What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).

So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.

I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.


Friday, October 7, 2011

31Days: Chemo Before or After Surgery?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And I'm posting on each of the 31 days as my way of doing something to bring awareness. Today is Day 17

Thank you to for this informative piece:

Giving chemotherapy before breast-conserving surgery is as effective against breast cancer recurrence as giving chemotherapy after breast-conserving surgery. These results were presented at the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium.

Breast-conserving surgery (also referred to as lumpectomy) involves removal of the breast cancer and some surrounding normal tissue. For some women, giving chemotherapy prior to surgery can shrink the cancer and make it easier to remove. There’s been some uncertainty, however, about whether chemotherapy followed by breast-conserving surgery is as effective against local-regional recurrence (cancer recurrence in or near the breast) as breast-conserving surgery followed by chemotherapy.    

To evaluate whether risk of breast cancer recurrence varies by timing of chemotherapy, researchers collected information about roughly 3,000 women who underwent breast-conserving surgery and radiation therapy between 1987 and 2005. Roughly three-quarters of the patients underwent surgery first and the remaining patients underwent chemotherapy first. Women who received chemotherapy first tended to have cancers with worse prognostic features.   

Factors that were linked with an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence were young age (less than 50 years), clinical stage III cancer, grade 3 cancer, cancer that was estrogen receptor-negative, and close or positive surgical margins (cancer at or near the edge of the tissue that was surgically removed).

After accounting for tumor characteristics, risk of breast cancer recurrence was similar among women who underwent surgery first and women who underwent chemotherapy first. These results suggest that tumor characteristics—rather than the timing of chemotherapy—influence risk of breast cancer recurrence.     

Debbie... aka the cancer warrior ... AND SURVIVOR!!!


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