Hi Lulu - that's interesting - it was stage 1 non-aggressive invasive ductal hormone receptive but now hopefully it has been incinerated after the biopsy 🙂
I have never actually felt a lump - I have big boobs and it was well hidden. I'm told that the radiologist who picked it up did a fantastic job.
Chicci...... It's often thought that such things like hrt and hormonal contraceptive don't actually cause the cancer but may make it appear sooner than it would if you werent taking them.... The recommendations nowadays are to only stay on hrt for 5 years.
And a tumour that is palpable will have been there more than just a few months but would probably only have been palpable for a few months...... Most cancers take many months or years to develop.... But this depends on what grade it's is..... Grade. 1 tumours may have been there for 12 or 15 years before becoming big enough to feel where a grade 3 tumour might only have been palpable for a number of months.
But 6 months of hrt is unlikely to have made any effect on your cancer...... And there other questions that maybe people who are on hrt are more vigilant or attend for screening more than people who are not on hrt..... It's thought atht things we done in our younger years may have contributed but when were tenpins and twenty something BC was the last going on our minds and we didn't have the knowledge that we do now.
I think at first we all want a reason.... Something to blame for causing this..... But the main cause of breast cancer is being female and having boobs unfortunately and as we get older the risk increases.
Ah - maybe it wasn't the hrt. In a way I think I'd hoped it was because then there was an identifiable cause. Thanks for stats.
Hi Alice 🙂
Ah the HRT debate makes up for me not getting to work this week... in 2003 (I think) major new data became available and I actually had a "HRT clinic" where I discussed all the risks and benefits of HRT with all the women at one of the practices I work for. So the key thing is you can get BC on HRT and it is nothing to do with the HRT, but also there are extra cases caused by HRT and the longer you are on it the greater the risks - but the numbers are small.
Will try and copy some 2003 data below if you are interested (humour me!)
Oh - and Hi Chicci!
Taking women aged 50 who do not use HRT, about 32 in every thousand will be
diagnosed with breast cancer by the time they reach the age of 65 years. For women
who start oestrogen-only HRT at age 50 and take it for five years, the total number of
cases would be between 33 and 34 in every thousand (ie an extra 1-2 cases). If they
take it for ten years, there would be 37 in a thousand (ie an extra 5 cases).
- By comparison, for women who start combined HRT at age 50 the number of cases of
breast cancer that would be diagnosed by the time they reach 65 would be 38 in a
thousand after 5 years use (ie an extra 6 cases) and 51 in a thousand after 10 years use
(ie an extra 19 cases). The numbers have not been calculated for tibolone but are
thought to lie somewhere between those for oestrogen-only and combined HRT.
I took hrt for 6 months and stopped due to repeated migraines/stroke risk and shortly afterwards the breast in question felt really tight, sore and inflamed and as tho *something* was happening. Had already had a non-cancerous lump in that breast for around 4 yrs so thought I wd dutifully get it checked out just in case. They found a new lump in the same breast - a sm cancer which they said was only months old but not anything to do with hrt. This seems strange to me as the timescale wd tie up exactly with the hrt.
The cancer was hormone receptive as well but still they say there's no link and I shd be grateful that I took hrt and got suspicious as otherwise I wd never have been diagnosed so early....
Is this the nhs covering its back or is it possible that there is no link with the hrt?
Linstar - no node involvement that I know of - back to consultant tomorrow to discuss what they found - but they didn't go for full node clearance after biopsying the sentinel node during the op so assume it hadn't spread. Have had loads of probs with the evil estrogen myself - curently got loads of fibroids as well. Am a bit concerned that tamoxifen increase estrogen in the uterus altho cuts it out elsewhere.
Good to hear from you again Alice - I don't mind being stalkled at the mo as cd really do with the company!
Thanks Mal - that's how i felt after the op - life's precious, people are precious but may have just been the drugs!!!!
Thanks for all encouragement - will get back to my factual positive self asap.
These are all such good positive comments but just remember even if you do have a recurrence it can be treated. I had a local recurrence after 5 years & I was totally devastated (I had myself buried 6 feet under!), but I had a mastectomy (only had a lumpectomy first time round) and put on Arimidex and that was SEVEN years ago now (TWELVE years since the first cancer). Life goes on and it CAN be good again 🙂
I'm over three years from finishing chemo & rads. Had a grade 3 tumour with 3 positive nodes.
