New primary in other breast

I had IBC in 2008, chemo, mx, rads and herceptin for a year and had just begun to get my life back and look forward to things.
I’ve now been dx with a Hormone Positive (ER and PR) primary in the other breast.
Why do some of us have to go through this more than once, isn’t that enough ?

Hello Peacock,
I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and you are not alone.
It is bad enough to get breast cancer once but, twice!! I have still not yet comedto terms with this myself yet: I had triple negative breast cancer in 2009. Had chemo, surgery rads. Then in 2011 learned (unexpectedly) that I had a braca1 mutation. Took 6 months to decide to have bilateral mastectomies and reconstruction which I had in Feb 2012. But, in the post op biopsy a new tumour was found in my so-called good breast. It was a massive shock.
You don’t say where you are at in terms of next steps? I am now on chemo again and although I am glad I can be treated, its been tough.
I wish I had some magic words of wisdom. I don’t. Just be kind to yourself, take it slowly.
Take care, Rattles, xx

Hi Peacock,
Sorry to read that you have been diagnosed with a new primary. It doesn’t seem fair.
My sister developed BC in 2004 and was diagnosed with a new primary in the other breast in Nov 2006. She had to go through all the treatment again - surgery, chemo, rads and an oophrectomy as both primaries were ER+ but she is doing well. She returned to work once her treatment was finished and today is cancer free. I hope you achieve as good an outcome as she has done.

Hi Peacock, No, it isn’t fair.

I suppose I was ‘lucky’ that I ‘only’ had a DCIS first, a few years ago, but it was still quite a shock when a supposedly routine checkup and mammo showed something in my other breast 2 years later–and the news kept getting worse, as the second one proved invasive and turned up in a lymph node. Should I be glad that the second was detected a year sooner than if it had turned up in a screening? I’d rather have had nothing, thanks all the same! but I am thankful that it didn’t have a chance to spread further.

I’m on Arimidex, and I still have some pain and swelling, nearly a year after two lots of surgery, chemo and rads. I’m not suffering in silence, I’m seeing the GP again today about treatment for the ongoing pain and adjusting the dose.

Until I reached menopause, I would have been considered low-risk for breast cancer–didn’t drink much, fairly healthy diet, walked a lot, weight only slowly creeping up from the low end of normal towards the higher end of normal during my adult life. A friend who definitely ticks the low-risk boxes has just had a mastectomy to avoid rads and because as a slim, athletic woman, there wouldn’t have been much breast left. Fairness just doesn’t come into it.

Thanks ladies for your replies.
It is hormonal positive, ER and PR, stage 1 (he told me that
they grade it when they do the lumpectomy/lymph nodes), 5mm so very small and
appears slow growing.

He proposes to do a lumpectomy and a sentinel node biopsy. I asked about the option of having another
mx because I didn’t want to face rads but he said if any of my nodes were
invaded then I would still need to have rads, if they’re all clear then if I have
a mx that will be it.

He said the prognosis is good, however we all know that the
Big C does what it bloody well wants to.
I’ve also got to take a hormone test to see if I have started/been
through the menopause so that they know what drugs I will have to have. He said
chemo won’t be necessary, particularly as it doesn’t respond well with hormonal
cancers. I find this a bit confusing as
I know many ladies with lymph involvement still have chemo.

I had tumour markers taken as one concern is that now I have
a new cancer and have had all those fractured ribs for no reason, hopefully it
won’t be, but it could be bone mets. If
the markers are within the normal range then they won’t be concerned.

So the lumpectomy is scheduled for 12 June and as we are
going on holiday on 5 July he advised against a mx but the option will still be
there for me at a slightly later stage.
I asked if I could have immediate recon this time and he said yes.

The final thing that came out of the appointment is that he
said they will do a genetic test on me as this is the second cancer, but as
they are both completely different I suspect it won’t be genetic. I am the only person in my family to ever
have BC, for as long as my Mum (she’s 86) can remember, and I breastfed 3
babies – so much for protecting against disease.

