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Just diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31

aliciamt80
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2013

I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer the day after my birthday,march 6. Happy Birthday to me:( I immediately started to look for research to try and find what stage i coukd be in. My MRI is scheduled for this friday,march 15 and i am so nervous! i have 4 tumors and my right lumph node under my armpit is sore and the radiologist says i will most likely need that removed. I dont have much of a family history of cancer,just my great aunt having a lump when she was in her 30s in the 1980s. she had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery with no radiation or chemo. I pray i will not need them either,but the obgyn and radiologist seem as though i may do radiation after. I work in the skincare/ beauty industry and as terrible as it sounds,i dont want to lose my hair or go through the pain and sickness of chemo. Is there ways to go about not losing yout hair in the treatments? working in this industry of skin and hair will be so hard to deal with and goung through the thought of being diagnosed with the cancer itself has been a real shock to the system and family. I was told Penguin Caps are helpful? im not sure that they are,i need to do more research. i am in the washingtin,dc area and have been so busy looking for a good breast cancer surgeon at the moment. so sad and have been crying alot dealing with it. any help will be beneficial,thank you.

-Alicia

RozHopkins
Posts: 507
Joined: Dec 2010

So sorry you are having this to cope with so young.  On the other hand you may cope better because you are indeed younger.  Now if you need chemo afraid there is no getting out of it.  I heard the cold caps work for some but can be painful.  You may have to just accept the hair loss, sorry.  It can be traumatic for some.  Honestly it usually does grow back quite fast.  The scarves and headware can actually look lovely if you are clever choosing them.  There are good on line choices for these.  Don't despair.  You may not have to even go there.  My hair started to grow back before my last treatment of four.  If you are in the beauty industry and work during treatment you will probably get a huge amount of support, help, and show other ladies not to be afraid of this common cancer.  Keep us posted, we have loads of advice to share.

shelleymarie327's picture
shelleymarie327
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2011

Alicia, I was 36 when I was diagnosed almost 8 years ago, I have lost my hair twice and am getting ready to lose it again, I will know my treatment Friday, March 15, after my PET scan tomorrow, 3-14-2013. It is very hard to lose your hair, I wore bandanas and ball caps, and pretty hats to church. I feel your pain and have been there too often. If you look at my page, you can find out more about me. It is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with and will deal with it the rest of my life. I am on facebook, at Shelley Marie Reep Mellon of Cherryville, NC and would love to help you through this, I have been on  Relay for Life  for 18 years, as my mama is an 18 year survivor, and my grnadma is a 13 year survivor.

Chemo is terrible, and there is usually no way  out of losing your hair. But it will grow back, the first time it was curly and the 2nd time it was straight. My children were 2 and 7, and I had my mother in law shave it while they wern't there. The 2nd time they were 7 and 12, I sat on the front porch and they took turns shaving it, I felt better allowing them to take part in it, it was still hard, but they made it a little easier. Look me up on facebook.

I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, I was saved as a southern baptist only 8 months when I was diagnosed and would probley not be here if it weren't for my faith in Jesus.

Hope to talk to you soon,

Shelley.Wink

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

Alicia,

One step at a time.  You were just diagnosed -- and it sounds like you're waiting to find out things like staging, oncotype, etc.  Your doctors and you need to plot out your next moves.  Likely, that will be a surgery in the near future.  After that, your doctors will come up with a treatment routine.  That may include chemo and/or radiation.  

I would not get too obsessed with hair loss until you need to do so.  I would take one hurdle at a time.  Most important for now is getting the cancer out and making sure you make it through surgery as healthy as possible.  

If you have chemo, you will need to confront the "hair problem."  There's plenty of ways to do that.  Some folks use Penguin Caps, and they seem to work.  I went with wigs, scarves, and hats. I've done fine (and like you, I work in a profession where having an appearance that is not off-putting is important).  

There's a ton of options out there, and you will be surprised at your choices.  Just do not panic about it right now.  Work on getting through the first battery of tests and getting a solid diagnosis.  Then, focus on hearing about your surgical options.  Other treatment options will come in the future -- worry about them later.

We're here to help.  Be strong, take a deep breath, and keep a tight focus on the pieces that you can control right now.  Don't worry too much about things that are not happening at this moment.  

Megan

 

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear Alicia,

 

Welcome to the CSN Discussion Board though I am certain it's the last place you want to be.  Certainly wasn't the kind of birthday present one would ever want, I am so very sorry. 

 

There isn't any age limit for breast cancer, you can be in your teens or be 90+ and be diagnose with breast cancer.  Only 10% of breast cancer is inherited so that criteria isn't necessary to have the condition.  

 

We are all scared before we know the facts for a certainty.  I remember saying the same thing as you, "I don't want to do chemotherapy" and that was before I even knew what type of breast cancer I had.   Chemo is not a given depending on the kind and type of cancer you have.  I did not loose my hair when I did chemotherapy back in 1994.  It was due to the kind of drugs I had and the type of hair I have.  

 

Did your primary doctor help you find a breast surgeon?  Why not give a call the the American Cancer Society in your area for help.

 

Keep us posted,

 

Best to you on this very sad birthday.   

 

Doris

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Alicia, I'm so sorry you have the need for us.  Especially as a birthday gift.  This is a place where you can vent, cry, ask any question (no topic is off limits), share your frustrations and your joys, and more.

It's important to know we are each diffent...even two of us with the same dx could easily have different treatment plans.  You still need to ask your questions, because there can be similarities.  If we don't mention it specifically in a post, we always want you to talk with your doc before trying anything.

One example, I have inflammatory BC.  I had chemo first, a very different chemo regimin than others with IBC.  Then I had a bilateral, and then rads  2xday. an unusual routine.  The whole deal wasn't fun, but it was doable.

Please know that however you treat this, it is up to you and your docs.  You face some decisions ahead, we'll be happy to give you our perspectives or advice or story to help you.  We'll also hold your hand and cheer you on! Best wishes.

Hugs,

Linda

 

 

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