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Rabbit63

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 #1 
Hello,

Has anyone had radiation therapy for breast cancer after they were diagnosed with Lupus? I started plaquenil 5 weeks ago and today was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer. It was found during my routine mammogram, then biopsy. I meet with a surgeon next week to discuss my options. It appears the most common treatment is a lumpectomy with radiation, but I have found a number of articles that that say radiation should not be used if you have scleraderma or SLE.

I have always considered myself a very resilient person, but I feel like my world is crumbling around me.

Any advice would be appreciated. Rabbit63
Mr. Bun

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 #2 
My dear,

I cannot imagine the shock and turmoil you must be going through.  I am so sorry you have another thing to deal with.....in addition to Lupus.

My Mom (bless her) had breast cancer, but at a much later stage in her life....she was in her 80's.

I can't offer any advice on treatment while having lupus....however the LFA nurse could be a good person to contact.

Am thinking of you very much.......my God....as if Lupus wasn't enough to deal with....
and now you are facing this fright.

Please know you are not alone.

xoxoBun

meg

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 #3 
I am SO sorry.  Under these circumstances I think most people's world would crumble down around them.  

Do you have a university or teaching hospital available to you?  While the treatment you mentioned may be the most common, SLE, scleroderma and breast cancer on top of that is probably not common at all.

What university hospitals offer (and maybe some local hospitals) is a team approach.  They would have a panel consisting of a breast cancer surgeon, radiation oncologist, hematologist oncologist, and in your case hopefully, a rheumatologist.  After all of the tests are done, they meet and discuss the best options and then bring you and your family in to discuss it.

My brother had lung cancer a few years back.  He lived in Green Bay but ended up going to the university hospital in Madison.  That's what they did for him.  He was very well cared for and even though his kids were grown, they offered a lot of support services for the family.  They helped my sister-in-law with all the billing and insurance issues.  They had volunteer drivers who would take him back and forth for treatments, which was a long way, when no one could take him.  They helped take a lot of the stress away in the daily life of a family dealing with cancer.  We know what stress does to lupus patients.

You may already know all of this and if that's the case, sorry for the long post.  I have a quote framed on a wall in my house that I'd like to share with you:

"It's okay to be scared.  Being scared means you're about to do something really, really brave."   ~Mandy Hale

I wish you the best and as bun said, you are not alone.

Mary

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Rabbit63

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 #4 
Thank you Bun & Mary for your kind words and support.

Bun I read your posting on your Mom, what a strong, beautiful woman. My Mom is gone too and I miss her terribly.

I can't seem to get myself out of bed. The fatigue has been so bad, now I think it is more just depression. I am scared. Nothing about my health has been textbook. Everything hit me at once. I was just getting referred to Mayo for my neurological problems, now they are recommending putting that on hold.

Mary, they did assign me a care coordinator. They have a team approach. She told me that they have a treatment plan for me and will take notes and give me a binder with all the notes from our meeting on Wed. I tried not to laught hysterically, I just kept thinking sure it can sit right next to my Lupus/Sjogrens notebook. I know she was trying to be comforting, but it was all so scripted.

Maybe I will try the LFA nurse about the radiation. Rabbit63
Robinj

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 #5 
Hang in there Rabbit :)
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ross

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 #6 
"Since cancer treatment often involves chemotherapy, treatment of autoimmune illness with immunosuppressive drugs must be altered; generally the cancer chemotherapy also treats the lupus, so it is possible to withdraw most lupus treatment when a patient undergoes chemotherapy."

https://www.hss.edu/conditions_lupus-radiation-cosmetic-enhancement.asp
Sandritta

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 #7 
Hi There,

Just wondering if anyone out there has had radiation for breast cancer?  I have lupus as well as shojgens and have recently found out I have breast cancer..I have two choices of treatment for the cancer..partial breast removal with radiation for 6 weeks daily or masectomy with no radiation..I am really worried how the radiation will effect my lupus..would appreciate any feedback..I have make my mind up soon and pretty unclear on what to do...
Rabbit63

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 #8 
Hi, I wrote the original post. I ended up having 4 cycles of AC chemo, during that time I also stopped my plaquenil. I was symptom free for the two months I had chemo, I started my plaquenil again, but within 10 days of my last chemo infusion I flared. I have been sick since the end of October. My radiation treatment has been put on hold indefinitely.. I have a 25% chance of reoccurance without radiation treatment. It becomes a numbers game. I think it also depends on how well controlled your connective tissue disease is whether or not your radiation oncologist will even do radiation.

You might want to read this article and share it with your radiation oncologist.

Lancet Oncology v.17 issue 3 March 2016 - Radiotherapy in patients with connective tissue diseases

Sorry, I couldn't get the link to work.

I should also mention that if there is any chance that you are also dealing with Scleroderma radiation is not an option.
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