Dear Peacock,

So sorry to hear this. I don’t have relevant experience to help I’m afraid, but wanted to send you my support. I’m sure I remember your posts - I was diagnosed in 2008 too, although unfortunately have been a secondary girl since 2010.

I’m glad to hear that your prognosis is good, and that if you go ahead with a mastectomy you can get an immediate reconstruction. Good luck for the lumpectomy on June 12th, and with the results of your tumour marker tests.

Best wishes,
J x

Hi 2 weeks ago i was given the news that cancer has come in my other breast after being clear for 6 yrs,its very small and slow growing so there say,my first thought was 2 have a double mx,as my mother and aunt have had breast cancer and it came back for them ,but i am going to get the cancer removed and give myself a few weeks to think after the cancer has gone,and if i cant live with the worry i shall go back and have a double mx and i have been told they will do it,i am still very worrid that i should have the double mx now,and what is worrying me more is the fact i am not haveing the op till june the 13 which seems a long time to wait which will be 6 weeks ,i just want it gone .does this seem a long time to wait, am i makeing the right chose,the surgeon felt a lumpectomy was the right way to go and 5 yrs on yet more drugs and rads,i hate it,

Hi Peacock and mini20

I too had two primaries… My first in 2006 when i was 37 was grade 1 stage 1 and didnt need chemo had wle and rads and tamox… Then in 2009 at my routine mammo i was diagnosed with an aggressive grade 3 TNBC… I was lucky that i had neg nodes both times but did need chemo with the second one.

I also requested a double mx when i was diagnosed with no 2 but was advised to treat the cancer first and if it was felt double mx was required could have that at a later stage so had wle too and rads after chemo.

I was then genetically tested and found to have BRCA2… No BC in family except my mum but the gene didnt come from her but from my dad and there are no BCs exept me… Having two different types of BC is not uncommon as basically having a gene increases you chances of breast cancer… And bilateral cancer especially at a young age is more likely to be genetic.

I was horrified and terrified when i got it the second time but since then iv had a recurrence last year and this time it wasnt anywhere near as traumatic… Think i have just resigned myself that its part of my life so just get on with it.

I was planning to have bilateral mx this year but was diagnosed with a chest wall recurrence of the 2nd TNBC cancer so had the area in my chest removed and may still opt to have the bilateral mx in the future but onc wants me to recover from treatment first.

I get an annual MRI because i carry a gene change so have that in the summer and my mammo in the winter… So feel im covered cos getting one or other every six months. And can go back if ihave any concerns in between.

You dont have to be genetically tested if you dont want to. Not everybody is offered it but if ou have bilateral bc at any age you can get tested through a research trial if the local genetic clinic cant or wont do it.

Take care

Hi Peacock, am so very sorry to hear you news, i was also re Dx with a new Primary in my opposite breast 5 weeks ago, so i know how devestated you must feel at the moment, i had my surgery a Theraputic Mammoplasty 4 weeks ago and am waiting to start new treatment, i had a mammo at my discharge in March and was recalled a week later so feel like ive had the shortest discharge in history! My Path results have come back as a 25mm IDC grade 3 + high grade DCIS, am Er+ but have some LVI and am also Her2+ this time round so am dredding all the treatment to come .
All i can say is we did it once, so we will do it again , its bloody crap though ,and i truely hate this Sh***y desease, big hugs to you peacock ,its just bloody unfair to have to face it all again so soon.
Linda x

Hi lulu 34 i was genetically tested at 48 when i had the first cancer as my mother got cancer at 48,i had the test and if it came back postive i would have had a double mx ,but it came back clear,so i just had the lump removed 30 rads and tamox and ive been ok,untill this new cancer in the other breast i did panic when i was told and wanted a double mx and i was told i could have this,but i was told the out come from a double mx or a wle would be the same ,so haveing the lump removed is best thing for now it gives me time to think,i hate this waiting for the op it was only going to be 2 weeks waiting,it will be 6 weeks befor i get the op it makes me so worrid,but reading about you and the way you look at things i am going to try to be strong.take care

Mini if you were neg for the gene then yes the risk for wle and rads is the same as a mastectomy… Good luck with your treatment and you too Linda xx