How common is it to have cancer three times?

cwb
cwb Member Posts: 2
A friend of mine has survived leukemia twice. She's been in remission for nearly 10 years. She was just told that they've found masses on her liver, lungs and uterus and has to have a biopsy done.

Is it possible that this could be something other than cancer? Are there long-term effects of treatment that could cause this? We're hoping and praying that it isn't cancer again. She's been through too much and it would be unspeakably unfair if she is diagnosed a third time.

I apologize for asking here, but I'm not sure where else I can ask and get an honest answer. I want to be prepared so I can be there as whatever support she needs.
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Comments

  • cathyp
    cathyp Member Posts: 376 Member
    3x's
    I'm hoping the best for your friend.

    Is it possible? Unfortunately yes...I had Hodgkins Lymphoma twice and Breast Cancer from the radiation. Currently, I'm awaiting surgery to remove an ovarian cyst and I have an elevated CA-125 level, removing the uterus too because of a poyp, ovarian cancer and /or uterine cancer?? Many survivors do get 2ndary cancers, or more, from treatment or totally unrelated causes.

    Again, best of luck to your friend

    Cathy
    HD 1989 - RADS
    HD 1994 - ABVD
    IDC, BC 2008 - DMX
  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
    long time friend had cancer
    long time friend had cancer and ok for many many years and got it back 2 more times...recently just died from it...she was about 80ish...so this was over about 25 yrs or so..
  • cwb
    cwb Member Posts: 2
    Good news! By some miracle,
    Good news! By some miracle, all the masses they found throughout her body are non-cancerous. Thank you for your support.
  • I have Had Cancer 4 Times
    Hello,
    I have had cancer 4 times over a 20 year time span. Stage 1 breast cancer 3 times and also Stage 2 ovarian cancer. I wondered if there were any other people out there like me. I am currently fine and not doing any treatment. Thank-You, Paula
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member

    I have Had Cancer 4 Times
    Hello,
    I have had cancer 4 times over a 20 year time span. Stage 1 breast cancer 3 times and also Stage 2 ovarian cancer. I wondered if there were any other people out there like me. I am currently fine and not doing any treatment. Thank-You, Paula

    Hi Paula
    That is remarkable that you has survived 4 times, I had NPC 3 times and I know I could not survive it again, it really takes its toll on your body. I am just at the 5 years mark from my last treatment and hope that it is gone for good.

    Take care
  • chelceyrose
    chelceyrose Member Posts: 6

    I have Had Cancer 4 Times
    Hello,
    I have had cancer 4 times over a 20 year time span. Stage 1 breast cancer 3 times and also Stage 2 ovarian cancer. I wondered if there were any other people out there like me. I am currently fine and not doing any treatment. Thank-You, Paula

    cancer x4
    Am very happy you have survived cancer for the 4th time. I am into the 3rd year of my x3 cancer survivor.

    1st time it was cervical with 19 tumors in uterus. Had hysterectomy but no chemo or radiation. That was in 1988. In 1999 was diagnosed with labia cancer - they removed my labia
    without requiring chemo or radiation. In Jan 2008 - was diagnosed with anal cancer. The tumor was 5 1/2 cm. Couldnt remove the tumor and this time had chemo - 2x 96 hour drip, and radiation - 30 sessions over 6 week period. Halfway thru radiation got radiation burn so bad treatment was postponed for 2 weeks and then resumed.

    There is still no sign of cancer, but the radiation has left a severe path of destruction. stenosis of the rectum, stenosis of the vagina, and a miriad of other symtoms. What they dont tell you is the radiation can continue to cause damage for up to 20 years. I have developed illnesses I never had:(ie: fibromyalgia, IBS, recurring pneumonia, asthma, etc.

    It is a constant battle to maintain some sort of normalcy - but I am alive. I cherish the life God has given me, but do on occasion get into that "why me" mentality.

    Keep the faith....prayers are with you.
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member

    cancer x4
    Am very happy you have survived cancer for the 4th time. I am into the 3rd year of my x3 cancer survivor.

