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How did you find your breast cancer?

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Poll Question: How was your tumor found?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
50 [19.31%]
4 [1.54%]
176 [67.95%]
10 [3.86%]
2 [0.77%]
17 [6.56%]
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batgirl View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 22 2007 at 5:49pm
The reason I'm asking this is because I've spoken to so many women with Triple Negative receptors who seem to say the same thing, that their tumors just popped up from nowhere. That is what happened to me. I had mammograms, doctor's physicals, and did self exams in the six months prior to finding this, all negative. One morning I was lying in bed and my hand brushed across my chest and I FREAKED! I felt something the size of a golf ball in my breast! I showed my husband, who also said he never noticed it.Shocked

Then, three months later, my sister, who had also had mammograms, doctor's exams, etc., ALSO woke up one morning and her husband felt a lump in her breast. Out of nowhere.

So I'm curious if anyone else had this happen, or was it through the normal routes of physical exam or mammogram?

Thanks!

batgirl
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MarilyninMiami View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarilyninMiami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 23 2007 at 12:32pm
batgirl, so far your poll is showing what your observations have been.  i have also noted that many trip negs have found their own lumps close to the chest wall...maybe outside of what most would consider "breast tissue"...mine was high on my chest. i didnt realize that breast tissue goes up to your shoulder!
MARILYN from Miami
dx:6-05, trip neg, basoloid, gr 3, stage IIB, lumpectomy,SNB w total axillary node surg 3pos/34 dose dense ACT, 33 rads, BMB (neutropenia) NED!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cylb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 09 2007 at 5:33am
I was lying in bed when my dog hit my left breast.  I rubbed the area and felt the lump.  I withdrew my hand like it was on fire.  My left breast had seemed unusually large in the past couple of months but I put it down to menopausal symptoms. I was 48, still having periods, but starting the hot flashes.  I'd had mammograms which were negative so it came as a surprise to find the lump - it was the size of my palm.
Even after the doctor felt the lump and gave me a mammogram and ultrasound, the tests indicated everything was fine.  I was told I had dense breasts. After the biopsy, it was discovered I had a dumbbell tumor - the tumor in the breast had broken into my chest wall.  The higher grade cancer was in the chest wall area.  The surgeon was stunned to find it as she thought the lump was only in the breast.
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Lisa L View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lisa L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 09 2007 at 3:20pm
Ditto here!  I had a physical exam with a mammo following in the same day.  I know the lump was not there.  After the mammo it appeared, within days, maybe even that day.  Mine was about the size of a walnut.  I called the mammo tech to ask if the mammo could have caused the lump, she said no and sent me for a sonogram, the rest as they say, is history.
 
By the way, my letter from my mammo came back that the mammo was fine.  However, when comparing the recent one to the year before, you could see the difference.


Edited by Lisa L - Aug 09 2007 at 3:24pm
Dx 8/05 age 43
mast & lat flap 10/05
Triple neg
BRCA neg
IDC 4.5cm rt br
0/1 sen node
6 A/C 5 Taxol, 25 rads 11/05-6/06
Central Illinois
Currently NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote msm082455@aol.c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 15 2007 at 10:17am
Hi......
 
I had my yearly physical on June 9th, 2004.  Everything was fine.  I scheduled my mammogram, but couldn't get in until late August.  However, on August 9th, I found the lump.  I then called my doctor, went to see him and was  sent directly to the hospital for the mammogram.  When the tech was doing the test, she said to me, "Oh I think you are going to have to have an ultra-sound".  I said, "Oh ok, where and when do I schedule that"?  She said, "Oh, I'm going to talk to the radiologist and I'm sure he will want that done immediately  Obviously, she saw it on the mammogram and the ultra-sound confirmed it. 
 
But, 3 years later, I am CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 15 2007 at 11:49am
Whoohoo msm082455, 3 years later and cancer free!Clap
 
 
Stage 2 2003
Stage 1 2007
BRCA 1+
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Lisa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 12 2007 at 4:09am
Interesting stories. Mine is the oppposite....I thought I felt a lump one afternoon but then lost it and gave up, thinking I must have imagined it. About 6 months on, I found it again but this time it was bigger and easy to locate!  Once diagnosed the docs told me it could even have been there up to 2 years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMB1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 09 2007 at 8:13am
Thanks for website, very helpful.
 
