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Survived Breast Cancer four years ago.... now Uterine cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2010

I am sincerely hoping I don't find about the "third time being the charm" having just gone through my second bout with cancer.

First time was breast cancer four years ago (mammogram was normal until I asked about a suspicious mass under my armpit). This time pap smear was normal but I insisted on a sonogram which showed thickened endometrial wall and biopsy found an agressive uterine cancer. (I had been spotting, and it seemed to correlate with how regular I was taking my Arimidex)

I had laproscopic robotic hysterectomy/salpingectomy,oophorectomy five days ago and my surgeon/oncologist says he is satisfied that it was contained in the uterus. I was damned lucky!!!!! (The surgery was a breeze...and I'm a drama queen, so if I can do it anyone can...I walked in the house without pain the day after surgery and haven't had a pain pill since.)

Ladies, if you're on Arimidex or Tamoxifen for breast cancer HAVE A HYSTERECTOMY! And if you don't, at least have annual sonograms to keep an eye on the endometrial wall.

Wondering how many of you with uterine cancer have a similar story...

upsofloating's picture
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

I been the breast cancer route as well. First, in '93, then after recurrence in '99 i went on tamoxifen. Onc. kept me on it till uterine bleeding in early '06 and changed to Femara. By late '07 I was diagnosed with aggressive UPSC, stage IV following debulking surgery. It's been back since last fall. Still think diagnosis was missed at D&C in Jan 06. A 2nd opinion Gyn. suggested a hysterectomy in Mar '06, but with bleeding stopped and no cancer found, I decided to pass -- could have had a much better outcome. --Annie

Posts: 21
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi there,

Please please be after your oncologist to consider chemo especially if this is an aggressive uterine cancer (if he hasn't already recommended).
I am not an oncologist but there is a strong reason I am saying this.

Take care.

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2803
Joined: Jun 2010

I was diagnosed first with endometrial cancer and then less than a week later with breast cancer. I'm postmenopausal. Many of the risk factors are the same for both cancers and I've been told by my gyn oncologist that it is not unusual for a woman to have both over the course of her lifetime. I would have never known that had I not been so perplexed by having both at the same time that I asked about it.

Since May, I've had a partial mastectomy and sentinal node biopsy, then robotic assisted hysterectomy which staged and graded the endo cancer as Stage 1, grade 1- whew; then chemo for the breast cancer, will start breast radiation Nov. 1, and aromatase therapy after. I highly doubt that anyone would have performed a hysterectomy on me if I had "only" been diagnosed with breast cancer, and it would never have occurred to me to ask for one. Having had both, tho, and knowing what I now know, I have to say that it's crossed my mind more than once that I do have some peace of mind knowing that I don't have to worry about developing cancer in my uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or cervix down the road and have to deal with cancer again - there at least. I was very lucky to have both cancers detected and treated early - by routine mammogram and routine Pap smear (some normal endo cells showed up on Pap, very unusual). Doesn't mean I'm outa the woods on either, but it is very unlikely the endo cancer will come back and the breast cancer is being given everything I've got to keep it away as well.

A hysterectomy, even Davinci assisted, is major surgery (my gyn onc calls it major surgery via small incisions) and unless one has Lynch syndrome or maybe a strong family history of endometrial cancer, the risks of major surgery vs. the risk of developing endo cancer probably don't justify a hysterectomy, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask at least to be carefully and thoroughly evaluated often - even if you have no symptoms. I do think it's important to know that it happens often enough to not be considered unusual. I wonder if any physician might have mentioned this to me and if they did, would I have worried or not? I wasn't worried about getting either in the first place . . .


crselby's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Oct 2009

I usually cruise the Breast Cancer board. My dx was 6/09, lumpectomy 7/09, brachytherapy radiation 9/09. Started Tamoxifen 11/09. Oncologist did not think uterine ultrasounds were needed but I did. Had one a year ago. PAP 6 months ago showed HPV for the first time in my life (been married for 34 years). PAP last week showed HPV and abnormal cells. Ultrasound last week showed thickening that, today, was seen as 2 polyps. Awaiting results of uterine wall scraping to see if it shows cancer.

I wanted to keep my breast to feel feminine and for the sexual stimulation. The DCIS was small and early-caught. Now I may have my uterus and cervix surgically removed and lose all the sexual gratification from orgasms because I took Tamoxifen for less than a year. My oncologist can go to he11 and suffer sexual frustration of his own if God is just!

Songflower's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

I had breast cancer 10 years ago and took tamoxifen for five years. I had a D and C and two negative polyps removed. I got serous uterine cancer and have had recurrance. They still say the protocal is no hysterectomy after tamoxifen. I would go in and tell them my uterus aches and my ovaries hurt until they removed them! A simple hysterectomy would certainly have saved me so much suffering. It should be up to us if we want to have a hysterectomy after tamoxifen.

Sexual gratification doesn't stop after hysterectomy, it may change a little but is still wonderful.


crselby's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Oct 2009

Diane, thank you for your post. I have questions I'd like to ask you. May I send you a Personal Message?

Posts: 62
Joined: Dec 2011

I had uterus cancer 9 weeks ago and now i had a lymsectomy for breast cancer. is your story somewhat like mine?

Posts: 52
Joined: Nov 2011

I TOTALLY agree with madhura, I had stage 1A aggressive uterine cancer...had a complete hysterectomy and am having 4 chemos and 3 internal radiation. Please get another oncologist who recommends treatment even if they think they got it all. I asked my dr. right away if there was evidence to support further treatment even if the cancer is 1A. He said YES OF COURSE. So even though I feel good 7 weeks post op, I am starting chemo Tuesday. If I didn't go ahead with it and I had a reaccurance somewhere else I would totally blame myself.

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