Proper english, have or HAD ?

Abe1951 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi Bill S here. lost my password and couldn't recover it so had to set up new ID. So what is the proper terminology ? I have BC or I HAD BC and the surgeon removed it.??????
Bill S 56yr old MAN with breast cancer (or HAD BC)


  • Hi Bill. It's a matter of how YOU choose to call it. I HAD breast cancer in '86 (thought I was done with it), and then I HAD it again in '88.
    Now, 22 years later, I definitely say 'I HAD BREAST CANCER'.
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    I agree with Zahalene. It is always possible that there are cancer cells roaming around your bloodstream that may or may never set up camp somewhere else in your body (definition of stage 4) cancer. This is true even if your nodes are negative and you were stage 1, sorry to say. Because of that, you can't give blood to the blood bank for 5 years after treatment for cancer in my area. Having seen some cancer survivors get a reoccurance or new cancer after 15 years (and successfully treated at that time so don't panic!) and then getting stage 1 lung cancer myself two years ago, I'm not sure I will ever give blood again. Too risky! But that doesn't mean I currently have breast cancer (or for that matter the lung cancer). I usually just say that I WAS diagnosed and treated for breast cancer and then I WAS diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer. The listener can decide what he or she wants. At times I am a pessimist, but I am working on being a little more optimistic. Now that I've made the 5 year mark for the breast cancer, I feel like most of the threat of reoccurance is gone. Most reoccurances happen in the first two years which is why they check you so often then. There are slow growing beasts that double only every two hundred plus days so they may take as long as 8 years or more to show up if the potential for mets is there. So think positive and say "HAD" but keep going to your doctor for rechecks and taking whatever preventitive measures they recommend. You don't want to let your guard down when it comes to this beast!

    C. Abbott
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    I said I HAD Breast Cancer the moment I woke up from surgery! It was there, and then it wasn't! I know it could come back again, but being from California, I look at it rather like earthquakes. Each one is different, even when the seismologists say it may be related to, or an after-shock of a quake from years earlier!

    I will deal with any other cancers if and when they come ....and again, as with earthquakes, I hope I am out of town when the next one hits and that I miss it altogether! :-)

  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    I suppose I should follow my own advice here, but you could ask your Dr. that question and see if he/she will give you a straight answer. In my mind I am forever a cancer survivor. I was told that cancer cells were found in the tissue removed during the mastectomy. Since then they did more chemo (whole body) and radiation (localized)so it seems logical to assume that I am cancer free, but Drs. have not said so. They may be hesitant in case I come back and sue them if/when it reappears (I won't, I know there are no guarantees). I suppose it is a decision each survivor makes. Not sure why it seems such an iffy one.

    Thanks for the food for thought. seof
  • kbc4869
    kbc4869 Member Posts: 159
    Hi Bill,

    Until they tell me it's back (and show me pictures), I'm saying I HAD it. Kind of like an Ex. I kicked the guy out, paid my dues, and we're not an item anymore!

  • Bill.S
    Bill.S Member Posts: 177
    Thanks for the answers. It's not a technical question for the onc, its a preception question and I think the majority is still divided. I kind of like HAD I don't want to wait 5 years to say that.
    By the way--- the web master sent me my "Bill S" log in information so ABE is going away
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    I asked my oncologist that very question. She said that I do not have "cancer" now and the chemo was a second measure for me since it was in the lymphnodes. She said I "had" cancer but she cut it all out. If my numbers change and it show I "have" it again, then I will "have cancer" but right now, I had cancer because I don't have it now. It was like when do you call yourself a "survivor"? Each person has their own view. I "survived" the surgery, "survived" chemo, so I feel I am a survivor. Take care.
  • Bill - Definitely HAD cancer. It is amazing the number of people who want to know after hearing of my DX "Are you okay now? Is it, like, in remission?" I tell them "It is absolutely gone. I beat it." If someday I find out that I am a liar, so be it!
    love havin' a man around, Joyce