I had been diagnosed with calcifications in 1995 at age 41, and wasn't really told what that meant, but to monitor them.  Had two mammograms a year for three years, then went back to annual mammograms.  Everything was stable, continued to self-exam monthly.  Then moved back to East Coast in late 2004, missed one year of screening due to job/travel, but something kept nagging at me to get it done.  Finally had a mammogram in August 2006, and got a clean bill of health.  I still have the letter. One month later, I was in bed and went to itch something on my right side, when I found "it" - hard mass at the far back side of my right breast, where the bra cup and band meet.  I knew immediately, it wasn't like anything I'd ever felt before. It was so far back the mammograms never picked it up. It never could be palpated standing up, only lying down (another lesson for all of us who self-exam ourselves). Was at the radiologist the next day, biopsied, triple negative, just under an inch, no lymph nodes, late stage 1-early stage 2.  Had MRI, showed other suspicious areas, opted for mastectomy.  Did A/C chemo for four sessions, then radiation therapy for six weeks.  Coming up on my first year anniversary.  Never really knew the implications of triple negative bc, only that I woulnd't be taking Herceptin, Tamoxifin, etc.  Story in OPRAH magazine this month (Oct. ) really opened up my eyes, and not in a good way.  Everyone keeps honing in on the fact that there were no lymph nodes involved (via SNB), but doesn't the nasty tumor pathology come into play here? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ruth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 11 2007 at 12:44am
Mine was found by accident. I had a lumectomy and all was well. The ten days later, the pathologists report returned and I had to have a mastectomy.  Unfortunately the results were bad and so on August 3rd Had this done with replacement at the same time.  The results fom this test told me I had triple negative cancer.  I have had one chemo and today will have the second.  I am being given cytox and taxotere.  Just hope the second will go as well as the first.  Good luck to you.
Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NancyJo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 11 2007 at 5:22pm

I had a Mammogram and breast ultrasound done in June 2003 and both came back negative.  I found a lump at the end of October 2003 and when I went to see my Doctor she told me she thought it was nothing as it was a painful lump and she said painful lumps were not cancerous.  The lump got bigger and did not go away and I went to see my family doctor  and he sent me for testing which turned out I had triple negative breast cancer.  I also went looking for more answers which lead me here when I read the Oprah Magazine October issue and realized there was a name for our type of breast cancer.    I have had A/C and taxotere plus radiation.  I joined a breast cancer dragonboat team and it was the best thing I have ever done.

Cheers Nancy

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMB1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2007 at 2:51am
I am so amazed to hear the same story over and over: "had a mammogram and a month (or so) later I found the lump."  I also had a painful lump, but I honestly think it is because once I found it, I kept poking at it to check if it was still there, gone away (wishful thinking), etc.  I also had A/C, but my oncologist held taxotere in reserve for the (inevitable) next round. 
 
I celebrated my mastectomy surgery one year anniversary yesterday. I thought at the one year mark, I'd be super optimistic until I read the Oprah article.  It was informative but depressing, especially since I was never told the implications of it all.  It sparked all sorts of emotions similar to those I experienced when I first was diagnosed, and an Internet frenzy on my part to find more information, most of which was NOT encouraging.  One exception:  a good article on TNBC research being done at Dana Farber in Boston.  Otherwise, the Internet can be our best friend as well as our worst enemy. 
 
Nancy, what is a breast cancer dragonboat team? 
 
Best,
 
Denise
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2007 at 7:38am
Hi Denise,
This is Nancy (Lori's Mom). I too want to know what a dragonboat team is!
 
Where did you find the article from Dana Farber? I had emailed them for info on TNBC, and couldn't find anything on TNBC in the response from them. You are so right as to the internet!
 
Nancy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMB1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2007 at 8:43am

Nancy,

The article mentioned Dana Farber, but I don't believe it was from Dana Farber per se.  Of course, I printed it out to show to my husband last night, and it is sitting on the bedroom floor as we speak.  I will e-mail you the link when I get home this evening.
 
