Archive for January 2018

Okkate75's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/genetic-testing/okkate75

Ah

“I was tested due to age and family history, and I tested positive for a CHEK2 mutation. A nurse told me over the phone that I have a 50/50 chance of developing a cancer in my other breast. That’s it. It will be 4 months until I can get an appointment with a genetic counselor, and I don’t know if insurance will cover it. My docs know little about the mutation, and neither does anyone else, as far as I can tell. It doesn’t change my treatment plan, and since I have cancer, I was already going to be in a high risk screening group.

“This has felt like the most useless and least responsible part of my breast cancer experience so far. If so little is known about these rare mutations, why are you telling me about them? The testing company seems to be exaggerating the risk, and I don’t know why. My CHEK2 support group is full of of people getting prophylactic bilateral mastectomies. That’s a huge surgery. Is there really just cause for it? It all feels very reckless to me, though I know for others it offers peace of mind. This is just my experience.”

— Okkate75, tested positive for the CHEK2 genetic mutation

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pzercher's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/genetic-testing/pzercher

Ah

“Any other CHEK2 folks out there? I just received some interesting news.

“I was diagnosed at age 48 with ductal cancer in my left breast, ER/PR+ and HER2-. I have dense breasts, and my mammogram missed the cancer. I found it myself doing a self-exam — I noticed dimpling when I lifted my arms above my head. 2.3 cm, negative nodes. I have an extensive cancer history on my father’s side; we have long suspected some kind of hereditary cancer, but didn’t think it was BRCA, because no one has ever had ovarian cancer. However, lots of cancer: breast (two aunts, two great-aunts), colon (aunt and uncle), prostate (two cousins), kidney (uncle, cousin), and a smattering of others (dad had laryngeal). I was the third generation of women to be diagnosed with breast cancer in our 40s.

“I had BRCA testing right away to decide whether to have a double mastectomy or not. (Because of the location and size of my tumor, plus a family history of cardiac disease, I was advised by several surgeons to have a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy.) My insurance covered the testing, and it was negative. So I proceeded with the single mastectomy, and because of my low Oncotype DX score, avoided radiation and chemo.

“I later read about the expanded gene panels, and that Color Genomics was of good quality and offered an inexpensive multi-gene assay. I had that done, and all of the genes were negative for mutations, except one: CHEK2. I had a mutation ‘of unknown significance,’ not the one most commonly associated with breast cancer.

“That was two years ago. Last week, I received an email from Color asking me to speak to a genetics counselor because my results had been updated. They have now changed my mutation to ‘likely pathogenic,’ and that has made my sons and …

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Faith1330's Story

http://www.breastcancer.org/community/acknowledging/metastatic/faith1330

Ah

“I am writing this for my 72-year-old mother, who tragically died on Tuesday 01/17/2018. She was a long time viewer of these forums, and recently started posting. I hope that this story and the tips below it will help some of you. Even if it benefits one person, it will be worth it. She made this account, and now I am using it to spread her story and help whoever I can, in her name.

“She had a single breast tumor for approximately 20 years. She didn’t seek treatment, as it didn’t grow or change shape. Finally in 2014, it began to grow, so she sought treatment and was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. She started taking Faslodex and watched her markers go down, as well as the tumor size decrease. She modified her diet and tried a more vegan approach, as well as also tried CKD (Cyclical Ketosis Diet). She always exercised, did yoga, and was very spiritual. She started to intermittently discontinue the Faslodex due to joint issues that the drug was causing. The doctors said it would be OK to cycle the drug off and just keep an eye on the markers.

