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Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

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  #1  
Unread 07-28-2003, 04:36 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

I am currently recovering from Breast Cancer. I had my left Breast removed 6 months ago and have been on Tamoxifen for the past four months. About a month ago I started to experience bad pains on my right side pelvic area. After an untrasound was done I was told I had a growth on my right Ovary the size of a Grapefruit. I called my Oncoligist and a CA125 test was done. He told me that if that came back high, he would be almost 90% sure I had Ovarian Cancer. My husband and I were so happy because the test came back at 21 (normal range). I have read that Tamoxifin can cause Ovarian Cysts? The doctors did not seem to feel this could be what it was from? I am scheduled for surgery on Aug 6th. My second Hysterectomy, I might add. 3 years ago I had my Uterus removed because of large Fibroids (not cancer). I wish I would have removed my Ovaries then so I didn't have to go through this. Maybe I wouldn't have got Breast Cancer if I would have had them taken out then. I am so afraid of Cancer again!! I know the CA125 coming back low was good, but not a confirmation that I don't have Cancer. I also am worried about what the effects no ovaries will have on my body, if I can't take estrogene, because of my Breast Cancer. I would appreciate anyhelp anyone could give me I am really scared!!!
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  #2  
Unread 07-28-2003, 07:09 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

Karen-
So sorry this has happened. Don't be too hard on yourself. Cancers can linger in your body (breast cancer for example) for 8 - 10 years before growing to a size large enough for detection. You can't dwell on past decisions. You chose to keep your ovaries 3 years ago and that decision was right for you at the time. Also, you may not have ovarian cancer as only a biopsy will tell for sure.

Many of us on this board don't take hormone replacement. I can't because of my cancer diagnosis and I have breast cancer in my immediate family. I cope quite well without hormones. You will too in time. A hot flash here or there is manageable.

Hang in there. Please let us know how you are doing.

's

Ruth S
  #3  
Unread 07-28-2003, 07:11 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

s Karen

You sure have been through alot!!!! Hopefully this will not be ovarian cancer.
Unfortunately, it takes surgery for a definite diagnosis.
I don't know your age. I was 49 yrs old when I had a radical hysterectomy for ovarian cancer and was thrust into surgical menopause. You might find out that life without hormones is not as bad as you might expect.
There are other forums on hystersisters that deal strictly with the hormone issue. Perhaps they could be of help also.
Best wishes to you. Please stay in touch.

karenann
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  #4  
Unread 07-28-2003, 07:39 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

Dear Karen,

I'm so glad that your CA125 is so low, and I will pray that the tumor is benign. I'm sorry you're having to go through surgery again. I had two this year (one was an appendectomy), and I did not appreciate it, having been surgery-free for most of my life. I don't know much about Tamoxifen or its side effects (Seashell may have some good advice to share, as she's been on it for a very long time).

I was 37 when I was thrown into surgical menopause (shudder -- I don't even like to say that word!) and I've been fine, except for some flashiness. I'm exercising and will start taking calcium to help keep my bones from losing density (especially since I've reduced my dairy intake to almost nothing). I'm too new to the "no estrogen" world to know what the long-term effects might be. But for now, I seem to be the same old me.

I hope your surgery goes well and that the doctors are able to remove that "grapefruit" easily. I also hope you get a big thumbs-up "It was benign!" the next morning! We'll be thinking about you!

s!
  #5  
Unread 07-28-2003, 09:02 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

Karen,
I had Stage IIIb breast cancer diagnosed almost 6 years ago at age 44. I had chemo, a mastectomy and was put on tamoxifen for 5 years even though my tumor was ER negative.

After 3 years on tamoxifen, I was diagnosed with a uterine fibroid by my gynecologist. She assured me it was a fibroid and that it was benign and we kept track of it for the next two years with ultrasounds. The odd thing about it was that it continued to grow even though the chemo had put me into medical menopause years before.

Finally when it reached the size of softball, I insisted on having it out. Not only had I been having severe intermitant left side abdominal pain for over a year, I could tell it was growing at a rapid rate. We decided to remove the uterus and both ovaries because of my age and medical history.

When I had my surgery, my doctor was surprised to discover that I had a large ovarian fibroma, which thankfully was benign, an ovarian cyst and endometriosis. I was glad to have all of it out and I believe the pain was caused by ovarian torsion.

Of course I have no way of knowing if the tamoxifen had anything to do with all this, but let's just say that I'm very suspiscious. I hope that you discover that everything is OK and I truly believe that there is a good chance that you will.
  #6  
Unread 07-28-2003, 09:51 PM
BRCA, Tamoxifen, Premarin

Hi Karen,

I don't know if you will find anything of value in my history -- maybe so.