    1st time it was cervical with 19 tumors in uterus. Had hysterectomy but no chemo or radiation. That was in 1988. In 1999 was diagnosed with labia cancer - they removed my labia
    without requiring chemo or radiation. In Jan 2008 - was diagnosed with anal cancer. The tumor was 5 1/2 cm. Couldnt remove the tumor and this time had chemo - 2x 96 hour drip, and radiation - 30 sessions over 6 week period. Halfway thru radiation got radiation burn so bad treatment was postponed for 2 weeks and then resumed.

    There is still no sign of cancer, but the radiation has left a severe path of destruction. stenosis of the rectum, stenosis of the vagina, and a miriad of other symtoms. What they dont tell you is the radiation can continue to cause damage for up to 20 years. I have developed illnesses I never had:(ie: fibromyalgia, IBS, recurring pneumonia, asthma, etc.

    It is a constant battle to maintain some sort of normalcy - but I am alive. I cherish the life God has given me, but do on occasion get into that "why me" mentality.

    Keep the faith....prayers are with you.

    Hi rose
    Sorry to hear of all the problems you are still having and you are so right as the side affects we get continue after the treatment stops for many years.

    Welcome here to CSN, I do hope you plan to stay

    God bless and keep you while in his workshop
    Hondo
  • pamjw
    pamjw Member Posts: 2

    I have Had Cancer 4 Times
    Hello,
    I have had cancer 4 times over a 20 year time span. Stage 1 breast cancer 3 times and also Stage 2 ovarian cancer. I wondered if there were any other people out there like me. I am currently fine and not doing any treatment. Thank-You, Paula

    Cancer 4x as well
    Hope you read this because I like you have had cancer 4 times. At 15 I had lymphoma, then breast cancer at 28 then the other breast at 36, and last year cervical. I have been looking for someone who has survived for a long time because it is different than shorter diagnoses. Had a pet scan and mri last month...thankfully everything looked good. Just dealing with skin cancer right now. Had some taken off today on my face...ouch! Hopefully we can figure out a way to talk about it.
  • Gypsy1021
    Gypsy1021 Member Posts: 5
    Multiple Cancers
    Hi, I've had 3 different types of cancer in 3 years:

    2008: Stage Ia endocervical adenocarcinoma; 25 external and 5 weeks of internal radiation.

    2010: breast cancer - invasive ductal carcinoma Stage I, and carcinoma-in-situ; mastectomy, 3/0 lymph nodes. 5 years of anastrozole/Arimidex;

    2011: Stage I basal cell carcinoma.. excision w/clean margins and no further tretment.

    I thought this was unusual... I guess not!
  • wendyleigh27
    wendyleigh27 Member Posts: 14
    Gypsy1021 said:

    Multiple Cancers
    Hi, I've had 3 different types of cancer in 3 years:

    2008: Stage Ia endocervical adenocarcinoma; 25 external and 5 weeks of internal radiation.

    2010: breast cancer - invasive ductal carcinoma Stage I, and carcinoma-in-situ; mastectomy, 3/0 lymph nodes. 5 years of anastrozole/Arimidex;

    2011: Stage I basal cell carcinoma.. excision w/clean margins and no further tretment.

    I thought this was unusual... I guess not!

    Hang in there
    Also didnt know there were others- Did you receive Total Body Radiation??

    Due to TBI for my Bone Marrow Transplant in May, 1985

    Leukemia ALL in Sept, 83 relapsed

    then cardiomyopathy - 1988

    then 2001 Hep C due to blood transfusion (they didnt check the blood before 1988)- now in remission

    then 2008 thyroid cancer follicular - RAI treatment - meds doing goof

    then March, 2011 - salivary gland cancer - successful surgery but due to my background doing radiation - head and neck radiation is the worse - 4 more weeks to go!!


    seems like God only gives us so much to handle .... he can go to someone else now

    Best Wishes
  • cathyp
    cathyp Member Posts: 376 Member

    Hang in there
    Also didnt know there were others- Did you receive Total Body Radiation??

