Breast Cancer Stories

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Mammograms can detect breast cancer early, possibly before it has spread. (National Cancer Institute) Breast cancer survivors share their treatment experience below.

I. Understanding Breast Cancer

II. Breast Cancer Patient Stories

I. Understanding Breast Cancer

Ask a Breast Cancer Specialist (Oncologist)


Breast Cancer Oncologist

• Name: Dr. Doug Blayney
• Specialty:
Breast cancer
• Experience: 30 years
• Hospital: Stanford Medical
• Hospital size:
Large private institution


II. Breast Cancer Patient Stories

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stories


Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 1B

• Name: Rachel Yasui
• Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Stage 1B.
• 1st Symptoms: None, caught by delayed mammogram
• Treatment: Double mastectomy, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, hormone therapy (Tamoxifen)
• Status: Remission

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2A, Triple Positive

• Name: Doreen DiSalvo
• Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
• 1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
• Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (TCHP), lumpectomy, radiation
• Status: Remission

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Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2, HER2-Positive

• Name: Genoa Martell
• Cancer details: HER2-positive tend to be more aggressive than HER2-negative cases
• 1st Symptoms: Nausea
• Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation
• Status: Remission


Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2B, Triple Negative

• Name: Melissa Humphrey
• Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat; Melissa was pregnant while undergoing treatment
• 1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast (growing during breastfeeding)
• Treatment: Mastectomy, chemotherapy, 2nd mastectomy
• Status: Remission

Combination Types

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Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Stage 2B

• Name: Margaret Abe-Koga
• Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer. DCIS means cancer has not spread into surrounding breast tissue
• 1st Symptoms: Pain in left breast, left nipple inverting
• Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemotherapy (AC-T), Radiation
• Status: Remission


Ductal & Lobular Carcinoma in Situ, Stage 3A, ER+

• Name: Tina Conrad
• Cancer details: Both ductal and lobular, estrogen receptor positive. Different than the breast cancer Tina’s mom was diagnosed with twice.
• 1st Symptoms: Sunken in nipple of right breast
• Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy
• Status: 5-year remission