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Thread: Rita Wilson Has Breast Cancer, Undergoes Double Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery

  1. #16
    Elite Member Palermo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gas_chick View Post
    Thanks Kris. I just thought it was odd that mine all of the sudden was "dense".
    Many of my friends got that same letter, it must be something new they are warning women about.

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    ^^In California, it's a law.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    mine are dense as well. i had lumps, and the mammo saw a couple, but the u/s picked them up in their full glory. BUT, the mammo found more of the cancer in my armpit. not the mammo.

    so i'm a candidate for both procedures.
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    Elite Member lindsaywhit's Avatar
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    I had my right breast removed just over a year ago. Honestly, I wanted them to take both, but had complications during the second attempted surgery. There was a cluster that they did an ultra-sound on, but couldn't locate. Next step was an MRI led probe, but they still couldn't find it. Since my mother had breast cancer, (in her 80's - and she's now 91 with no problems), I really would have preferred a double mastectomy from the get go, but I don't have "the gene" so the insurance said no.

    Here's the weird thing, and it sounds crazy, but it's the truth: I didn't find out about the first one thru a mammogram - I smelled it. I can't explain it, but it was oppressively bad, and I just knew something was off. So when the test came back "normal" from my little boondocks clinic, I insisted on going to a specialist. So my message is to trust your instincts!

    Good luck to anyone struggling with cancer - the advancements are crazy good!


    eta: My son read this and busted out laughing. He suggested I mention that I have an annoyingly sensitive sense of smell, and the "oppressively bad" smell was only noticed by me. Two of my dogs, though, both German Shepherds, became clingy and hyper-vigilant.
    Last edited by lindsaywhit; April 15th, 2015 at 05:23 AM. Reason: My kid insisted.
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    Is it 40, that you start getting mammograms or older? I don't have a family history of breast cancer, so would I wait until later?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoogsBun View Post
    Is it 40, that you start getting mammograms or older? I don't have a family history of breast cancer, so would I wait until later?
    At 40 my OB-GYN had me start getting them annually. I'll be in colonoscopy territory soon. Yippee!

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories. You can never be too careful and you need to trust your gut.

    Hope Rita recovers soon.

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    Gold Member ChloroformCasey's Avatar
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    I'm 51 but I've never had a mammogram because I have ancient fake boobs (30 years). I'm just sure that they would bust open in a mamo. Lately I've been kinda freaking out because my left boob is tender and it is starting to feel hard, but then again, I've been going through menopause for a few years so that happens from time to time.
    Anyhoo, thanks ladies for the info about the sonogram. I didn't know about that. Maybe that would be a good option for me and my fossilized bolt ons.
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    czb
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoogsBun View Post
    Is it 40, that you start getting mammograms or older? I don't have a family history of breast cancer, so would I wait until later?
    you should ask your gyno. depends on a lot of factors, not just family history. i got my first at 35 (baseline), then yearly starting at 40.
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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Had my first, baseline, at 40. I have the dense tissue also, so I've been getting a mammo plus ultrasound each year. Each test has definite limitations and each can pick up things the other can't, from what I understand.
    My mom just told me about 3-D mammos, has anyone had this? I'd never heard of it before but she's been getting them.
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    they have done 3-d mammos here for years. i didn't realize they weren't doing them in other urban areas. am not surprised if they aren't doing them in remote areas, the equipment is super expensive and the techs need additional training.

    the diff is not just the image quality, but the feedback turnaround time is immediate. basically, they download the image right after they do the scans, and the radiologist reads them in real-time. so you get feedback right away. they tell me if they need the tech to redo a scan, schedule an ultrasound, etc. it is great. less stress (for me, anyway).

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    ^^^ That is awesome. Twelve years ago I had a complete hysterectomy. (Not cancer related). People were shocked that I decided to have the surgery in Hong Kong, but we had lived there for four years, and although separated, my husband and I were on good terms and he was still living there. Why choose Hong Kong? At the time, laproscopic surgery was rare here, and because my uterus was tilted, it wasn't even considered for me. I still had great doctors in HK, and laproscopic hysterectomies were routine. It was amazing. About a day of bed rest, and a couple more days with a sore throat because of the surgical tube. Boom, that was it, and I'm not a "bite some leather and tough it out" type, you know?

    I have no idea what is standard here now, but to anyone faced with this, please explore all your options.


  12. #27
    czb
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    lindsay, did you live in the US and then decided to do the surgery in HK? the reason i ask is because i think they've been done in the US for a while. but, probably not available in all areas years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lindsaywhit View Post
    Here's the weird thing, and it sounds crazy, but it's the truth: I didn't find out about the first one thru a mammogram - I smelled it. I can't explain it, but it was oppressively bad, and I just knew something was off. So when the test came back "normal" from my little boondocks clinic, I insisted on going to a specialist. So my message is to trust your instincts!
    My dad had lung cancer and you could smell it on his breath. It was a very distinctive sweet-sour smell. I'll never forget it as long as I live.
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  14. #29
    Elite Member lindsaywhit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    lindsay, did you live in the US and then decided to do the surgery in HK? the reason i ask is because i think they've been done in the US for a while. but, probably not available in all areas years ago.
    Yep. I've lived all over, and I'm sure if I had been in NY, LA, or some other major metropolitan area, I could have had it done here. My closest city has an excellent medical center, but very conservative, and as I said, I had a few "problems" that they felt made the surgery too risky, which seems nuts to me, but I'm not a surgeon. Also, having it in Hong Kong was easier with my kids and my recovery time - most ex-pats have live in maids, and it was lovely to lounge without guilt, lol. We all love Hong Kong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    you should ask your gyno. depends on a lot of factors, not just family history. i got my first at 35 (baseline), then yearly starting at 40.
    Same for me. They took a baseline at 35 and I was supposed to get one at 40, but 40/41 I was pregnant. Then I was breastfeeding, so I ended up getting my next one at 43

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