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Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

14 REPLIES 14
Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Sorry to hear that. One of the nurses on this forum provided a link that I thought was helpful in regards to diet/lifestyle and recurrence risk etc. On this page:

 

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Questions-about-anything-else/Evidence-based-resources-for-...

 

 

 

 

Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Hi Lynne, I’m sorry that you’ve had a recurrence. I had a recurrence very soon after my first lot of surgery/treatment finished & my oncologist told me they were still trying to cure me. Good luck with your new treatment plan xx
Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Many thanks - I will take a look at the links.

Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Thank you for your response. I think the fatty tissue location is the complication as it’s not operable but the good news it that I’ve discovered it early and there are no signs of it elsewhere. 

Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Thank you - that’s really helpful and aligns with what I thought was going to be the case. Very reassuring.

Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

They make a distinction between curable (gone completely) and treatable (can live a long time but can't get rid of it competely). Treatable does not mean palliative (end-stage).

My aunt (now 83) got her first breast cancer aged 50. Since then she has had 3 more, including recurrence in her scar. She's on anastrozole for it and is doing fine. Hers is treatable but not curable. She's still much more likely to die of something other than breast cancer.

Hope this helps a bit, clinic letters can be unnerving!

Community Champion

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Lynne Im not surprised you are confused and I’m sorry after so long you are having to deal with this again.

My understanding of things are that as this is a different type to your previous cancer than it would be a new primary also a recurrence is total curable providing it hasn’t spread elsewhere in the body as in to bones and or organs. 

 

It may be things are not so clear cut due to it being in fatty tissue, I’m afraid i don’t know anything about this but you certainly need some clarification Xx 

Community Champion

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Hi Lynne, sorry you find yourself here but glad you've found us.  I was also ER+ HER2 negative grade 2, diagnosed in March 2017 currently NED after chemo/surgery/rads and now on Tamoxifen.  Here is some useful information on recurrence from BCC:  https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/diagnosed-breast-cancer...

This article from BCN is helpful for explaining the staging:  https://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/have-you-recently-been-diagnosed-with-breast-cancer/...

I write my own blog too which has lots of useful links which you may find helpful lifeafterlola.com

 

Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Surely if it's different to last time it's a new cancer not a recurrence?

Community Champion

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Absolutely you would expect to have that conversation with your Consultant - treatable is very different from curable .You should get on the phone Monday and request a proper discussion .
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Member

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Thanks Jill but they have told me it is recurrent breast cancer and not secondary breast cancer (i.e it’s not in another organ or part of the body) which is why it’s somewhat puzzling for me because they are listed on various sites as different diagnoses. I just assumed that recurring breast cancer would be curable as it was first time around as I haven’t come across anything that stated differently. It’s probably down to my ignorance but I would have thought it would have cropped up and been discussed in my consultations as it strikes me as pretty important. I will look at the links you sent - much appreciated.

Community Champion

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

Hello Lynne ,how awful for you to not be given proper information and find this out from your notes.I don't know enough about this to say if it is correct but it would be worth posting in the secondary section of the forum to ask the ladies there their opinion and also in the Ask the Nurses section .I will post you the links .Jill x
Member

Is recurrent breast cancer incurable?

I had breast cancer diagnosed in 2011 (37mm grade 2, node positive, ER positive, HER2 negative tumour) and was treated with lumpectomy, chemo, radiotherapy (and tamoxifen for last 7 years). I’ve had annual mammograms that have all been clear (last one in July 2018). Having noticed lethargy and slight underarm pain and swelling in breast I saw consultant in November who after examining me said he was not clinically worried but would do CT scan and ultrasound to check things out. Anyway biopsies and tests have led to a diagnosis of grade 3 recurrent disease in axillary nodes and fatty tissue. It’s not operable because of blood vessels, previous scar tissue etc and I have just started six rounds of Docetaxel and long term use of Herceptin. I assumed that the chemotherapy was intended to destroy the tumour and the Herceptin was for prevention purposes going forward - my latest cancer is HER2 positive and oestrogen negative so its a complete reversal. Anyway I was surprised to read in my chemotherapy record book that my treatment intent is Disease Control/palliative and I queried with the nurse why it wasn’t curative. She said recurrent cancer could not be cured - only treated. I had not read this or had any conversations with my consultant or oncologist to this effect. My bone and CT scans do not show spread of disease elsewhere so I have been taken aback to discover it’s incurable and would appreciate insights from others with recurrent disease.