Age at diagnosis: 39 and 46
Family history of breast cancer: no
Stage 0, DCIS and
Stage 1, ER positive
My first diagnosis was at age 39. I had no lumps or suspicions and was (so I thought), just going for a regular ‘girlie’ check up.
Upon examination of my breasts, I had some tingling in my shoulder. The GP said she didn’t suspect anything but it would probably be a good idea to have a mammo after my next period. I did and an extensive area of DCIS was detected, covering around 7cm. I had a mastectomy and no further treatment was necessary. I had an expander inserted around 8 months later and subsequently a definitive implant put in.
My health returned to relative normality, until Christmas 2013 when at a regular mammogram, a small tumour was detected. It was a stage 1, grade 2 ER + tumour. I had my breast removed without complication and an expander inserted. Two weeks later I was fighting for life, suffering from sceptacemia. I spent 13 days in hospital and 3 months off work to recover. At the point of the infection, I had to have my expander removed. I then had Lat Dorsi reconstruction with a small expander, replaced with an implant in November 2015. I’m now doing great, looking forward to a bright and healthy future.
I’d like women to be aware you don’t necessarily need visible signs, nor to feel a lump to have an issue. My cancers, whilst both devastating to me, were detected through regular checks. Having a mastectomy on both occasions, proved lifesaving. The cancers were unrelated to each other, so my prognosis on both occasions was good.