weeks after the radiotherapy to see how I am and then discharged to my GP’s care.

I am confused, as in a letter I recently received it said that I don’t have breast cancer but that the treatment is to stop my breast cancer coming back.

Is this normal to be discharged and do I have breast cancer or not.  I feel a fraud telling people I am having treatment for breast cancer if in fact I am not.  I am totally confused because I was told by the surgeon that in 5 years I would be given the all clear. 

I am sorry if this is not in the right place, so please accept my apologies if it’s not and feel free to move it.

Many thanks, Wendy xxx

Hi Callista,

First off, please try not to get yourself in a knot. You ARE having treatment for breast cancer, it’s horrible, no guilt should be there saying it to others.

The letter almost certainly means that the lumpectomy removed the tumour - which is fantastic! 

That doesn’t lessen the importance of the rest of your treatment, not does it make you any kind of liar.

I hope you can breathe a little easier, and be kind to yourself xx

Hi Callista,

I thought I recognised your name - I replied to one of your first posts and good to hear you’ve progressed on your treatment journey : )

Some good advice and comments from others below. You’ve had bc, they’ve removed the lump (I think you previously mentioned it was stage 1 which is bc, caught early), hence the perhaps slightly odd wording on the letter. Radiotherapy is given to zap any stray bc cells or other bc changes at the cellular level (too small to show up on an X-ray or ultrasound etc). While any treatment carries a few risks the benefits outweigh those and most women get on ok with radio, you might just find you get a bit fatigued for awhile and might have some skin sensitivity for awhile, but in the long run worth it for the reassurance of the zapping of any strays. 

Do come back with any other q’s if it helps to settle your mind.

Seabreeze x

Sounds to me like since your lympectomy and now on Tamoxifen you no longer have breast cancer. The Tamoxifen is to stop your beat cancer coming back. Sounds like you had it but no longer since your treatment which is normal. I could be wrong but that’s how I read it. 

I had the same. Lympectomy and I was given Anastrozol for 5 years to stop the cancer coming back. I also had 15 rounds of radiotherapy.

All the best x

Hi Wendy 

Welcome to the forum - sorry that you have to be here. You’ve found a wonderfully safe and supportive place.

As everyone else has said your lumpectomy has removed the cancer and the therapies, radio and hormone, are to stop it coming back. So you are not a fraud - try to celebrate that you are BC free and your specialists are doing what they need to, to keep it that way. 

I hope we are all clearing up your concerns.