I've had 3 cancers: Thyroid cancer, Lung Cancer and Breast Cancer

Posted by remi @remi, Nov 30, 2019

Why does it seem once you get one of these cancers thyroid cancer, lung cancer or breast cancer you all 3? I have had all 3 it started with the thyroid then the lung and next breast. The online lung cancer support group I follow it seems like a large amount of them have also had all three. But yet most drs say it’s not related and my drs don’t have an answer, I’m very curious

Liked by Dee, monroeed

This is interesting about having three cancers and other people having the same. I have had bilateral breast cancer… 11 years apart…I had DCIS the first time and IDC the second time. Both are ductal cancer. Is it common to get ductal cancer in both breasts? Is it common to get lobular cancer in both breasts? Which of these particular things occur most often? I have friends that I’ve had ductal cancer and then years later had it again in the other breast. Is this common? I can’t seem to find any statistics on it on the computer. I was just at a surgeons who said that lobular cancer is more prevalent and is more dangerous. I wish everyone was on the same page. Maybe the difference is that she is a surgeon and not an oncologist? I just think these people should not be spouting off information that might not necessarily be accurate.

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@sandyjr

This is interesting about having three cancers and other people having the same. I have had bilateral breast cancer… 11 years apart…I had DCIS the first time and IDC the second time. Both are ductal cancer. Is it common to get ductal cancer in both breasts? Is it common to get lobular cancer in both breasts? Which of these particular things occur most often? I have friends that I’ve had ductal cancer and then years later had it again in the other breast. Is this common? I can’t seem to find any statistics on it on the computer. I was just at a surgeons who said that lobular cancer is more prevalent and is more dangerous. I wish everyone was on the same page. Maybe the difference is that she is a surgeon and not an oncologist? I just think these people should not be spouting off information that might not necessarily be accurate.

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@sandyjr– Good morning and Merry Christmas. I agree that the medical field is far from perfect and that it is very confusing when one of your team says something that doesn't make sense to you. Cancer is so complex and what might be true for one individual might not be true with the same cancer in someone else. Both my radiologist, surgeon and oncologist have always consulted with one another for the best care that they can give me. But one of them might have a differing opinion on a matter not connected to my care. If you do not have faith in yours then you might want to look for another. Have you considered asking your surgeon or another on your team for a more thorough explanation or give you resources to look into?
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352470
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/invasive-lobular-carcinoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20373973

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Your physicians need to communicate among themselves to provide a coherent and consistent message to you. My boyfriend, with the potential three cancers (kidney, pancreas and lung) has MDs who are collaborating and reviewing my boyfriend’s medical status as a team, which includes the surgeon, radiologist, oncologist as well as the urologist. You need a team that can provide you with a clear and consistent message. Hearing

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@monroeed

Your physicians need to communicate among themselves to provide a coherent and consistent message to you. My boyfriend, with the potential three cancers (kidney, pancreas and lung) has MDs who are collaborating and reviewing my boyfriend’s medical status as a team, which includes the surgeon, radiologist, oncologist as well as the urologist. You need a team that can provide you with a clear and consistent message. Hearing

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that you have cancer is stressful. However, the information needs to be clearly given to you to reduce the stressors related to any ambiguous information provided to you.

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@remi

Hi I’m not one of the mentors but I myself have been through three different cancers. The best thing my husband did for me was to be himself, be there for me and go to all my surgeries, appointments, scans with me because there is such a thing as scan-anxiety (you go anxious prior to and while waiting for the results) , scared they will find more especially when you’ve had more than one cancer. Don’t push him to talk about things, let him at his pace. I had a very hard time talking to my husband and closest people to me at first, I also lost my mother, father, brother, uncle and aunt to the monster and have a cousin who has been fighting it since childhood. We’re a big pretty close family my cousin and I are really close and do talk about all this stuff, more than we talk to our spouses about. I do talk to my husband but it a thing like some things in the military if you’re not there and it’s not happening to you, one doesn’t truly know. And it’s not to take away the care or love one gives their parters (my husband is the best in the world and I can tell you are too) it’s just talking to that person who has been there helps reassure you that you can win the battle and beat the monster, because they are proof. My husband also got online researched everything, so when we went to the drs if I missed something he had my back, he looked up all my meds…because I’m allergic to a few things, he is very active in my health issues. I hope this helps you, have a very Merry Christmas

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Dear Remi,
Thank you for your kind and gracious reply; it is so appreciated. Wishing you and your family the best for the Holidays !
Monroe

