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Treatment of Ovarian and Breast Cancer at same time

I am nearing the end of my first projected remission from Stage 3 ovarian cancer.  Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I am looking for advice or cautions about how to deal with both at the same time.  I have been told I need to have surgery, chemo and radiation for the breast cancer and that it is curable.  However, I am worried that if the ovarian cancer comes back I will be too weak from the breast cancer treatment to be able to deal with the second bout of ovarian cancer in a timely manner.  Suggestions welcome.


  • @jmbarrhaven
     I am so sorry to hear of another diagnosis of cancer for you. How heartbreaking it must have been to receive that news. How are you doing with the information?
    What is your team saying about the diagnosis and future treatment protocol?  I have seen when doing some research that some treatments between the two overlap. Why, for what types, etc, I don't remember but I am sure your team will know.  I would also like to think that they would not overburden your system but that is a question to bring up when you discuss things with them.  A very valid one in fact.  I would also ask if the treatment you would receive for breast cancer have an efficacy on any ovarian tumours that may pop up as well.  This may all be individual but write down your questions as they pop to mind and if you find out the answers in the meantime, great and if not, ask away and get your boots filled!
    I wish you well and let us know what you find out.
  • Last week I had a bilateral lumpectomy to remove suspected pre-cancerous cells.  Awaiting the pathologist's report. Fingers crossed.
    I keep a journal of my symptoms with questions to ask my doctors.  I see two oncologists, one for ovarian cancer and the other breast cancer, plus a nephrologist.  Then there's the psychiatrist.  You should see my calendar.  
  • @Jam
      Your calendar does sound full.  Do you mind me asking what you see the nephrologist for?  I have seen a Urologist and currently we monitor my kidney function with blood tests monthly.  My right has severe hydroureteronephrosis and the left is mild to moderate. So we wait until it declines to do a nephrostomy.  
      I will keep my fingers crossed for you both that the results are what you want them to be and that they return fairly quickly for you to lessen the anxiety for that as well.  
      It is a good thing to keep a journal of symptoms and questions as it does help immensely.  I know for myself that I tend to forget things or things aren't as clear and quick to come to memory anymore so it helps when I can refer back. 
      How are you feeling overall from your lumpectomy?
  • I won't be on today's peer group call because I'm seeing my breast oncologist with a possible infection from last week's bilateral lumpectomy.  With regards to my kidneys, my creatine level is high and I've lost 20% of kidney function.  I am being monitored by an oncology nephrologist who is a member of my cancer care team.  I've been through the wringer this year, one surgeon's assessment, due to complications in my treatment.  My care team includes a psychiatrist who keeps me grounded and positive, along with my husband.  Both peel me off the ceiling when I am experiencing extreme anxiety.

  • @Jam
      Thank you for sharing.  I don't get answers as to kidney function levels.  What I wrote above is all I know about them.  So from past conversations we are assuming my right one is not functioning at all and the left one is doing all the work but they truly have no idea.  They all know I don't want a nephrostomy unless I absolutely need it so here we sit.
      Sorry you can't join us today but we will be thinking of you while you are at your appt.  When you are ready, send us an update and let us know.  Everyone needs time to process things before sharing. 
      Glad you have a good support team in place and anxiety gets the best of us!
  • @Jam sorry ro be so late acknowledging your post above.  As you may or may not know my kidneys have sent me skyrocketing in to hospital twice since the new year so I'm only now playing catch up.

    I hope they are bringing your kidneys in line with normal functioning.  I'm glad to hear you're being oversighted by a nephrologist, as I have been.  The kidneys are pretty sensitive organs but from what I've experienced respond well to treatment.  For me my creatinine level has gone as high as 450 overnight (acute failure) and my GFR as low as 10 but now having been investigated for cause (a strep infection after Christmas) and given appropriate treatment (that took a bit of trial and error) we've landed on improving function and considering a 140ish creatinine about as good as I can expect but allows me to go ahead with treatment.  I hope you are as fortunate as I have been in getting this under control.

    As for the outcome from the lumpectomy I do hope it wasn't an infection or if so they can bring that under control quickly.  I do know how you feel needing to be peeled off the ceiling....some times it's just one thing after another and the accumulation of issues just seems to make each one feel even worse than it is.  Try to compartmentalized each one, take a deep breath, a deal with it as needed.  In time each may seem a little less daunting than trying to address them all collectively.

    Please keep us posted.  Join our Thursday chats when you can and I'll be thinking of you and hoping for a speedy and positive outcome to all your issues  <3