Breast Cancer: Apparently “cured”, her cancer recurred after 18 years

WC is a 69-year-old lady. About 18 years ago she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy followed by 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 30 session of radiotherapy. She was not given any tamoxifen.

All went well for WC after these treatments. She did not bother to go back to her doctor for routine check up either.

Sometime in September / October 2017, WC felt her left breast (where she had a lumpectomy earlier) was hard. The nipple was retracted and discharged blood.

WC went back to the surgeon who operated on her earlier and underwent a mastectomy.

  1. Tumour is positive for ER and PR receptors but negative for c-erbB2 receptor.
  2. A total of 7 lymph nodes are dissected and 5 of these show metastasis.

After the operation WC was referred to an oncologist and was asked to undergo 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Radiotherapy is not indicated since she had this treatment before.

Each cycle of chemo would cost about RM 2,500 to RM 3,000. In addition WC has to take letrozole or Femara. This means WC needs to be on this hormonal drug for 5 to 10 years.

WC came to seek our help.

Comments 

There was a lady from Indonesia. She had undergone chemo, radiation and took Tamoxifen for 5 years. After 5 years her doctor said she is cured after a CT scan. Unfortunately, one year later, on her sixth year, the cancer spread extensively to her bones. According to her doctor, it is just her “luck” that such disaster happened.

Nancy, a 54-year old housewife, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. She had a mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction. No chemotherapy or radiotherapy was indicated but the doctor wanted to put her on tamoxifen (for five years!). Nancy declined.

Prior to her breast cancer, Nancy was on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). She was well aware that HRT could result in breast cancer. Her doctor checked and monitored her breast health every month to ensure that everything was under control. But it was not to be. Two years on HRT, cancer reared its ugly head in her right breast.

Nancy came to seek our help and was started on herbs. She was well. After 5 years, with her “all-knowing-attitude”, Nancy decided that she was cured and did not need our help anymore. Fourteen years later, Nancy came back to see us again. Her cancer recurred extensively in her bones. We tried to help but she died a few months later.

All patients like to hear that his/her cancer can be cured or is cured after treatment. I have been helping cancer patients for more than twenty years now and there is one bitter lesson that I learned — there seems to be NO CURE for cancer! Surviving and being well for 5 years is not a cure — but some doctors would say that is cure!

At CA Care, we tell patients that we cannot cure their cancer. If they come to us in search of a magic bullet to cure their cancer, my answer to them is: You have come to the wrong place.

Our mission is to help those in real need, and we don’t intend to mislead them by promising a “cure” — because we know deep down in our heart there is no cure!

 

We often remind our patients that you don’t have to die yet if you have cancer. Do remember that no one lives forever. All of us will have to die one day. If you can eat, can sleep, can move around and have no pain then what more do you want?

Learn to be contented and be grateful for each day that you have. In this way, your life would be more meaningful.

 

 

Advertisements