Denise
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2007 at 8:47am
Denise,
Thanks...greatly appreciated!
Nancy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2007 at 10:26am
In July 07 my hand brushed across my breast and there it was- what felt like a huge lump - large marble sized.  I had missed my mammogram a month earlier due to travel for a family emergency, and had it rescheduled for over a month in the future.  Seven weeks prior to finding this large lump my gyno. had felt nothing during my annual exam.

I immediately went to my primary Dr. who got me in for a mammogram the next day.  Turns out my triple neg. tumor was 2.5 cm, early stage 2.  I have remained mystified why my gyno did not feel anything, and how/why it just appeared out of nowhere.  My surgeon and oncologist claim it could have been there for 2 to 5 years, but I don't believe they know what they are talking about with triple negs.  I have even talked to my gyno. who does not seem particularly surprised that she could not feel it 7 weeks prior to my discovery.  I trust her, and can only wonder how it could have grown from something non-palpable (1 cm. roughly?) to 2.5 cm in just 7 weeks. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DMB1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 4:48am
Here is the link:
 
 
It is from Curextra, a quarterly online publication, published in January 07.  This is the most comprehensive discussion (so far) that I have found on tnbc research.
 
Denise
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jackie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 23 2007 at 9:55am
Hi,
I had my mammogram November 28, 05. I have had tenderness/pain at 12 oclock on my left breast and at the area where the breast joins the underarm for quite some time...maybe over a year. I can remember rubbing those areas since last year. Finally the pain became so urgent that I went to the gynocologist to seek early mammography. She felt nothing! (I have fibrocsytic breasts). When I told her again how bad the pain was, she wrote a prescription for a diagnositic mamm and untra sound. The cancer was obvious (this time the mammogram was digital and it was not last December). After ultrasound a radiologist came and told me to get a biopsy. I got one the next day and the results came back in 3 days. Unfortunately, I was away for work and didn't know about the triple neg grade 3 until I returned a week later. Then I began to research and was overwhelmed. I am beginning to work through the fog a little and will begin treatment after mastectomy. I think I will have TC as I have been offered TAC and TC and have 2 different heart murmurs already.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 23 2007 at 11:28am
What did the Oprah article say?  Is it available online?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MeganG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 26 2007 at 6:09pm
I found the lump while nursing my then 1 year old.   I was lying down on my right side and reached over to check out an area of pain on my left breast.  I felt a very hard ball at the 3 o'clock position.  I had been having some pain in that  breast during nursing and I thought it was a blocked duct.  I had an ultrasound and they told me it was a complex cyst and that there was nothing to worry about.  6 months later I had weaned my daughter and went back in because the 'cyst' was painful and growing.  It looked the same as the 1st ultrasound, but bigger.  A different Radiologist looked at it and the rest is history.  Diagnosed at 33 with stage 2, grade 3 triple neg invasive ductal carcinoma.  Had lumpectomy, 6 A/C and 6 Tax treatments (over 24 weeks) followed up by 7 weeks of radiation.  Painful (and thankfully non-cancerous) lumps grew back in the same area after treatment so I had bi-lateral skin-sparing mastectomy followed 5 months later by tram-free recon at Virginia Mason in Seattle.  I am happy to say that I am living a wonderful life with my husband and kids who are now 5 and 9!  It is great to start getting information on the trip neg cancer - I have been searching for 3 1/2 years for anything other than a technical medical study on this type of cancer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 26 2007 at 6:44pm
Megan
Welcome and great to hear your story.  So you have been cancer free for about 5 years?!  That is great.   Did anyone have any explanation for the benign painful lumps that came back after your lumpectomy?  HOw big was your original tumor? How about your lymph nodes, did you have sentinal node biopsy and were they clear?  Did you get tested for genetic causes?  I am considering that now, that is why I am asking so many questions.  It certainly is good to hear of your success in beating this cancer, and I admire your strength in all that you went through.  I was also interested in why you received 6 ACs and 6 Taxols as it seems current recommendation is often 4 of each.  Did you have neulasta after each chemo too?  Sorry for so many questions, just I find your story interesting.

I am not far away- in Oregon.  Were you treated at a cancer center there?  Do you have recommendations for good centers and specialists in your area?  I am mid-treatment, so am not interested in a new oncologist,  but was contemplating a consultation with someone in our region who may know a lot more specifically about triple negatives.
Thanks
Kathy



Edited by kitanders - Oct 26 2007 at 6:47pm
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