I had TAH / BSO in 1990 at age 43 due to fibroids and heavy bleeding. My doctor started me on Premarin 0.625 mg. the day after surgery. I took it for almost 13 years. Last November at age 56 I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (very, very, very early breast cancer). I stopped taking Premarin the day after diagnosis and have taken no other HRT since. (Did taKing HRT promote the cancer growth? No one knows for sure.) My only menopausal symptoms were night sweats for 2 - 3 months. Don't know if it also caused upset in sleep habits for a while or whether that was simply due to stress of DCIS diagnosis.

I had lumpectomy and 33 radiation treatments for DCIS -- no chemo. Doctor also prescribed Tamoxifen for me as I am estrogen receptor positive. (Have only been taking it since January 13.) Not having any side effects from it.

I recently had a biopsy of a lump which showed as a suspicious microcalcification cluster on the mammogram of the other breast (as did the DCIS tumor). That one was benign!

I guess I just don't believe in side effects. I had Lupron prior to hyst. It worked, but no side effects. Very little side effects from radiation.

There are so many odd things that can go in in the "miracle machines" we call our bodies. Hopefully, probably that grapefruit is nothing. Take it out, and be done with it all.

Good luck.

Mary D.
  #7  
Unread 07-31-2003, 11:45 AM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

Hi Karen,

I had breast cancer 2 years ago that also required a mastectomy and chemo. Although my insitu cancer was strongly ER positive, the invasive cancer was ER - , so I am not on Tamoxifen. Just 4 1/2 years prior, I had colon cancer (caught early enough that only surgery was required-no adjuvant therapy).

Part of my normal follow up was a pelvic ultrasound whenever I went for my annual OBGYN checkup. Since August of last year, they had been watching a cyst on my ovary. This past February, I went to a gyn-onc, who strongly recommended a TAH-BSO. It is the only sure way to make sure that it wasn't cancer. My CA125 at it's highest was 35. I had my surgery on April 8th. They also took the Omentum. Fortunately, no cancer was found anywhere. It was a tremendous relief. I was starting to feel like a cancer magnet. By the age of 41, I had already had 2 cancers.

I am feeling great. I, also, cannot take HRT. I have felt no different. I still feel energetic, healthy and emotionally the same. I was so worried about how the loss of hormones would effect me, and I am pleased to report, that I haven't been affected at all. The only downside, is I have been on Atkins for 2 1/2 weeks and have only lost one pound. I don't know if this is a result of the surgery or not.

Good luck on your surgery. The peace of mind that you will feel when you are done is amazing! I will be thinking of you.
  #8  
Unread 07-31-2003, 12:16 PM
breast cancer

My family had no history of breast cancer, but my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer approximately 5 years ago, she was 29. As treatment she had the entire breat removed, chemotherapy and I due believe radiation therapy. Everything was going ok. She went back for her first year check-up and all the tests was showing no recurrance of any cancer. All scans came back clean. We all were grateful. Unfortunately she made a terrible mistake - she never followed up with her oncologist after her first year check-up. Three years later - last october - she was admitted due to respiratory difficulty and drastic weight loss. Tests confirmed that the cancer had returned. Not only did it return but it had metastified. The cancer was now in her brain, both lungs, spine and bones. Nothing could be done. We lost Melanie last March, 5 months after the diagnosis, age 34.
I tell you this story not to upset you or make you afraid. I want you to know the importance of keeping all appointments with your oncologist and go back for your yearly check-ups. Her life could have been prolonged - it would have been found if she only went.
Sorry this is so long - just stressing the importance of follow-ups.
I will pray for you everyday. ALWAYS SEE YOUR ONCOLOGIST.
  #9  
Unread 08-05-2003, 01:26 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

I had Stage 0 DCIS Breast Cancer removed April 15, 2002...early early stages, radiation, tamoxifen. Feb 28, 2003 GYN told me that my uterus had grown alot since my previous exam the prior year. I wondered about the tamoxifen. That was the reason I scheduled the Feb 28 exam, because I heard it could cause uterine cancer. TAH/BSO on May 13. No hormones. I have a few warm up's per day, no sweating, no night sweats...emotional to some extent, but it is probably because the TAH is a LONG RECOVERY, which I HATE!!! I don't like to be down for very long.
I am 12 weeks Post Op today.

I was taking Black Cohosh for about 2 weeks until the last report came out. Now I take Vitamin E, B, primrose, daily vitamin, several others.
  #10  
Unread 08-05-2003, 01:48 PM
Just had Breast Cancer 6 months ago

One other thing I forgot....NO SLEEP!!! Now I take Ambien.
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