Hodgkin's lymphoma before breast cancer


I am very curious if there are women on the website who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma before they had breast cancer. If so, I was wondering what you have done/are doing, e.g. chemo, radiotherapy, lumpectomy, mastectomy, prophelectic mastectomy, etc.


Hi Sophie, I know someone who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma in her early twenties and breastcancer 5yrs ago in her 50’s. She had a mastectomy and chemo, followed by tamoxofin as it was hormone positive. She didn’t have radiotheraphy.
Josie x

Hi Sophie,

deleted ( sent pm)

Hi Sophie,
I did not have Hodgkin’s myself, but know an awful lot of people who did and fit into your criteria.
I had radiotherapy to the chest as a child, but for a different cancer, and had breast cancer as a late effect .
The risk of breast cancer following radiotherapy to the chest is very high, depending on the dose received and age at treatment-and the risk does increase over time.This may be scary, but it is much better to be alert to the danger, and be vigilant, than to be blissfully unaware and only find a cancer too late.
When you have had radiotherapy years before, you cannot have it to that area again-and chemo may also be restricted.
This does not mean you cannot be strong many many decades after cancer treatment
Take this as an opportunity to review health -from being a vegetarian I have become vegan, and wish I did it years ago-feel so much better
Best of luck,

Hi, I am new to this. I did not have Hodgkins disease as a child but i did have a very rare cancer called a Germ Cell Tumour. I had surgery and chemo for that, no radiotherapy so I was not at a raised risk. In fact my risk for breat cancer was very low according to my surgeon. (young, chemo to ovaries, thin, very fit, teetotal,vegetarian, late onset of periods, etc. Here I am though! I have had surgery again for this but am unlikely to need radiotherapy as the tumour was smaller, less aggressive than expected and nothing in the lymph nodes or blood vessels. I am still likely to have chemo though and am waiting to hear about that. I had four cycles as a kid and one or two helpful people said " ooh well, if you’ve had chemo before you can’t have it again" Thanks! My surgeon and breat care nurses are fantastic, totally honest with me and have said I can have chemo again for this and again in the future if necessary. Just have to have different drugs. I was always told i’d be carefully monitored having had cancer so young but it was me who found this one and went to the docs straight away. I didn’t really think it could be cancer though, thought i’d had my dose. It does scare me that I don’t know why this has happened again so young and i do get very down sometimes thinking there must be some fault in my body. There is nothing to suggest it is inherited and no strong family history of cancer so i’ve no idea how to stop it happening again. On the bright side, being so fit and a tough cookie is helping me get through this, and as one of my old school teachers said , “there’s nothing like experience.” Like Daisydog, I was aware some childhood cancers and /or their treatment lead to an increased risk of second cancers and as she wisely says, the only thing we can do for ourselves is be vigillant. I also like to keep myself up to date and armed with knowledge and information then i know what i’m looking for and understand what i am dealing with.

Hi Pootle,
Thank you for referring to my comment as wise.
It does get you down having a second cancer, but we have got through it before and are strong, so are now older and wiser. We have an awful lot to give-as you say we have to be our own health advocates, and try to help others from our experience.
Yes it can be very stressful, but if we hadn’t been stressed we would not have picked up the cancer at an early stage-we would not be here-a little paranoia can go a long way
Where in the country are you?
Take care

Hi Daisydog,

I am in the East Midlands where we had snow yesterday. Hooray! Whereabouts are you?


Hi Daisydog, I find what you say re rads to the chest in childhood very interesting as I had an ongoing chest condition as a child and spent many years attending hospital, at one time having monthly x-rays!!! There’s no history of cancer in my family.I’ve never been overweight or unfit. A vegitarian since my teens(vegan now)I had my children young,completely breast fed them all etc. I wonder just how much all those childhood x-rays contributed to my bc??

