Secondary breast cancer

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I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Oct 22 and have had 2 surgeries- lumpectomy and then removal of all my lymph nodes. Cancer was found in 11 nodes, so I had a full body scan, and got the results today. It looks like it has spread to my lymph nodes in my neck. Being told it is incurable is absolutely devastating. I am 49 and have 2 children, girls aged 24 and 11 and a husband, who I have been with for 17 years, but we only just got married yesterday! I could really do with some positive stories as I am struggling. 

  • Hi Tattybear,

    So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Do you know the receptor status of your cancer?

    Whilst not curable (at least today), breast cancer is treatable, and some view it as a chronic disease. There are loads of drug options for treatment, with new drugs coming out all the time. There are some women still alive and well 20+ years after secondary diagnosis. Whilst not everyone is that lucky, there no reason you couldn't be!


  • Hi Boobycancer! Thank you for your positive words. My cancer feeds on hormones, but I can’t remember if that means it’s HER2 positive or negative! They have told me this is a good thing and after a day of it sinking in, it doesn’t feel so much of a death sentence, but still very scary! 

  • Hi Tattybear,

    The feeding on hormones means it's Estrogen and/or Progesterone receptor positive. This is good news! You'll probably be offered a combination of tablets to control it, which will hopefully work for a long time!

    If it's also HER2 positive, then there are specific drugs that are great to help with that too.

    Hopefully once you've started treatment you'll feel a bit better.

    There's a thread on another forum you might like to read. It was posted by a lady diagnosed as stage 4 in 2011, who's still posting on that forum as recently as yesterday. Here's the link, I hope you find it helpful:

  • Hello All, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 MBC 10 months ago. I have been treated for four hormone breast cancers since 1999 and had a bilateral mastectomy in 2015. I have been to some dark places but can honestly say that my combined treatment with palbociclib and letrozole is currently holding back the cancer in my lungs and spine. I am not in pain and the exhaustion and anger I felt at first has diminished. I feel very fortunate that there are treatments available and research is producing more. That feeling that my body has let me down lingers and stamina is still an issue. Tallybear I wish you well.

  • Hello, congratulations on your wedding.
    I was diagnosed in 2021 age 38 with de nevo hormone positive cancer that had spread to my bones. 
    I’m on Ribociclib, Letrozole and prostrap. Plus Denosamab for my bones. I have been told I can view this as a chronic illness. 

    My kids are now 6 & 8. 

    the drugs I’m on have been amazing for me. In January of this year my latest scan showed complete metabolic response. Which means every thing shrunk so much it’s not detectable. It’s the best possible news.   

    im leading a pretty normal life too. Working full time, keeping up with my kids and I’m still fitter and healthier than most of my friends. I’m doing everything I was doing before. 

  • Brilliant news Louise. I have been living with cancer for 24 years and I'm in my 70s with 5 grandchildren. They weren't even a twinkle when I had my first cancer.