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86 year old Mum

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Re: 86 year old Mum

Thank you for the information. It's great to know there's a possibility that surgery may not be needed.

Obviously, we'll know more once she's had an appointment at the hospital which shouldn't be too long.

The more I hear, the more determined I am to get there to be with her for it - it will be done!

She's being amazingly positive which is great and has lots of support around too.


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Re: 86 year old Mum

Hi GillR,

I just wanted to let you know that my Mum is in her late 70's and is being treated for BC, she has had a mastectomy and is now on letrozole and is presently doing well.
Also one of my elderly neighbours is also being treated with letrozole which appears to be shrinking her lump, but the hospital have said if she needs it then they will operate - by the way she has just turned 100!
I know that your Mums circumstances may be different to these but from what I have experienced the breast care teams do look at what treatment is most suitable for each person and do take into consideration their present health.
Hope all goes well for your Mum and you and I am just sorry that you have this worry.
Esbee x


Re: 86 year old Mum

Hi Gill-R

I just wanted to say that there is a lady who I have seen on more than one occasion receiving treatment in my Macmillan unit who is well into her 90's.


Re: 86 year old Mum

There's another possibility. If your mum has a breast biopsy, this can give important information such as whether the tumour is hormone-positive (ER+ and/or PR+) and whether it expresses the HER protein (if so, Herceptin may be an option for treatment).

Because of her age it is likely that she'll be hormone-positive. This can be successfully treated with "aromatase inhibitors " such as Arimidex or letrozole, or even with tamoxifen - no need for surgery, radiotherapy or chemo - tumours can shrink or even (occasionally) disappear. These hormone-blockers are taken as tablets.

I hope that an appropriate treatment plan will be in place soon.
PS. Though I'm in a younger age group (62 now, diagnosis 5 years ago) I haven't had breast surgery - letrozole kept my disease stable for almost 3 years.

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Re: 86 year old Mum

Thank you RevCat.

I'm going to do my best to get there to go with her. I know others that could go with her but I know she would prefer for me to go.

Luckily we have an oncology nurse in the family so we should be able to get any questions answered whenever we need to.

Glad to hear they still treat older people. I can't see she'll be refusing it - she might not get around too well but she's still full of fun.

Thanks again x


Re: 86 year old Mum

Hi Gill,
golly that's tough, you're poor Mum... and poor you too.

If someone can go with your Mum to the breast clinic that'd be good - it can be a long session and tiring even for a young, otherwise healthy woman, as they may do various things such as mammogram, ultrasound and biopsies, each of which may involve trekking round the hospital. It is also really helpful to have a second pair of ears and/or someone to take notes for you.

It is really hard to advise on questions, because it will depend on how the clinic works (e.g. is it 'one stop' or do you have to come back for results) and what they find. If it is cancer, or if they suspect it, your Mum should be allocated a speicalist breast nurse (BCN) who will advise best on next steps and should be contactable for advice onver the phone afterwards.

If it is cancer, the kind of things you will want to know will be

- what is the suggested treatment plan? This may include surgery or chemo or radiotherpasy, or any mixture of these. They will take into account your Mum's age, health and importantly her wishes.

- they may have a clue as to size, grade etc, but may need to wait for test results for that. These are really questions for the second appointment, if there has to be one.

- you may want to know the timescales for treatment - it can be a very fast roller coaster of tests so that they can plan the best treatment, assumiong that's what is needed and/or your Mum chooses.

Just to note, that I did meet many older ladies during my treatment, many of whom had had surgery very successfully. I know of someone who was diagnosed in her 80's had surgery, then radiotherapy and went to live healthily for more than five years before old age took its course...

No one can 'make' your Mum have treatment she does not want, but they can't simply deny her good treamtent either.

Please come back here any time with questions - there are no silly questions. And try to avoid Google as it will frighten you.

I really hope all goes as well as it can for your Mum, and that you get the support you need too.


Re: 86 year old Mum

Hi Gill,

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums, I'm sure there'll be forum users along shortly to help you here. Could I suggest you give the helpline here a ring and have a chat with the staff I'm sure they'll be able to answer some of your questions.

Calls to the helpline are free, 0808 800 6000, lines are open now until 5pm (Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-2). I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Jo, Facilitator

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86 year old Mum

My Mum has just been told by her GP that she thinks it is likely she has BC.

She has a lump which it seems she hadn't noticed to we have no idea how long it has been there.

She's been referred under the two week rule to see a consultant.

I'm concerned about how/if they treat people of her age. Also, if she needs treatment, is she up to it? She's frail as it is after 2 strokes a few years ago and strugges to get around even at home.

I live 160 miles away and don't have good health but I'm going to try to get down there to go to the appointment with her. If I can't, my cousin's Wife works in oncology at the same hospital so I will ask if she can go with her (wonder if she might be the better person to go anyway or if she is slightly immunised to it as she works in it).

Any questions I should ask?