My Experience & Advice

Hello Gents,
I was diagnosed with stage 2 primary breast cancer in April 2021, had a very efficient fast track service despite covid and had a masectomy at the beginning of the June. The surgeon later told me it hadn’t spread despite being aggressive but I was high risk of recurrence in the other breast.
A referral to Oncology recommended prevenatative chemo to shorten the odds of recurrence which I reluctantly agreed to. The first dose saw me having an overnight stay in A&E, the second dose (ignoring what had happened on the first dose) saw me admitted to A&E exactly the same time period after the first dose, where they kept me in five days in an isolation room. Eventually escaping I was told by the ward doctor (Oncology never bothered to turn up) that I had internal swelling around the organs indicating an infection which was never found. So basically the chemo was trying to do what the cancer failed at, so I stopped all further treatment and refused drugs.
I have recently read that a report claims preventative chemo just puts cancer cells to sleep!
Anyway I believe I got the cancer from being on a prescribed testostorone gel for a decade without any real medical oversight. Endocrine prescribed it then forgot about me after a couple of years. What I can say is that testostorone treatment will feed any cancer’s growth.
So far my annual breast clinic check up’s have been clear.
I then read in my retired staff association magazine that men who have had breast cancer are high risk for getting prostate cancer. Despite only having minor old man symptoms I saw my doctor, drew her attention to the risk, which she hadn’t heard of before, and I do not remember it being told me in 2021 or in the book. Sure enough only three years after getting breast cancer I now have prostate cancer, fortunately at its very early stage, so what is called investigative treatment, PSA every 4 months & MRI annually with feedback after each test for the next ten years.
So I suggest that every couple of years you get your PSA tested. Mine came back at 7.9 (for a 71 year old) so only a bit high but got me put on fast track and the MRI found a lesion. One biopsy later I found out. Yes the biopsy is undignified with Dr Kirk boldly going where no man has gone before, but only the anaesethic injections were painful (yes they do tell you that), other than that just discomfort.
I saw mention of age spots. Use a good quality moisturer like no 7, rub it in once or twice a day. After a month or less it will fade and not be so prominent. I had a bad one on my leg that was thought cancerous with black in it, which now can be barely seen. It also works on age warts too. Thanks to my late mother for the advice, I never believed her until I was old enough to get them and tried it!
Sorry I cannot join the Zoom meetings, my old PC doesn’t have a webcam or microphone and being stuck in my ways find even working out how to do this messaging difficult.
Good luck to you all!

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Hi again @Smeag thanks for the advice my friend , Take care .
Love the Star Trek reference xxx

Hi @Smeag, I think you did very well with the messaging thing. Impressed by your stoicism and the advice therein.
Is Smeag a LOTRs reference?
Stay well
Brian

So sorry to hear of your awful experiences but as a lady who has lost one friend to prostate cancer and has another one who is like yourself on active surveillance I really welcome the information you have provided. Incidentally my friend who is on active surveillance was diagnosed 6 years ago , he is really well and physically fit and just completed a 10K sponsored walk in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

With very best wishes

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Hi Brian, thanks, I know they keep plugging prostate checks etc, but with the breast cancer link putting us all at high risk I thought I ought to speak up.
The name is a LOTR ref but I was given the full nick name at work in the mid 80’s long before the film when my locker got marked up as Smeagles Cave, and so being a Steve among many I got called Smeagle and variants forever after. Those were the days when if you didn’t end up with a nickname you hadn’t made it :slight_smile: though these days of PC it would see people losing their jobs. Lots of happy memories!
I put on a smile as life keeps kicking us down but what else can you do. I would like to see my grandchildren become young adults, so do my best to ensure anything unusual is investigated. My late father called me a hypochondriac who ended up passing on early as he didn’t get himself tested until it was too late, so I’ll be sure to say I told you so if we meet upstairs or down!
I feel for our younger forum members who go through such a rough time, a lot depending on where they live as to how good their treatment is, which is wrong!
Stay well yourself and keep smiling!
Steve

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Hi JoanneN, I am hoping my prostate behaves itself and stays slow growth. They do say that most most old men (I suppose that is me now) get slow growth cancer and that something else will get you first.
I lost my father to it, who didn’t get checked soon enough and daughter’s father in law is now on his last legs too as a result of ignoring symptoms. I’ve seen men leave the clinic losing their nerve over just an exam and the clinic tells me it is common, how sad, do you see women fleeing a gyno exam clinic!
While I was waiting for the breast cancer op and post op test results reading experiences of others on the forum gave me a boost. Why should I feel sorry for myself when all these other usually much younger people are coping with conditions many time worse than what a mere male suffers!
Go0od luck to you all,
Steve

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Many thanks, and I always thought only those in the US abducted by aliens got the probe until I saw it heading my way :smile:

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Great story Smeag and you certainly know what its like to be ‘human’.
You are absolutely right to bring up the prostate link, it is not hypochondria to be self aware especially when you have had one bad news diagnosis.

I first got diagnosed with BC back in 2005 and post surgery a bit of drug therapy I was discharged as a cancer patient(6 years later).
If only I knew then what I know now, 19 years later, I might not be stage 4. If I had the knowledge to identify secondary symptoms, I might have started treatment earlier and a better prognosis. Don’t get me wrong, Im not bitter, in fact I am pleased that I have got this far and Im still not knocking on the door.

So hats off Steve, pleasure to meet someone with a sense of humour, who can laugh at lifes challenges.

Keep thinking and recognising issues as they manifest themselves, that little thing that just doesn’t seem right, might not be, but equally could be nothing. Peace of mind and positivity is everything.

Keep laughing Sir…

Brian

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Yes the whole postcode lottery thing can be a matter of life and death. When I went to my GP for what I thought was a cyst , he knew straight away that it was BC. A few of the men I know were sent away saying it was nothing and if it was still there then to come back in six months . If that had happened to me , I would probably be dead now

We do have a Whats App group if you fancy joining it

Totally agree, I found my miniscule lump during lockdown, after our new grandaughter (in our bubble!) gave me a kick in the chest as I picked her up. When the ache continued I started rubbing the area and found the tiny lump followed a few days later by the nipple inverting. My GP surgery gave me a same day telephone appointment and my wonderful GP just said get down here now! Less than two months later it is all over bar the after effects.
My BC was aggressive so had I been fobbed off I would be like many unfortunates having an early expensive final taxi journey.
Others like my sister in law in Surrey was initially fobbed off by her doctor, waited ages for a proper investigation and now found to have pancreatic cancer. Yet her hospital still forget scans & appointments and have to be chased. If house prices were based on your local NHS instead of how good your local schools are there would be massive changes.

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Thanks for the WhatApp invitation, though mobiles these days have tiny buttons and screens so very unfriendly, so I use it as a phone, how strange :slight_smile: Anyway I am a boring old fart and would instantly run out of things to talk about unless you are into Genealogy or Philately.
I should mention that you can get digital images of death certificates for £3 (just gone up) from the online GRO, so if you think a health condition is in the family it is a good way to investigate what condition(s) they had to see if there is a genetic link. One distant cousin worked out that bowel cancer arrrived in her immediate family from a marriage, as none of her other cousins had it. There is a US company doing DNA tests for health conditions you may be likeky to get, but it is horribly expensive and of course not been going long enough for research to back up their results.

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I used to be so into stamp collecting , mainly UK stuff. First day covers , gutters etc. Then one of my daughters, when she was a kid, got hold of them and… I lost heart.
Using a mobile for a phone ? How novel :smile:
I use WhatsApp on my laptop its easier. There are about 15 or so of us on there and some just observe , so if you ever change your mind, give me a shout