At first my mind was taken up with thoughts of a recurrence. I looked at the stats (which scared me silly) and I couldn't think of anything else.
But after a few months I came to the realisation that it was daft and not doing anyone (least of all me) any good. I thought 'If it does come back what's the point in wasting what time I have left in worrying about it - that's wasting time'. That was when I was convinced I would have a recurrence within a year. But I haven't. I'm still here and doing well and my mantra is still good.
Why worry about something that may not happen. Go out and enjoy your life.
You have a great prognosis so just go out and enjoy life. Don't dwell on the 'what ifs.....'
The majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer will not get a recurrence.... Those who are most at risk of a recurrence have had grade 3, large tumours, involved nodes, hormone negative or herceptin positive..... But having a small, grade 1, hormone positive, herceptin negative, node negative tumour is statistically much less likely to cause problems in the future but as Alice says it doesn't rule it out completely.
Hi chicci, read your post and thought that's me! I was dx sept, grade 2, good clear margins, more than 10mm, my cancer was 9mm clear nodes and very er+, had lumpectomy now on tamoxifen and will start rads in january. I was told prognosis good but my minds all over the place thinking like you. I have decided balls to this and I'm going 2 speak 2 somebody to help me. I was a positive person and aim 2 be again, I've read posts and know there is no guarantees in life, but I'm only 41 with 2 young kids and I need 2 try and get 2 a good place for them. I'm scared actually petrified but hey maybe this was a wake up call. I certainly appreciate everything in life now. Good luck xx karen x
I think I'm following you around - I'm not a stalker though!
Your positive outlook is very good - keep it up! But do remember they said only a small chance - not "no chance" - so remember to do whatever they tell you in the follow up e.g. attend for mammograms, check your breasts, any other unexplained symptoms (not sure what else - haven't got to that stage myself yet)
Move forward and enjoy yourself - I'll try and follow you in that respect.
I wouldn't get too worried about rads. Whilst some ladies feel very tired, others sail through them without problems. For me the tiredness came mainly from the fact I had to do a 50 mile round trip Mon - Fri for 5 weeks. However, compared to being pumped full of drugs every 3 weeks I felt quite normal and as my sessions were at 9.30 am I was able to just get on with the rest of the day when I got home. I was also able to go a way for week after rads finished - my onc said she advised her patients if they wanted to take holiday to fit it in between the end of rads and chemo starting again.
Grade 1 was a good result - mines was Grade 3 with one lymph node and Her2 positive. I'm 5 years on now and had hoped to be discharged from the clinic last week. Disappointingly, the surgeon I saw wants me to have an ultrasound as he thought my scar was a bit lumpy, so I'm hoping I'm not going to be told I have a local recurrence. When I was diagnosed I was told my cancer was very aggressive and spreading when they found it, so I am grateful to have got to 5 years.
Yours doesnt sound aggressive - Grade 1. Did they find anything in the nodes? that seems to be the main indicator if there is any spread.
Mines a bit more difficult than yours and I am getting to the end of a long saga of chemo and have to have mx next month. But I'm quite confident that it hasn't spread and that should be the end of it. Not positive thinking, just facts.
Also I know that one of the cause factors for me was the HRT that I took for 4 years before diagnosis. The Ca is oestrogen sensitive and so I think that's why it grew. I was just feeding it with the HRT.
Of course can't take it now so hot flushes and other rubbish but at least it should reduce the chance of more breast trouble. Were there any obvious cause factors for you, becuse then it's encouraging to think that we can do something about it.
HOpe the rads go well - I've not had any but I understand that it's not very pleasant but I suppose like chemo you get through it in the end.
Lots of hugs and confident vibes...
Was told I have a v small chance of the bc having spread as they caught it early and was v small (IDC grade 1 non-aggressive, HR+) and believed surgeon when he said it.
Had SNB and WLE a wk ago and felt like that is the end of it (apart from tamoxifen and rads to come).
However, have been reading thru some posts on here and now wonder if I'm just kidding myself - scared now re recurrence, sooner or later, mets etc.
Is a positive outlook unrealistic?