Breast Cancer Stories From Patients and Survivors – The Patient Story

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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.


Breast Cancer Patient Stories

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stories
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 1, ER-Positive/PR-Positive, HER2-Negative | Amelia’s 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
Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Stage 1B | Rachel’s 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
Breast Cancer:  Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 2, Triple Positive | Rach’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 2B, ER-Positive, PR-Positive | Caitlin’s 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)
Breast Cancer: IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2, Grade 3 | Joy’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 2B, Grade 2, ER Positive (ER+) | Callie’s 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
Breast Cancer: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), Stage 2B | Monica’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Triple Positive, Stage 3 | Stefanie’s 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
Breast Cancer: I IDC, Stage 2A, Triple Positive (Triple+) | Doreen’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 2B, Triple Negative  | Melissa’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 3, HER2+ (HER2 Positive) | Genoa’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 2B, Stage 3 | Andrea’s Story

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



Cancer details: Found cancer while pregnant
1st Symptoms: Divot in breast
Treatment: Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 3, Grade 3, Triple Negative, BRCA1+ | Stephanie’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, HER2-Positive (HER2+), Stage 3 | Renee’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Stage 4, Triple Positive | Shari’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC, Triple Negative, Stage 2B/4 Metastatic | Erin’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 Cancer| Margaret’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 Cancer| Margaret’s 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
Breast Cancer: DCIS, Partially Differentiated, Stage 4 Metastatic, Triple + | Alison’s 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
Breast Cancer: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Stage 0, ER+, Paget’s Disease | Natalie’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2 Cancer| Margaret’s 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
Breast Cancer: Invasive & Lobular, Stage 3A,  ER+ | Tina’s 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
Breast Cancer: IDC & DCIS, Stage 2B, ER+, PR/HER2- | Cat’s 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
Breast Cancer: BRCA 2 Previvor | Erika’s 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

Ask A Breast Cancer Oncologist, Dr. Doug Blayney | HER2, Estrogen+, Triple Negative, Lumpectomy vs. Mastectomy

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