Breast Cancer Stories From Patients and Survivors | The Patient Story

Breast Cancer Stories
Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

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. Choose the story based on breast cancer types and subtypes.


Breast Cancer Patient Stories

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stories
Amelia’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 1, ER+, PR+, HER2- | The Patient Story

Amelia Laytham, IDC, Stage 1, ER/PR+, HER2-



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump found during self breast exam
Treatment: TC chemotherapy; lumpectomy, double mastectomy, reconstruction; Tamoxifen
Rachel’s Breast Cancer Story: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Stage 1B | The Patient Story

Rachel Yasui, IDC, Stage 1B



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
Rach’s Breast Cancer Story:  IDC, Stage 2, Triple+ | The Patient Story

Rach DiMare, IDC, Stage 2, Triple Positive



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in right breast
Treatment: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, double mastectomy, targeted therapy, hormone therapy
Caitlin’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 2B, ER+, PR+| The Patient Story

Caitlin James, IDC, Stage 2B, ER/PR Positive



Cancer Details: ER/PR positive = estrogen and progesterone receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Lump found on breast
Treatment:
Lumpectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy (Lupron and Anastrozole)
Joy’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2, Grade 3 | The Patient Story

Joy Rodgers, IDC, Stage 2, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Chemo, double mastectomy, hysterectomy
Callie’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+ | The Patient Story

Callie Metler-Smith, IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER+



Cancer Details: ER positive = estrogen receptor positive
1st Symptoms:
Dimpling/lump found on breast
Treatment:
Mastectomy, AC/T chemotherapy, hysterectomy, reconstruction
Monica’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 2B, Soft Tissue Sarcoma 2nd Cancer | The Patient Story

Monica Hoffman, IDC, Stage 2B



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Tightness and lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
Stefanie’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Triple +, Stage 3 | The Patient Story

Stefanie Hauser, IDC, Triple Positive, Stage 3



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 breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, lumpectomy, radiation
Doreen’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 2A,Triple+ | The Patient Story

Doreen DiSalvo, IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive



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
Melissa’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 2B, TNBC (Triple Negative), Pregnant with Cancer | The Patient Story

Melissa Humphrey, Stage 2B, Triple Negative



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Mastectomy, chemotherapy, 2nd mastectomy
Genoa’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 3, HER2+ | The Patient Story

Genoa Martell, Stage 2, HER2-Positive



Cancer details: HER2-positive tends to be more aggressive than HER2-negative cases
1st Symptoms: Nausea
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation
Andrea’s Breast Cancer Story: Pregnant with Cancer, IDC, Stage 2B to Stage 3 | The Patient Story

Andrea Anderson, IDC, Stage 2B/3, ER+



Cancer details: Found cancer while pregnant
1st Symptoms: Divot in breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
Stephanie’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 3, Grade 3, Triple Negative (TNBC), BRCA1+ | The Patient Story

Stephanie Johnson, Stage 3, Triple Negative, BRCA1+



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer
1st Symptoms: Lump in left breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery
Renee’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, HER2+, Stage 3 | The Patient Story

Renee Nicholls, IDC, Stage 3, HER2+



Cancer details: IDC is most common kind of breast cancer.
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, radiation
Shari’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC, Stage 4, Triple Positive | The Patient Story

Shari Sheranian, Stage 4, Metastatic, Triple Positive



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
Erin’s Metastatic Breast Cancer Story: IDC, TNBC (Triple Negative), Stage 2B, Relapse, Stage 4 | The Patient Story

Erin Cronican, IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple negative doesn’t have any receptors commonly found in breast cancer making it harder to treat
1st Symptoms: Pain in breast
Treatment: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation
Margaret’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 | The Patient Story

Margaret Abe-Koga IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



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, chemo (AC-T), Radiation

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Stories
Margaret’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 | The Patient Story

Margaret Abe-Koga IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



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, chemo (AC-T), Radiation
Alison’s Breast Cancer Story: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS), Stage 4, Triple Positive, DCIS, Grade 2 (Partially Differentiated) | The Patient Story

Alison Rash, Partially Differentiated DCIS, Stage 4 Metastatic



Cancer details: Triple positive = positive for HER2, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR)
1st Symptoms: Lump in underarm/breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, targeted therapy

Combination Types
Natalie’s Breast Cancer Story: DCIS, Stage 0, ER+, Paget’s Disease | The Patient Story
Natalie Wilson, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Stage 0, ER+; Paget’s Disease



Cancer Details: Only 1-4% of breast cancer cases also includes Paget’s
1st Symptoms: 2cm lump found in right breast
Treatment: Lumpectomy, double subcutaneous mastectomy, hormone therapy
Margaret’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 | The Patient Story

Margaret Abe-Koga IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



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, chemo (AC-T), Radiation
Tina’s Breast Cancer Story: Invasive & Lobular, Stage 3A,  ER+ | The Patient Story
Tina Conrad, Ductal & Lobular Carcinoma in Situ, Stage 3A, ER+



Cancer details: Both ductal and lobular, estrogen receptor positive. Different than breast cancer Tina’s mom was diagnosed w/ twice.
1st Symptoms: Sunken in nipple of right breast
Treatment: Double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy
Cat’s Breast Cancer Story: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B, ER+ | The Patient Story

Cat Levitt, IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B



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 radiating from lump
Treatment: Bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy

Previvor BRCA2
Erika’s Breast Cancer Story: BRCA 2 Previvor | The Patient Story

Erika Stallings, BRCA2 Mutation



Cancer Details: Previvor
1st Symptoms: Family history of breast cancer, no physical symptoms
Treatment: Preventative double mastectomy, direct implant reconstruction
...

Ask A Breast Cancer Oncologist

Breast Cancer Oncologist: HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative | Dr. Doug Blayney, Stanford

Dr. Doug Blayney, Breast Cancer Specialist



Oncologist: Specializing in breast cancer | HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative, Lumpectomy vs. Mastectomy
Experience: 30+ years
Hospital/clinic size: Large teaching institution