my mum

my mum was diagnosed with bc 19th feb had surgery 13 march(after cancelled op as they thought bilateral-but as it turned out just one boob)had wle and axillary sampling.negative in those so know thats good news but even though i know its not me going through it im finding it so tough.I can be positive for her and at home keep it in as I’ve 3 children of my own keeping me busy!Its mainly because she lives alone quite far away thats difficult.
She has a ct next wk for radiotherapy then has tamoxifen for 5yr(though she has an eye condition too so needs to check this i think)
how do you find out about the type of bc you have the staging and hormone abbrevations that people seem to post about?how is it that some need radio some chemo some tablets some all?
I have a very close friend whose mum also has been diagnosed with cancer just 3wk previous;y and although i thought at the time i was supporting her you really don’t know til it affects you directly.
Been looking on these boards since diagnosis and think the level of support is brilliant x

Hi Helen and welcome to the Breast Cancer Care forums.

I am sorry to read about your Mum’s recent diagnosis and can appreciate that you have concerns and questions about the diagnosis and treatments. I am sure that your fellow forum members will be along soon with valuable support and advice, you are also welcome to call our freephone confidential helpline for a chat with one of our specialist nurses. The nurses can talk to you about the queries you have along with ideas of support for you and your Mum, the number to call is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Hi Helen - sorry to hear of your Mum’s recent diagnosis. As the cancer has not spread to her lymph nodes, her prognosis sounds really good.

I only found this site when I was going through chemo and wished I had found it before, as I didn’t know anyone with bc and was so naive. Someone here suggested I get copies of my pathology reports (first from the Wide Local Excision and sample node removal, then the one from the total axillary resection. It was like reading a foreign language! I asked my bc surgeon for the copies and he went right away and got me photocopies, but didn’t explain the reports.
This gives you most of the information you need, such as stage, grade, size of tumour, what kind of bc it is (invasive, lobular, inflammatory etc), Nottingham prognostic indicator level, and hormonal status. ER is for estrogen receptors, PR for progesterone (mine wasn’t done), and now they automatically do HER2 status. As your Mum is ER+ she will have tamoxifen if she is pre-menopausal, but Arimidex (you must be post menopausal) has a much better prognosis for non-recurrence. If she is HER2+ she will be prescribed Herceptin.

I would imagine she has not been prescribed chemo, just radiotherapy, as the cancer has not spread from the breast through to the lymph nodes, but she should check this with her doctors.

I have found that breast cancer is an “umbrella” for many different types of bc and it is confusing at first to understand all the variations, treatments etc. The Oncologist is the guy to sort this out depending on the patient’s path report.

Having said that, you and she will still have questions, and I found I learned more from the intelligent and caring people on this site than from my doctors or bc nurse. Has your Mum been assigned a breast cancer nurse yet? Mine (sadly just retired) was brilliant - always sorted out a query quickly and on occasions got me into the bc clinic when I had complications.

Not sure if this helps, but do come back with your questions - there is nearly always someone with the answer.

Take care, hugs

hi she has the onc and ct scan prior to radiotherapy tommorrow.I cant go unfortunately but my sis is going.My mum isnt a pushy person whereas i think to ask questions isnt pushy she deems it is so i have to tread v carefully!although then after every appt she asks me all her worries!(i am a nurse but this doesn’t mean i know about this!)as they are not my results etc to ask for.if it were me i’d be asking for printouts!Her bc nurse is ok but far too stretched if you ask me never returns your calls etc.My mum is 63 so i wonder if arimedex would be better as also she has macular dystrophy(eye condition)and tamoxifen may worsen this.
Thanks for replying xx

Hi Helen
How wonderful it is you are there for your mum. Wow your postings brought back so much to me. Actually made me cry. My mum was Dx with cancer in 1998, died 2004 but once diagnosed she had extensive secondaries.Although lived 6yrs with them. I felt i lived through BC with her, every apt every awful diagnosis. I would not have had it any other way i adored my mum but WOW it took its tole on me.
I was diagnosed Oct 2005. YOu need to ask about the results and perhaps look online for the approp treatment. Also BCC are wonderful if you ring them and i am sure wil be of help to you.

Keep posting and asking questions and let us know how your dear mum is.


Hello, I am a newbie to this site, and have joined on behalf of my mother. She was diagnosed a few weeks ago and had a single mastectomy 3 weeks ago, she is having good and not so good days and although has been told her lymph nodes are clear is waiting to find out whether or not she will need radiotherapy, (news of which can take to 4 weeks!). We are all trying to keep up beat about the situation and talk about things openly, I have two young children who are able to ask Grandma things without the embarrasment that an adult might feel.

The reason I have registered is my mother has asked me to find out how to secure and weigh down her “boob” in her bra!, she put one on for the first time since her operation a couple of days ago and on one of her ventures out of the house found that it kept riding up. She has bought some curtain weights but can’t work out where to put them, I am afraid I have not been a big help either. Does anyone have any suggestions?

p.s. to the moderator, I wasn’t sure how to categorise this,


thanks 4 replying.sorry ive not been on for awhile-busy up and down to my mums.i will post update later and thanks for your lovely thoughts x

well my mum is slowly recovering from her surgery and now in the process of attending all the appointments!hours sitting waiting desperate for a cuppa but darent go get one in case they call you in!!She has a ct and bone density scan to come-of course on different days at a hospital miles away!(where the radiotherapy will be)
Unfortunately whilst we were just about getting all this focused in our minds she has also just had a recent re-biopsy on a swelling on her thyroid(that was negative 6 months ago) It now may or not be something more serious-either way she needs an operation.Can’t believe it back to that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.worrying and expecting ???