    Due to TBI for my Bone Marrow Transplant in May, 1985

    Leukemia ALL in Sept, 83 relapsed

    then cardiomyopathy - 1988

    then 2001 Hep C due to blood transfusion (they didnt check the blood before 1988)- now in remission

    then 2008 thyroid cancer follicular - RAI treatment - meds doing goof

    then March, 2011 - salivary gland cancer - successful surgery but due to my background doing radiation - head and neck radiation is the worse - 4 more weeks to go!!


    seems like God only gives us so much to handle .... he can go to someone else now

    Best Wishes

    Best wishes to you on your
    Best wishes to you on your latest challenge.
    Do you mind me asking, what were your symptoms for the salivary gland cancer?
    Thanks,
    Cathy
  • wendyleigh27
    wendyleigh27 Member Posts: 14
    pamjw said:

    Cancer 4x as well
    Hope you read this because I like you have had cancer 4 times. At 15 I had lymphoma, then breast cancer at 28 then the other breast at 36, and last year cervical. I have been looking for someone who has survived for a long time because it is different than shorter diagnoses. Had a pet scan and mri last month...thankfully everything looked good. Just dealing with skin cancer right now. Had some taken off today on my face...ouch! Hopefully we can figure out a way to talk about it.

    Cancer 4 x times due to radiation
    Hi Pam-

    For all you have gone thru you sound like me keeping a good attitude

    I also had cancer when i was a teenager - Leukemia (ALL) when I was 16 in 1983 then due to relapse had a bone marrow transplant in 1985 (my deceased brother was a perfect match - had Total Body radiation then - did you have TBI??

    Had heart issues due to adriamycin in 1988 - fine now

    then 2008 due to radiaition I got thyroid cancer - had thyroid surgery and RAI treatment and then on meds - pretty lucky and hate to say an wimpy cancer

    then this year got Salivary gland cancer again from TBradaition - no lymph nodes affected but due to my lucky background currently half way done with head/neck radiaiton treatment


    and oh my lets not go into the skin cancers (mostly basil cells) i have at least 40 on my legs and arms since 2000 - again this is a side efffect from radiation.... have skin checks every 4 months and am thanful when it is just a few basil cells - mostly treat them myself with Aldara cream but yes some she has biopsy only had one on my face and had Moh's surgery years ago -

    each af my many scars have a story ???? sound similar??? would love to hear more from you

    I sure god spares me from breast and lung cancer (another side effect that can happen)

    we both had enough!! But I am thankful I am alive!!!

    Regards, Wendy
  • wendyleigh27
    wendyleigh27 Member Posts: 14
    cathyp said:

    Best wishes to you on your
    Best wishes to you on your latest challenge.
    Do you mind me asking, what were your symptoms for the salivary gland cancer?
    Thanks,
    Cathy

    symptoms of salivary gland
    Hi Cathy-

    No problem asking any questions it helps- Well about 2 years ago a lymoh node under my chin seemed to pop in and out but it seemed to be everytime I had a sinus infection so ignored it and chalked it up to sinsus issues

    then last October it stayed out and seemed a little larger - so while at the dentist he said due to my background and prior radiation I should see a oral surgeon in his office ..who sent me to his ENT

    so no real symptoms except for the enlarged lymph node - guess for us - enlarged lymph nodes are not good mist of the time

    Take care Cathy
  • cathyp
    cathyp Member Posts: 376 Member

    symptoms of salivary gland
    Hi Cathy-

    No problem asking any questions it helps- Well about 2 years ago a lymoh node under my chin seemed to pop in and out but it seemed to be everytime I had a sinus infection so ignored it and chalked it up to sinsus issues

    then last October it stayed out and seemed a little larger - so while at the dentist he said due to my background and prior radiation I should see a oral surgeon in his office ..who sent me to his ENT

    so no real symptoms except for the enlarged lymph node - guess for us - enlarged lymph nodes are not good mist of the time

    Take care Cathy

    thanks Wendy!
    Comparing

    thanks Wendy!

    Comparing notes is very helpful for me! I have burning mouth syndrome, that's whyI asked. Not sure if it is from GERD, surgically induced menopause and/or stress. The last few weeks I'm feeling a twinge under my tongue. Just trying to stay on top of all the possible long term effects from our treatments.
    Cathy
    HD 1989 - RADS
    HD 1994 - ABVD
    IDC 2008 - DB MX
  • Double Whammy
    Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832
    cathyp said:

    thanks Wendy!
    Comparing

    thanks Wendy!

