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ask: what causes breast cancer ?

By Anonymous

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EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

No neulasta for me this time around.Started my new chemo meds on thursday, taxatere and xeloda. Also am taking dexamethasone (sp)? Need some good advice on what to take for the side effects of the dex.They're terrible. Any suggestions Id be grateful for. Also does anybody have a clue as to when the side effects of xeloda hit if they're going to? Thanks for any info.

November 20, 2011 - 6:20pm
ButDoctorIHatePink Blogger

Here's a little tip on the Neulasta (which I agree is an awful, awful drug).  Take a clariton about an hour before you have the neulasta.  For some reason, that simple OTC medication can help reduce some of the side effects.  Not get rid of them entirely, but may turn that raging bone pain and killer headache into more simple aches.  

Also, you probably know this, but drinking lots of water is very important during chemo times - I drink 64 ounces a day, minimum.    I hope it goes easy on you and your side effects are minimal.

Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them.  

November 17, 2011 - 6:39pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Thank you so much for your input. I will absolutely keep pushing her to keep a check on things. Congrats on your surgery. You are so right when you talk about being involved in your own care, the more involved the better off you are. Wish me luck, cause tomorrow I am off to chemo and a new round of drugs-but at least no neulasta shots which made me deathly ill the first time around. Prayers and hugs to you too-and anybody else out there that is dealing with this illness. Just always remember that there is someone out there that has it worse than you do and be sure that things will get better.

November 16, 2011 - 5:27pm
ButDoctorIHatePink Blogger

Hi Anonymous,

I have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer - I am 53 as well. Coming to terms with that is hard but I believe that the more information you have, the better able you are to treat your disease. In fact, I just had a very rare operation that may give me years, if not cure me entirely. That may never have happened without my involvement and knowledge. There are so few women with breast cancer given this surgery that you have to comb records to get survival numbers (which are good). They do give it regularly to those with colon cancer but not breast as breast is considered systemic.

As for your daughter, I understand her not needing to know. My sister also didn't need me to be genetically tested. She said she would not do a prophylactic mastectomy nor take tamoxifen so there is no point. (I only have sons myself and yes, I know they can get breast cancer.)

Because I have breast cancer, my sister's doctors are going to follow her more closely and that's good. The odds are you don't have the gene - even in cases where mothers and aunts have it, most often, the BRCA gene isn't involved. Although, there is only one way to find out!

Just make sure your daughter knows to tell her GYN about your diagnosis and remind her to pay very close attention to her breasts and report any changes, and to NEVER to skip a mammogram when its time. She may have more diagnostics than others her age, even for things like cysts, so she'll have to manage that and whatever nerves it brings up. But, even with the BRCA gene, you aren't guaranteed cancer, and without it, you aren't guaranteed a cancer-free life.

Good luck to you and {{{{big hugs}}}}}

November 15, 2011 - 1:34pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I agree with you that knowledge is power. In my case Im afraid too much knowledge will just interfere wth the way I live my life. Being diagnosed first in 2008 and then this past august completely blind-sided me. I truly dont think I want to know if Im 50 to 75 percent more likely to get ovarian cancer or have it mets. in some other area. I sure dont want to have a precautionary hist. or my other breast removed as a precaution. If it happens so be it.

i dont want my daughter to live in fear either. Thanks for your input.

October 29, 2011 - 3:47pm
Andrew Schorr

For some people it is empowering to have as much information as possible, but I can also understand the reluctance some may have. Hope you and your daughter will figure out what is right for you. Good luck.

October 29, 2011 - 12:36pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am a 53 year old woman dealing with trip. neg. recurring breast cancer. My grandmother and greatgrandmother on my moms side also had breast cancer. My onc. is really pushing me to get genetic testing done, because I have a 22 year old daughter. She says she doesnt want to know if shes got the gene. I at this point in my life have had amastectomy of my left breast, plus a number of surgeries for basil cell carcinomas. These were also major surgeries. If my daughter doesnt want to know, and I dont want to go through anymore surgeries as a precaution, whats the point? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

October 29, 2011 - 11:30am
Haralee

That is the $$$Billion dollar question. If there was a cause or a cure for that matter, we could take precautions. As Pat mentioned there are indicators. Be sure to have a mammogram to be pro-active.

October 25, 2011 - 3:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Haralee)

Did you know that mammos give off 500 times the rads of a chest xray? Also, it may be growing 7 years or more before it even shows up. I used to get a mammo every year : ( A more proactive method is thermography that shows accurate heat signatures early on, produced by new blood vessels that feed the cancer. I found out all too late about this method and went through a very painful steriotactic biopsy, then had tissue removed by surgery just in case they missed any cancerous cells (micro ductal carcinoma in situ).

February 17, 2012 - 5:34pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Causes of breast cancer are not limit and vary for individual. Hormonal influence, lifestyle, environmental issues and excess alcohol consumes are the major risk factor of breast cancer.

October 23, 2011 - 11:05pm
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Have you been tested for BRCA gene mutation?
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