I received an email from Fiona who is the creator of InsuranceWith and it again highlights why it is so important to be aware of secondary breast cancer. She has given me permission to share this as she said it is so important that secondary breast cancer is diagnosed quickly, and treatment started.
“I have been meaning to get in touch with you for the past couple of months. Over the summer I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, 15+ years after my primary diagnosis, which as you can imagine was a bit of a shock. However, it was thanks to the work you do with ABC, that I was so on it and kept pushing, my situation was slightly complicated by having a heart attack in May 2019 so I had a few complication and side-effects with the medication I had to take after I had a stent fitted. I had a cough which just wouldn’t go away, and I was feeling generally under par, I had a chest x-ray in June 2019 which was clear, so they tried to pack me off! But I knew something wasn’t right, so I got a referral to a respiratory consultant and after many tests I was finally diagnoses in July 2020 with spread to both my lungs, hip and thigh bone and chest wall and lymph nodes around my thorax. The cancer was the same as my primary cancer and they think the chest wall site is a recurrence. I started my treatment in August, immunotherapy, hormone blocker and bone strengthening in August and had my first PET scan two weeks ago, which is showing that there is no evidence of disease in my lungs or hip and thigh, a small amount on my chest wall and the lymph nodes there are now back to normal. I am thankful that I am tolerating my treatment well, in fact I feel better now than I have done in over 2 years, so I have my fingers crossed that this treatment will carry on working for me for a long time, but I do know the reality of my situation too, so I am watchful.
If I hadn’t been aware of secondary breast cancer, and the chance that it could happen 15, 20 years after a primary diagnosis, not just the magic 5 years! I may have let my health niggles carry on, only to discover the spread when it was far more advanced, I feel so lucky to have caught it so early, and responded well to treatment. My awareness mainly comes from the articles you post and the lobbying you do, so thank you so much for doing what you do, I am very grateful.”
Hope the treatment continues to work for a long time Fiona! Best wishes from us all at METUPUK x