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@merpreb

@monroeed– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It sounds like your boyfriend is doing well despite his discouraging news.I know just what you mean, not knowing what to say. Even after 22 years with lung cancer I still get a bit nervous when someone tells me that they have cancer (s). The most important thing is to be honest. One of the things that angered me a lot was when people would tell me that I was tough and this would be nothing for me; God will see you through this; my friend's cousin had the same thing and she didn't make it; there's a special cancer diet, There are good foods for you and those are the best. There really isn't any special diet.
Science based facts are necessary for me so that my hopes don't get high and then those facts turn out to be false.
He might be very confused, not knowing how is he going to get through all of this. Make sure that you reassure him that he isn't alone. You must love him a great deal to search for help. Ask him what he wants for conversations. And if he doesn't want to talk sometimes let him have his time. I feel that it's more important to learn what not to say than there is to say because your intimacy with this man will help guide you.
Last year I began a blog about my experience because I was so overwhelmed with having cancer. I needed an outlet! I hope that he will read this, and you. I deal with a lot of your questions.
https://my20yearscancer.com/
Here are some more links to help.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-survivor/art-20045378
https://www.cancercare.org/blog/cancer-i-care-i-weighs-in-what-not-to-say-to-someone-who-has-cancer
Here is another link: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/kidney-conditions/

Please feel free to ask me anything. I will try and help guide you. There are many many conversations on Connect and reading those will help. Do you think that your boyfriend would be interested in joining Connect?
How have you helped him through his other cancers?

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Dear Merry,
Thanks so much for your helpful response. All three of the cancers are new since the end of June of this year. The first sign was blood in his urine, which was followed by the removal of his kidney; surgery for the pancreatic lesion will be in January. The kidney and the pancreatic cancers are not the same. The lung biopsy is now scheduled to verify the status of the lung nodules. Fortunately, his physicians collaborate and review his care as a team and I feel he is receiving excellent care.

It’s easy for me to be quiet and just listen, but sometimes he likes to be distracted by the conversation of others. Being a consummate talker is hard for me, I’m not a big talker. He says things like he feels like a bomb is inside of him. I tell him that it makes sense he’d feel that way, because I’m sure I’d feel the same. I don’t know what I would do in his shoes. He also said he’s tired of talking about cancer things, explaining test results especially. I tell him he can talk or not talk about whatever he wants, but that I’ll support him the best I can.

Your good words have really been a wonderful guide and support and I can’t thank you enough. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday and a healthy New Year !

Monroe

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@monroeed

Dear Merry,
Thanks so much for your helpful response. All three of the cancers are new since the end of June of this year. The first sign was blood in his urine, which was followed by the removal of his kidney; surgery for the pancreatic lesion will be in January. The kidney and the pancreatic cancers are not the same. The lung biopsy is now scheduled to verify the status of the lung nodules. Fortunately, his physicians collaborate and review his care as a team and I feel he is receiving excellent care.

It’s easy for me to be quiet and just listen, but sometimes he likes to be distracted by the conversation of others. Being a consummate talker is hard for me, I’m not a big talker. He says things like he feels like a bomb is inside of him. I tell him that it makes sense he’d feel that way, because I’m sure I’d feel the same. I don’t know what I would do in his shoes. He also said he’s tired of talking about cancer things, explaining test results especially. I tell him he can talk or not talk about whatever he wants, but that I’ll support him the best I can.

Your good words have really been a wonderful guide and support and I can’t thank you enough. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday and a healthy New Year !

Monroe

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@monroeed– Good morning Monroe. What a neat name! Is it a family name? I felt the same about my cancer that your boyfriend felt- I hated having to explain, over and over about my cancer. I had my son bring every one up to date with emails, explaining that emails were easier. Your boyfriend would really benefit from the support on Connect. The information that you can give him is one thing but for him to read comments with people who have the same cancers is another. You are saying exactly the correct things.
Your boyfriend has been hit with a sledge hammer of medical news. I agree with you that I don't know what I would do in his shoes, or anyone else's shoes with three cancers. It's like there's someone holding the hammer and constantly swing it at him. He also is in a waiting mode for more info about his lungs and removal of the lesion on his pancreas.
This is a link for my blog about my lung cancer journey. It might help him: https://my20yearscancer.com/
Take care and please keep us updated on his condition or bring him on board! Have you asked him to?
You are most kind!

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Dear Merry,
Thanks for your kind response. I agree that it would be helpful to have my boyfriend sign up with connect. However, that being said, I think it may be premature for him to consider; hopefully it will be something for him to consider in the future. Currently, everything, down to the smallest minutia seems to overwhelm and irritate him; I proceed cautiously and take my cues from him. If he wants to talk I try to make sure my listening antenna are fully tuned in to validate his frustration and worries.
I’m at the hospital with him today while they do the lung biopsies. I am grateful for his team of medical providers, their rapid response and the generous support provided by yourself through Connect. I will keep you posted.

Monroe

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@monroeed

Dear Merry,
Thanks for your kind response. I agree that it would be helpful to have my boyfriend sign up with connect. However, that being said, I think it may be premature for him to consider; hopefully it will be something for him to consider in the future. Currently, everything, down to the smallest minutia seems to overwhelm and irritate him; I proceed cautiously and take my cues from him. If he wants to talk I try to make sure my listening antenna are fully tuned in to validate his frustration and worries.
I’m at the hospital with him today while they do the lung biopsies. I am grateful for his team of medical providers, their rapid response and the generous support provided by yourself through Connect. I will keep you posted.

