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Return of cancer

(17 Posts)
Lizbethann55 Fri 03-Mar-23 09:56:48

This is absolutely not about me, but is about a very dear friend. Twenty years ago she had breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Since then she has been absolutely fine. As a result of a routine mammogram she has just had tgexdevastating news that it has come back. She is distraught and terrified. Has anyone else been in this situation?

Sparklefizz Fri 03-Mar-23 10:01:16

Yes. I had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy, but mine came back after only 4.5 years and I had to have a mastectomy and 5 years of drugs, but have been clear for 25 years since then, and celebrated my 25 year anniversary only last weekend. There's plenty of hope and I'm sure treatment has improved in those 25 years.

silverlining48 Fri 03-Mar-23 10:21:55

What a shock fir your friend. There are a couple of specialist breast cancer charities which have help lines. I contacted Macmillan when my dd was diagnosed and got good advice, information and support.
I am sure it will help your friend and hope she can be reassured and wish her well.

dragonfly46 Fri 03-Mar-23 10:34:10

I feel sorry for your friend, speaking as someone who has had a mastectomy, I regard the mammograms I have every year as a way of picking up any recurrence early.
These days there are much better treatments and it will have been picked up early.
After the initial shock she will just get on with it just like she did last time.
It is not a death sentence.

Kate1949 Fri 03-Mar-23 10:34:36

Not me, but my neighbour. She had breast cancer 35 years ago. It returned a few years ago when she was 90. She refused another operation and was given medication (I don't know what it was). She is 96 now and still here. Good luck to your friend.

Hetty58 Fri 03-Mar-23 10:35:29

Lizbethann55, a friend had skin cancer, was 'cured' (but, really, there is only remission) and it returned as fatal brain tumours after fifteen years.

silverlining48 Fri 03-Mar-23 10:37:27

My gp told me that breast cancer post menopause has much better outcomes than for those who are younger. Trouble is we were talking about my pre menopausal dd.

kittylester Fri 03-Mar-23 11:19:24

My Dd has had the menopause induced!

dragonfly46 Fri 03-Mar-23 11:25:03

Well that will have cheered Lizbethann's friend up, Hetty! When I was first diagnosed it was amazing how many 'friends' knew someone who could not be treated and died. Needless to say I avoided them like the plague!

Casdon Fri 03-Mar-23 11:28:30


Lizbethann55, a friend had skin cancer, was 'cured' (but, really, there is only remission) and it returned as fatal brain tumours after fifteen years.

You’re a ray of sunshine. Why did you feel the need to relate a negative story which was about an entirely different type of cancer?

Juliet27 Fri 03-Mar-23 11:34:09

Having seen Hetty’s comments on another thread I would imagine she’s not in a good mood today

Whiff Fri 03-Mar-23 16:39:40

Lizbethann my mom had breast cancer the first time when she was 73 in 2000 she had a mastectomy and lymph nodes removed and then had a tablet for 5 years.

When she was 86 she got grade 3 breast cancer at her age we didn't think they would operate but mom had kept herself healthy and I would look after her after op she had her mastectomy and lymph nodes removed. She couldn't face chemo but she had 15 doses of radiotherapy. Mom saw both my children marry and my brother finally as my mom said married to a woman who deserved him. She danced at all 3 weddings and got to see and hold her first great grandson. Mom got dementia so she lived with me the last 18 months of her life. She died aged 90.

My mom went into both operations with a positive to frame of mind. Dad was alive to look after her the first time . But I looked after my mom for 3 months after her second op . And proud to say even though we both had open wounds. Mom's from her op and me from a fall which caused my leg to ulcerate but I made sure neither us got an infection .

My husband was diagnosed with grade 4 malignant melanoma in 2001 and we where told he wouldn't live 5 years. After his operation he didn't want anyone to know he wasn't going to live as he didn't want to be treated differently . Only the 4 if us knew. We lived with the sword of Damocles hanging over us. October 2003 the sword dropped. He had 6 tumours. Had palative chemo . He was given 4 months to 2 years. He died just short of the 4 months 4 days after his 47th birthday at home with me and our children.

What he feared would happen once we told people he was terminal they treated differently and he hated it.

This is not a negative story as a gentleman on the skin cancer thread told me grade 4 malignant melanoma isn't a death sentence now and there is treatment to extend people's life expectancy. Which made me very happy. I would hate anyone to suffer like my darling husband.

A friend of mine has grade 2 breast cancer and is having a lumpectomy in just over a weeks time once healed 15 doses of radiotherapy.

All you can do is listen to your friend but until she has a definite diagnosis of the grade and what the treatment is available to her there is no point in getting herself all worked up . You don't say how old your friend is . My friend is 45 and is determined to do everything she can to live a long life.

LOUISA1523 Fri 03-Mar-23 19:15:04

Im 58....i've had primary breast cancer 3 times 2012, 2018, 2020....all good at my last check ongoing my best life one knows what the future holds....and if you gotta have cancer ...BC is the better much research ....treatments improving all the time it a recurrence? Or a new primary? Or a secondary diagnosis? I wish your friend well

Marydoll Fri 03-Mar-23 20:07:19


Well that will have cheered Lizbethann's friend up, Hetty! When I was first diagnosed it was amazing how many 'friends' knew someone who could not be treated and died. Needless to say I avoided them like the plague!

I agree Dragonfly, those type of posts help no-one.

LOUISA, I wish you well. A very strong spirit indeed.

hollysteers Sat 04-Mar-23 01:32:28

I had bc in 2008, very small as it’s in my mother’s side so regular mammograms. Lumpectomy, lymph nodes removed, radiotherapy, pills.
Recurrence 2016 same time as my DH died. Tiny again, so lumpectomy, radiotherapy and no need for lymph node removal.
I enjoy life to the full and although it’s always at the back of one’s mind, keeping one step ahead is a good idea.
If it is in the very early stages, your friend has a good chance of her treatment being successful.

BlueBelle Sat 04-Mar-23 06:31:30

My friend has had a return of breast cancer after a number of years She has now had a mastectomy and radio and chemo therapy She’s lost her hair but is so thankful and so upbeat and so determined to beat it all again Her husband has been, living with throat cancer for many years lost his voice box a long time back They just get on and it can’t be easy but they are it ok easy
I can understand the shock and fear your friend has experienced just support her and try to keep her upbeat with the thought of beating it again

Lizbethann55 Sat 04-Mar-23 12:01:10

Thank you for your replies. My friend and I are both in our late 60s. We met at uni when we were 18. She was my bridesmaid and is godmother to my children. Sadly, she never met anyone and so never married or had children. This diagnosis has shocked us all. It has also thrown up a massive problem for me, which I will ask about on a more general forum. But thank you for your kind words.