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posted by Margherita
15 October 2023

Looking for other spouses/carers to relate to about the experience.

Hi, I am a 39 year old woman, with a 5 year old daughter and a husband in his early 40s who is currently in chemotherapy for secondary cancer. He first had cancer 5/6 years ago, and the outcome of his surgery and chemotherapy then was very positive. Unfortunately, it's come back quite aggressively in multiple sites, and we've had an exhausting time since his first symptoms last December. I have access to therapy, a good and caring gp, and a supportive family. But I find myself most often craving a conversation with another person whose spouse is in a similar position, or another cancer patient with a young family, or just anyone who can relate to where we are right now. Family and friends mean so well but they don't really know what to say, and that gets tiring to engage with. I'm surprised to discover there are a lot of support groups for patients, but none for carers, that I can find. The cancer support centre in my county has counselling but that's not what I want. I don't need any more sympathy, I need to relate. As I'm sure plenty of people already know, the Facebook groups can be helpful for info but also full of weirdos with juice recipes to cure cancer. Anyone else out there feeling the same way?
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posted by Cancer Nurse
13 October 2023

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer October 13th 2023 is Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Metastatic breast cancer is when breast cancer cells have spread to another part of your body. This is also described as advanced breast cancer, secondary breast cancer or stage 4 breast cancer. With long term treatment many people with metastatic breast cancer will have a good quality of life while continuing treatment for many years. Even though your cancer cannot be cured treatments may be offered to prevent the cancer from worsening. Living with a long-term disease and treatment can be challenging at times. Each person will have different needs and challenges. It is important for people to be aware of how their cancer is impacting them and seek support when needed. It can be helpful to spend a little extra time looking after yourself. Eating well and trying to maintain a healthy weight can help you feel better. When you feel able, a balanced diet including a variety of food to provide nutrients is best. A balanced diet can improve your energy and strength, can help you tolerate the dose of some drugs given, and can help people cope better with the side effects of treatment. Our Diet and Cancer book offers more helpful information: Understanding Series ( Exercise offers many physical benefits such as increased energy levels and improved fitness. Regular light exercise can also help manage side effects of cancer treatment such as fatigue, pain, nausea, anxiety and stress. As the impact of metastatic breast cancer can be different for each person, the types of exercise and the frequency may differ. Chat to your team about what may be best suited for you. A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis can impact us emotionally. Some find that talking with family and friends about their emotions can be helpful. Others may find that talking with someone such as a health professional or a trained counsellor may help. You can speak with one of the cancer nurses on our Support Line at any stage. We can also refer you to our counselling service if you would like to speak with a counsellor. If you would like to speak to a cancer nurse or to get advice or support you can call our Support Line on 1800 200 700, Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm.
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posted by Gem
12 October 2023

Scared While Waiting For Mammogram

Last reply: 04 November 2023 12:04
Hi, I'm nervous posting here. For the past two months my life has been turned on it's head. My gynae referred me for a hysteroscopy due to a thick endometrium. It turns out I have a polyp which will be biopsied and removed. Ok I thought, that's that sorted. Then I received some information about my biological mother's family. My great grandmother, 2 great aunts, and 1 aunt all had breast cancer. So I had a breast exam on Monday. One area of my left breast was quite sore when doctor was pressing. She said that it was "lumpy" but was quick to add not a lump, and told me she isn't worried and I shouldn't worry. I know young women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and who lost their lives to it. I'm 41. 3 years ago I had a mammogram because of tingling sort of pain. Outcome was mastalgia. I'm also newly diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and am taking Eltroxin. I'm very scared. I have a history of health anxiety so all of this is my worst nightmare come true 😥 Thank you for reading.
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posted by bradleyg1952
08 October 2023

Prostrate Cancer - Lu 177 PSMA Treatment

Last reply: 08 October 2023 20:25
Has anyone explored the Lu 177 PSMA treatment ? I understand only 3 on trials in the Mater Private. Royal Marsdon in Surrey on hospital in the UK offering it. FDA approved in 2022 But originated in Germany about 8-10 years ago, and is now available in 50 - 70 hospitals in Germany. I have stage 4 metastatic prostrate cancer and am half way through my 39 radiotherapy sessions and am interested in exploring what options are available afterwards to contain / beat my cancer. I’d really love to hear from someone who may be interested in exploring this option or any other constructive options for this journey. Gearoid B 08.10.23
1 comment
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posted by Cancer Nurse
06 October 2023

Remember that Breast Cancer can affect men too!

