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Cancer in both breasts...

CR1954's picture
Posts: 1393
Joined: Jul 2008


Was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in right breast three weeks ago. Still going through many tests, but after an MRI, the radiologist called and said that they found a suspicious area in the left breast also, and I need a biopsy.
Before I panic to the point of no return, does anyone know if it is uncommon to have cancer in both breasts at the same time?
I am/was, having a hard time dealing with the diagnosis in one. But I am trying my best to remain calm, as I have found that a constant state of terror and near hysteria can be very debilitating to the body and soul.
Any input would be so very appreciated. Thanks!

Posts: 494
Joined: Nov 2007

The same thing happened to me only my cancer was in the left breast and the suspicious calcifications were in the right breast. They found the calcifications after my MRI. So, they did a sterotactic biopsy (slightly different from my first biopsy but nothing to fear) of the right breast, removed the calcifications and determined that the calcification was benign. So, hang in there. Wait for all of the medical facts. I'll pray that your biopsy is benign, too. You're dealing with an lot of "stuff" right now and I know its frightening and you may even feel trapped like I did. Take one day at a time and put one foot in front of the other and you'll make it. I did. I just finished my radiation after chemo and am on armidex. So far, so good. I know those are platitudes but there is truth in those words. Bless you. Marilynn

Anonymous user (not verified)

CR, I had cancer in both breasts, but less than 2 years apart. Or at least that was how it was detected. That meant I went through 2 separate radical mastectomies, 2 separate courses of chemo, rads, and 7 years of tamoxifen.
All of this could have been telescoped into a much shorter period if I had chosen to have both removed at once. Hind sight. What is it worth?
IF you find that you have cancer in both breasts, you can at least deal with the issue in one fell swoop and be done with it. Small comfort, I know, but we take the positives where we can find them.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

I'm sorry you are having to deal with this nasty beast. Your note brings back lots of memories of living in that state of terror (common to all of use with a cancer diagnosis). I had to give the fear to God because the terror was so bad and lasted so long.Getting a plan, finding a team I could trust, finding a support group including places like this website, and remembering a few things helped. Remember to breathe! Remember you are no sicker today than you were before you started getting diagnosed. That spot, if cancer, has been there for literally years if it is big enough to show up on the test. The tests will only tell you for sure what it is and allow you to take action if needed to prevent it from doing harm. Knowledge is power. That new spot may be something other than cancer. I find it helpful to remember it is not cancer till the pathologist identifies it in a report. Still, I know it is not impossible to have cancer in both breasts at the same time. Usually it is NOT a spread (also called a metastisis). Sometimes whatever started the cancer on the one side starts it on the other side too. Sometimes they are actually two different kinds of cancer. That is why a path report on each spot is very necessary. Different kinds of breast cancer respond to different kinds of treatment. Again, knowledge is power over the "beast". If both spots show the same kind of cancer and you have a lot of cancer in your family history (stuff like prostrate cancer at an early age, ovarian cancer, as well as breast cancer), you might ask about genetic testing. Different information from such tests might affect your treatment plan. Good luck and remember to breathe!

C. Abbott

CR1954's picture
Posts: 1393
Joined: Jul 2008

Thank you, thank you all! I must admit that I was thrown for a loop when the call came about the second one.
Nothing had shown up on mammogram or ultrasound in the second breast..they were done three weeks ago. So, I am hoping that if the MRI DID pick up something, that it is very early.
If it is also in the second breast, i would much rather have a double mastectomy now...
Thanks again...you are all a Godsend to me!!
I knew that I could find help for my fears here..and once again, you have all come through for me!!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Cr, I am sorry that you have to go through this. I did have a friend who was diagnosed with a tumor in each breast. The good news is that she is fine almost 3 yrs later! Hang in there, I will br praying. Eil

Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2008

Hey Sweetie,
I had cancer in both breast, it went through nodes on the left and not in the right. I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction done at the same time. I got the MRI results and it said "suspecious" areas but they really didn't feel like it was cancer. I decided I would worry and when the results came back on the right, it was a good decision for "me". Each person has to make their own decision with lumpectomy or mastectomy. Check to see if there is hormonal cancer in your family. Look at your age and take a look within yourself to see what feels "right" for you. It is extremely frightening time for you and I totally understand the "panic". We are here for your total support and talk with your doctors/oncologist/surgeon for their take on your particular situation. Everyone has a "different but similar" situation. Keep in touch with us and feel free to go on "chat". Take care, Angela

Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2004

Regardless of where the cancer is found, I prefer to know so we can fight it! My cancer moved from breast to liver this past fall after thinking I was clear since 2004, Fighting is the only way to whip it! Be strong, we are all out here for you! God Bless!

Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2011

I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma in the left breast on May 27th. I had an MRI on June 6th and the doctor said there was a suspicous looking area so wanted to do a needle biopsy using the ultrasound. She said if it came back benign then she wanted to do another biopsy using the MRI. The first came back benign and the second came back positive for ductal cancer in the other breast. It is very small and has not gone anywhere else. I had already decided to have a bilateral mastectomy after discussing the invasive cancer with my oncologist so was glad I had already made the decision.

Everyone's cancer is unique so hang in there until you know for sure. Somehow God will give you the strength to make the right decison and you will be ok as long as you stay strong.

My surgery is June 28th so only have a short wait.

Hang in there and try to stay positive.

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

I didnt have cancer in both breasts BUT did have scares with the one that was dx.Dx came on Aug 19.Lumpectomy Surgery on Sept 2 another tumor was found as I was getting prepped. It was benign. Then a surgery to check margins was scheduled Sept 29.I found a lump 2 days before that surgery.It was removed and a week later the dx was another benign tumor. It was a whirlwind so if you haven't had the biopsy yet things can be better than what you think.

I was dx with DCIS non invasive.

Wishing you the best. Hope your report (MRI) is a good one.

Lynn Smith

mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

When the radiologist was talking to me about the masses I had on the right side, he said that with mulitfocal masses, it isn't uncommon to have cancer on the other side. Instead of an MRI, I had a bilateral mastectomy. There was no cancer on the left side.
I didn't matter, I had decided to have that prior to confirmation of the diagnoses.
I also have a friend that had BC on the left side in 1982 so she had a mastectomy. It came back on the right side in 1989, right side is gone now. I talked to her last week. She hasn't had any other issues.
Depending on the pathology, if it is in the other breast, it could be a recourance not metastatic. That is a big IF it is even cancer.
Wait for all the tests to come back. I know it's not easy. I was a wreck till I got the CT results saying the cancer wasn't anywhere else.

Not sure if that helps. The unknown is usually scarier than what is.
All the best,

Posts: 3
Joined: May 2014

I had breast cancer in both breast also after I had a double they found out thru my biopsy and had to remove my lymph nodes on that side about a week later but in the end my oncotype on both sides was below 18 so no chemo for me,,,I hope all goes well for u it's a journey for sure


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