Monroe

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I am praying for you and your boyfriend. Cancer can be scary. I pray that the biopsy is negative. I have had five cancer surgeries since 2012. I lost a lung but that does nor define me. Cancer is what I have, not who I am. You are doing a great job being supportive. Be sure you take care of yourself as well. You need to let off the emotions in a positive way. It can wear you down, so be sure to be kind to yourself. Have a healthy outlet to diffuse the emotional roller coaster that you are on.
You sound like a wonderful, caring person.
I try to not talk about my cancer unless someone asks me as I am more than cancer.
Keep him actively engaged in his friends, family, and activities that he enjoys.
My life is not diminished because I only have one lung. Life is a gift and something to be celebrated each day.
I will keep you both in my prayers. 💕

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@monroeed

Dear Merry,
Thanks for your kind response. I agree that it would be helpful to have my boyfriend sign up with connect. However, that being said, I think it may be premature for him to consider; hopefully it will be something for him to consider in the future. Currently, everything, down to the smallest minutia seems to overwhelm and irritate him; I proceed cautiously and take my cues from him. If he wants to talk I try to make sure my listening antenna are fully tuned in to validate his frustration and worries.
I’m at the hospital with him today while they do the lung biopsies. I am grateful for his team of medical providers, their rapid response and the generous support provided by yourself through Connect. I will keep you posted.

Monroe

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Hi @monroeed, I'm just catching up with this discussion and have a few more areas of Connect that you may also be interested in exploring and connecting.

1. The Caregiver group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/
2. How can I be a supportive caregiver? HPV Squamous Cell Carcinoma https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/diagnosis-and-discussions/ In this older discussion @chapmanswife, like you, is supporting her partner. Fellow members gave her fabulous tips about caregiving, how she can be supportive, useful and also to feel less lost and scared.

Monroe, it's been a few days since you posted. Did you find out anything new from the lung biopsies? How are you both doing?

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I understand your thought here. All I read tells me that when cancer appears in a different location in our body it is s metastasis
However my doctors say no. The 2 types of cancer and the Follicator lymphoma (in thyroid) is not related to anything except to the environmental exposures. So if anyone has an option I would live them to share.

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@nobody

I understand your thought here. All I read tells me that when cancer appears in a different location in our body it is s metastasis
However my doctors say no. The 2 types of cancer and the Follicator lymphoma (in thyroid) is not related to anything except to the environmental exposures. So if anyone has an option I would live them to share.

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@nobody– This is a very, very confusing topic. It's like who came first the chicken or the egg. There are very conflicting views, as you know, about this phenomena concerning multiple cancers at the same time. I have sent a question about this to one of my doctors and let's see what he has to say! I'm working on it!

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@colleenyoung

Hi @monroeed, I'm just catching up with this discussion and have a few more areas of Connect that you may also be interested in exploring and connecting.

1. The Caregiver group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/
2. How can I be a supportive caregiver? HPV Squamous Cell Carcinoma https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/diagnosis-and-discussions/ In this older discussion @chapmanswife, like you, is supporting her partner. Fellow members gave her fabulous tips about caregiving, how she can be supportive, useful and also to feel less lost and scared.

Monroe, it's been a few days since you posted. Did you find out anything new from the lung biopsies? How are you both doing?

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Thanks for asking, no, nothing new except maybe a bit overwhelmed. He had surgery last week. They removed 1/2 the pancreas plus spleen and came home Saturday. He just wanted to rest but his mother died suddenly the next day which involved some minor travel. He’s now staying with family for the time being. My support is limited since I have to work full time; I do what I can. The pathology results from last week’s surgery will be reviewed on Thursday. He’s nervous about this meeting since his experience, to date, has been a series of bad news. He’s understandably irritable and depressed but intermittently lashes out at me. I’d be really interested in the medical perspective regarding multiple and almost simultaneous cancers. My understanding is that my partner’s kidney and pancreatic cancer were not the same cancer, whereas the lung biopsy results were the same (stage IV) type of cancer as the kidney cancer. Retreading this, it’s quite a discouraging conundrum of medical mountains.

Thanks everyone for your concern and support 🙏.
Monroe

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I've also had multiple cancers, and not related to each other. Melanoma. Angiosarcoma, and a GIST. Also, and within a short time span, a large number of pre-cancer tumors which were surgically removed. That was a few years ago. Presently, I am having numerous skin cancers.
My doctors were not at all amazed or surprised, or even worried! But then, I had the bad luck of going to a very large teaching hospital where patient care was secondary and quite poor. Nevertheless, I managed to recover.
I do have a friend who is a cancer researcher in a cancer research facility; when I told him my history, he was sure it was no doubt a gene which gave me the pre-disposition for multiple cancers. He is interesting in testing, which is a lot more than my former doctors!

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