    Comparing notes is very helpful for me! I have burning mouth syndrome, that's whyI asked. Not sure if it is from GERD, surgically induced menopause and/or stress. The last few weeks I'm feeling a twinge under my tongue. Just trying to stay on top of all the possible long term effects from our treatments.
    Cathy
    HD 1989 - RADS
    HD 1994 - ABVD
    IDC 2008 - DB MX

    Just 2
    But at the same time, diagnosed 4 days apart in April 2010. Breast cancer and endometrial cancer, both early stage, low grade. Scared the you-know-what out of me. I've been told I'm at a higher risk for other cancers. Unfortunately, I think this is common.

    Suzanne
  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member

    Just 2
    But at the same time, diagnosed 4 days apart in April 2010. Breast cancer and endometrial cancer, both early stage, low grade. Scared the you-know-what out of me. I've been told I'm at a higher risk for other cancers. Unfortunately, I think this is common.

    Suzanne

    3rd & 4th timers
    Wow sure seems like a lot of us here who have fought this fight more than once and are still here to tell about it.

    Life is still good even after many treatments
    Hondo
  • ellenm4
    ellenm4 Member Posts: 124
    Gypsy1021 said:

    Multiple Cancers
    Hi, I've had 3 different types of cancer in 3 years:

    2008: Stage Ia endocervical adenocarcinoma; 25 external and 5 weeks of internal radiation.

    2010: breast cancer - invasive ductal carcinoma Stage I, and carcinoma-in-situ; mastectomy, 3/0 lymph nodes. 5 years of anastrozole/Arimidex;

    2011: Stage I basal cell carcinoma.. excision w/clean margins and no further tretment.

    I thought this was unusual... I guess not!

    wow
    Reading everyones post about having cancer more than once or even twice stuns me. Breast cancer stage 2b 2008 and now lung cancer stage 2 2011. I pray everyday that this will be the last I have to battle. Now reading all the post, I think I will step it up on the praying. I do pray that all recover and that none of us will ever have to battle this again!
  • ellenm4 said:

    wow
    Reading everyones post about having cancer more than once or even twice stuns me. Breast cancer stage 2b 2008 and now lung cancer stage 2 2011. I pray everyday that this will be the last I have to battle. Now reading all the post, I think I will step it up on the praying. I do pray that all recover and that none of us will ever have to battle this again!

    More than one primary cancer
    Several members of my family have had two different primary cancers; my sister has had three primaries, all early stage and treated only with surgery (renal cell carcinoma dx 1995, papillary thyroid cancer, dx 2004 and non-small cell lung cancer, dx 2004. She is now cancer free and has never had a relapse of any of her cancers. However, this year, when her doctor scheduled annual follow-up CT scans, her insurance company refused to pay for them. We have genetic cancers in our family, and are in the process of appealing.

    I have read that 10% of cancer survivors have a second primary, and 0.01% of allsurvivors have three primaries.
  • Nerina
    Nerina Member Posts: 8
    I've had cancer twice....
    In 1996 (2 years after my daughter was born) I had AML which i had intensive chemo for, at that time I wasn't given a high long term survival rate and now in 2011 I had Ovarian cancer...had the Operation and 6 months of chemo. I must admit its taken it out of me this time and struggling to get back to "normal".... plus a marriage break up in that time so I feel like I've been dragged thru it all...and feel so old most of the time. I'm 46 and sometimes feel my life is just a shadow of what I'd hope for.
    ahh well there must be a reason I'm still here so I keep on keeping on
    Blessed be
    nerina
  • dreaming
    dreaming Member Posts: 19 Member
    Second cancer
    I was diagnosed with breast cancer Stage I Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma and tubular Type carcinoma, both diferent cancers 20 years , had a mastectomy and chemo. I count them as one,even they were in diferent parts of the breast.
    In January I had polyps removed from my ovaries,my CA 125 was low; the week after I had Mohs surgery for Basal Cell Carcinoma on my face. I do not tan,or stay outdoors,I am a bookworm that likes indoors, neither I am a natural blond.
    Had 2 biopsies in my arm and chest wall for breast about 11 years ago, both negative.
    I was more freaked out by my last surgery, maybe because my large scar is on my face.
    My oncologist tells me I have a low inmune system.