• More....I was diagnosed with breast cancer n 4/12/12,1st lumpectomy on 5/22/12; 23 rounds of chemo (no vomit, fever, neuropathy)9/512 mastec

    Asked by liebemutter on Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    More....I was diagnosed with breast cancer n 4/12/12,1st lumpectomy on 5/22/12; 23 rounds of chemo (no vomit, fever, neuropathy)9/512 mastec

    AFterwards, chief Surgeon said I'm "cancer-free". I am kind of confused as to whether I am "cancer-free" or "cancer in remission". Are they the same or are they different. Anyone please kindly enlighten me as I am wondering whether I should expect a recurrece of the disease sometime down the road? According to my journey, going thru cancer treatment without any emotional support is very difficult. It was easier when I am 67 and when I get older (if I do not die and it recurs 10 yrs after now, it would be more devastating!). I would greatly appreciate if anyone could enlighten me with an answersuch that I could conjecture how bad it could be---i.e. if it recurs I won't be caught stunned!!! Tks, Liebemutter

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Peroll's Avatar

      For all practical purposes "cancer free" and "remission" are the same thing. A 1 mm tumor has about a billion cells in it and a tumor has to be 4 to 5 mm to be detected in most cases so it is difficult to say that anyone is"cancer free" and truly be sure. From your journey I assume that your cancer was detected fairly early and has not spread past the one breast. This means that the likelyhood of a reoccurance is smaller.

      Your challange now is to go from an active fight to the more passive monitoring mode where you get check-ups and scans regularly to make sure it has not comback. In xome cases this is at least as hard as the active fight as you sort of just sit and fait for results. The best thing you can do is to resume your normal life and do you best to not think about the cancer.

      Congratulations and good luck!!!

      almost 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      My oncologist uses the term NED (no evidence of disease)....but that is only for the present....no guarantees as to whether the cancer will return or not....Every day that I'm NED is one more day that I have beat the beast!!!! I had a bilat mastectomy, chemo, rads, ooph and AI's.....Live life the best that you can....whether you use the term "cancer-free", "remission" or "NED"...it all describes how you are doing at the point in time....not what the future holds...Don't life life expecting that the caner will recur sometime down the road....you didn't live like that before BC, so no reason to live like that after BC....Enjoy today as best you can.....

      almost 8 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I had lumpectomy and rads the first time I had breast cancer in 2003 and was crushed to find I had breast cancer again this past August. Apparently, it is "common" (my onc's term) to get cancer 2x within 9 years. And twice bitten, about 50x shyer--but I refuse to sit around and wait for cancer to get me again and kill me! Whatever time I may have, cancer free, I will try to take advantage of opportunities offered me and live the life I want to pursue with gusto! (And I just turned 60~)

      almost 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      There just is no way to answer your question with any degree of certainty. Anyone can get a recurrence at any time, and some never do. If it does recur and how bad it is also varies. There is just no way to predict that.

      almost 8 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      At my last appointment, I asked my Oncologist what I was -- "in remission?", "cancer free?'' or what? She used the term "cancer free" -- words that I loved hearing -- words that I use to live each day to the fullest. However, I am fully aware that I have about a 20% chance of reoccurance -- but that is an 80% chance of not. I would say that you should enjoy your "good news" and not worry about tomorrow -- after all, you could get hit by a car before the cancer ever comes back. I wish you the best.

      almost 8 years ago

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