“In January of 2017, she began to complain of stomach pain in the appendix region. After 2-3 days of increasingly worse pain, I took her to the emergency room. Five days later, they did laproscopic surgery on her to discover that her appendix was obliterated and had sprayed mucus all over her peritoneum. The surgeon cleaned it out and sent the mucus to pathology, where it was determined to not contain cancer cells (according to the test). The doctor did not advise of any abnormalities within the peritoneum and suspected acute appendicitis. She was prescribed several antibiotics for 10-14 days, to which she completed without incident. She also was taken off Faslodex completely for approximately 1-2 months during the appendix issues. After al…

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Exercise Boosts Health of Breast Cancer Survivors

http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/exercise-boosts-health-of-survivors

Many studies have found a link between regular exercise and a lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as a lower risk of breast cancer coming back (recurrence).

As a result, the American Cancer Society and many doctors recommend that women who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as those who haven’t, exercise regularly — about 4 to 5 hours per week at a moderate intensity level. (Brisk walking is considered moderate intensity exercise.) This is about double what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends per week for adults.

Now a study suggests that regular exercise may increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors. This is because exercise lowers survivors’ increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, along with recurrence.

The research was published online on Jan. 22, 2018 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of “Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise on Metabolic Syndrome, Sarcopenic Obesity, and Circulating Biomarkers in Overweight or Obese Survivors of Breast Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

Receiving chemotherapy to treat breast cancer increases a woman’s risk of metabolic syndrome; obesity also increases this risk.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of health conditions, including high blood pressure, excess body fat, and high cholesterol. In turn, metabolic syndrome increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer recurrence.

According to the researchers, women with metabolic syndrome are 17% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, three times more likely to have a breast cancer recurrence, and two times more likely to die from breast cancer.

“Many people don’t know the No. 1 cause of death for breast cancer survivors is heart disease, not cancer,” said Christina Dieli-Conwright, assistant prof…

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The Not-So-Obvious Signs Of Depression

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/the-not-so-obvious-signs-of-depression/

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses can often creep up on us when we least expect it and it is important to be aware of the warning signs.

We may not be experts on mental health but these articles from Forbes and Prevention.com got us thinking about what depression really looks like so that we can empower you with info and help you to get support.

Perfectionism

We all know somebody who has this kind of mindset: it’s not done until it’s done right. And most of the time this is just a personality thing. But, when excessive, perfectionism can be a sign that someone you know is struggling with their mental health.

Perfectionism is related to depression when it comes from the mindset that people won’t love or accept us unless we’re perfect. So it all comes down to self-love and self-acceptance. Screw-ups are just a part of being a human being. But we need to make the conscious decision to allow people in our lives (and ourselves!) to make mistakes. So that we all know we don’t have to be perfect… and that there’s no such thing as a perfect person.

Lashing Out

The typical image of depression and mental illness that’s painted for us is someone who’s alone, sad, and not very social. While these can still be symptoms, anger and irritability are known to be more severe symptoms of depression.

People are more likely to lash out when they’re feeling helpless, hopeless, or not in control. This symptom takes more patience to realize. It’s easy to give a “talk to the hand,” an eye-roll or to ju… Read More

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The Not-So-Obvious Signs Of Depression

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/the-not-so-obvious-signs-of-depression/

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses can often creep up on us when we least expect it and it is important to be aware of the warning signs.

We may not be experts on mental health but these articles from Forbes and Prevention.com got us thinking about what depression really looks like so that we can empower you with info and help you to get support.


Perfectionism

We all know somebody who has this kind of mindset: it’s not done until it’s done right. And most of the time this is just a personality thing. But, when excessive, perfectionism can be a sign that someone you know is struggling with their mental health.

Perfectionism is related to depression when it comes from the mindset that people won’t love or accept us unless we’re perfect. So it all comes down to self-love and self-acceptance. Screw-ups are just a part of being a human being. But we need to make the conscious decision to allow people in our lives (and ourselves!) to make mistakes. So that we all know we don’t have to be perfect… and that there’s no such thing as a perfect person.


Lashing Out

The typical image of depression and mental illness that’s painted for us is someone who’s alone, sad, and n…

Full credit to the source URL for this article; please feel free to follow the link through to the full article.

Read More