This October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While breast cancer mainly affects women, approximately 30 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Ireland. Men have a small amount of breast tissue behind the nipples where cancer can develop. The exact cause of breast cancer in men is unknown but there are some factors that may increase your risk. Breast cancer risk increases with age and most commonly affects men over 60 years of age, however it is important to get checked out at any age if you are concerned about symptoms. Other risk factors include obesity, high oestrogen levels due to other medical conditions, previous radiation to the chest, and a family history or genetic link. As the incidence of breast cancer in men is rare, most men with these risk factors will never develop it. The most common symptom of breast cancer in men is a painless lump in the breast under the nipple. Other symptoms of breast cancer in men and women can include an inverted nipple (nipple turning in), nipple discharge (often blood stained), changes in size or shape of the breast, rash around the nipple area, skin ulceration on the breast, or swelling under the arm. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned or are concerned about any changes to your chest area, you should see your GP to get checked out. Most changes are not breast cancer but the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated the better. Our website has information on male breast cancer here including information on diagnosis, treatment and supports available. If you would like to speak to a cancer nurse regarding any of this or to get advice or support you can call our Support Line on 1800 200 700, Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm.
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posted by Ned707
29 September 2023

Private Triple assessment

Last reply: 08 November 2023 17:08
Hi all, Has anyone been for a private triple assessment and then went back to the public clinic afterwards? South east area but would fly to the moon… Also how much would it cost in total including seeing consultant for results etc I am 59 days waiting publicly on an urgent mammogram and ultrasound. I have been told there’s no available dates on the system yet and I will be informed when there is. I don’t feel I will be able to relax unless I have a biopsy. after going through this journey with my own mother who was told scans were good and nothing concerning but had a biopsy same day to be sure. It’s a stressful time.
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posted by SerenaG
22 September 2023

Colorectal cancer

Last reply: 27 September 2023 13:37
Anyone know of a group for colorectal cancer survivors? I've a permanent colostomy and have great stoma support, but have never talked to or compared not with a colorectal Cancer survivor!
1 comment
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posted by Cancer Nurse
21 September 2023

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness month

Gynaecological cancers are those that affect the female reproductive system and include womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal cancers. This September the aim is to provide a better understanding of these cancers and their treatments. If you have been diagnosed with any of these cancer types our Supportline has experienced cancer nurses that can answer your queries in confidence. Treatments for gynaecological cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. The treatment you will be offered depends on a number of factors and will be explained to you by your doctor and nurse. It is important to understand why you are being offered this treatment and the possible risks or side effects it may cause. Ask questions if you need anything explained. This information may feel overwhelming so remember support is available for you during this time. Your hospital nurse can help you navigate your treatment options and provide advice on managing possible side effects. One possible effect from gynaecological cancer treatment can be the impact on your sexual relationships. Treatment can affect your sexual wellbeing by causing physical and emotional changes. Our website has some information on specific sexual side effects here. Many women feel embarrassed or uncomfortable discussing this with their medical team but it is important to get the information you need. Your doctor or nurse may not go into detail on these side effects unless they know you would like to discuss it so tell them if you have any queries or concerns. If you would like to speak to a cancer nurse for further information, advice or support you can call our Supportline on 1800 200 700, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. There is also a gynaecological cancer resource called This is GO which is an Irish based personalised online resource for women impacted by Gynaecological Oncology(GO).
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posted by Mr Motivator
20 September 2023

Folfox for Chemotherapy

Last reply: 17 October 2023 13:38
I am supposed to go for Chemotherapy. The drug being used is Folfox. I was amazed at the side effects while the treatment is being given. It has raised a question as to whether I want to go ahead with the treatment. Has anyone used Folfox and how did you feel during the treatment. Thanks Richard Galway
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posted by Hope@2023
18 September 2023


Last reply: 08 October 2023 23:39
Hi I am 64 and was diagnosed in Feb Invasive Ductal, Grade 1, Tubular. ER & PR+. Had lumpectomy, radiotherapy and started Anastroloze in March. I am finding the side effects difficult, mainly Fatigue, sleep issues, cognitive impairment and low mood . I also have bone pain, nausea and my bad cholesterol has doubled. I need to work as self employed and live alone. Some days fatigue really bad. I am considering stopping taking this but that causes me more anxiety. I am not prepared to take more medication for side effects or change medication as they all seem to be the same . I am due in Oncology soon and wonder 1 what questions to ask re Risks in stopping/taking and 2 if anyone else has stopped ??. I am trying to weigh up quality of life Vs recurrence risk
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