Hi joseymarie and Pootle
I am in Edinburgh
There is a much greater risk for breast cancer if you have had xrt to the chest as a child-the risk is too high to state in an open forum really. Radiation is particularly damaging to developing tissue, as in children, and radiation causes breast density-the longer you have the density the greater the risk-all offset by other factors. I was also vegetarian, did not smoke, drink, very fit, breast fed as I could as a breast did not develop properly due to the radiation-we may well have delayed the almost inevitable.
Can we keep in touch, as I am trying to get screening practices changed to reflect this risk-at present only those treated for hodgkin’s get early breast screening

Hi Daisydog, yes please do keep in touch. You can pm me anytime.
Josie x

Hi Daisydog, and joseymarie

Please keep in touch. I never had a chest x ray until I had the first cancer at 15yrs in 1993 and then i had several as the chemo I had for that can damage your lungs so they were watching for that and I have had upper body xrays as a young adult, falling off things and injuring myself as I am rather clumsy. Interestingly I am a PCSO and for 9 hrs a day when I am on shift I wear an Airwave terminal which is a police radio come mobile phone effort. I have been using this for 4 and a half years nearly and i wear it right over where i got this tumour, although it is worn over a kevlar stab vest. There does not appear to be a great rash of officers with breast cancer but it does make me wonder. Does anyone know if they can cause cancer? I want to go back to work, I love my job but i am a bit anxious about wearing the radio.


Hi sophie,

Just in case you haven’t noticed I have pm’d you.


Hey ladies,
I have created a Facebook group for us HD survivors who are at risk of or already have developed BC. I want to try and connect us all more easily as I feel it can be quite isolating being part of this ‘special’ group. It might also help those not yet diagnosed make decisions regarding avoiding this beast altogether!
The link is Breast cancer after radiotherapy for Hodgkin's Disease - support group | Facebook and I will need to approve your membership. It’s a closed group so nobody but members can see anything we post. please join and post your story.

Hello Michelle,

I hope this message finds you well. Thank you for creating a FB account. I have just asked on FB if I could become a member. I had Hodgkin’s in 1995 (aged 17) and 13 years later (aged 30) I had breast cancer. I am ‘all clear’ now and had a daughter in 2012. I even managed to breast feed her with one breast.
Despite good follow up results and our little daughter I am still emotionally recovering from the BC. In addition, my mother died of cancer 9 days after my daughter was born so it has been a hectic year…
Did you also have BC and HD?
Best wishes,

Hi there,
My heart has just skipped a beat as i have just stumbled upon this thread, I had non Hodgkin’s lymphoma in my chest and lung 18 years ago (aged 19), in Dec 2012 (aged 37) i was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast which the docs believe is as a result if radiotherapy I received all those years ago. I have had a mastectomy and am now approaching my 3rd round of chemo, I have been offered a right mastectomy once chemo has finished to reduce further risk, no rads due to damage already done. I have been looking for anyone who has been through something similar for ages!! I am married with two small children, can’t tell you how terrified I was at the prospect of having to go through this again but as someone has already said we’re strong and will get through it…again!!
Please keep this thread going, I am not on Facebook but may join or message via my sister if need be.
Love, Sarah xxx

Hi All, I also had non- hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 20. I was 42 when I got diagnosed with BC. Ive had a mastectomy and lat dorsi reconstruction. Unfortunately I had a couple of microstatic cells in 3 of the nodes I was advised to have chemo as radiation was not an option. Thankfully the chemo was not as bad this time round and I got to keep my hair bonus. Its been a year since finishing chemo and on tamoxifen. It really hit me getting BC but I am determined not to get me down. I know these posts are old but i am hoping someone sees this and add if they have had this happen too. keep living life Michele

Hi all, I too only just saw this thread too Michele, I was diagnosed 8 years ago with Non Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma age 49, it was slow growing and has been monitored for 8 yrs watch & wait, with no treatment I nearly had chemo for it a few years ago, but decided to watch it instead & it went into remission.
The biopsy on nodes came back with a speck of Non Hodgkins showing up. I have just finished Chemo for BC 6 rounds FEC x3 and Docetaxol x3…& on Femara for 5 yrs like Tamoxifen, hopefully ONC said the Chemo should target both cancers. I had a Masectomy in Nov 2012, with skin expander in place, & I have just had reconstruction implant on mx side & a breast lift on my remaining good breast, & pray it stays that way! Love to all that have had both! waiting now on hair growth and trying to find me and get on with Loving life. Cheers Rhonda

Rhonda you go girl. It was interesting reading your post. I remember my oncologist saying some of the chemo drugs used for BC are similiar to ones that treated my NHL all thouse years ago. keep fighting and loving life michele xx

Thanks Michele for your reply, yes NHL & BC chemo’s are similar, so everything crossed, I’m clear from the big C… I’m slowly finding myself after this hell ride, I still have a few annoying SE… But loving life… Cheers & Hugs Rhonda x