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Jan's Story

About her story

"I am one woman among hundreds of thousands of women who are learning to be courageous, and to overcome, and to live in the face of cancer."

Jan was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in June 2009 after undergoing a routine bone scan for an unrelated injury. A wife and mother, Jan described her initial diagnosis as a complete shock.

"I remember just the sensation of having the wind sucked out of my lungs, a sucker punch, or something that stops you mid-stride," says Jan about her diagnosis. "And then as you begin to breathe again, there's this one million questions that circle your mind. "

Realizing that her family needed her and that she had some things she still wanted to accomplish, Jan decided to fight. Her touching story of survival and hope is an inspiration to anyone facing the difficult journey of breast cancer.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    Mums has been diagnosed with grade 3 nst. With 6 months of chemo then removal/mammogram after. Parents say everything will be ok but are they protecting me. Is it usual to do chemo first and isn't grade 3 more advance?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      It depends on each individual , but chemo can be first.

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      My strong chemo was first. Then double mass, then follow up with herceptin and hormone therapy. Each person's situation is an individual journey. A good strong support system and positive attitude is very helpful. Good luck to you n your mums.

      Comment
  • Lisa Majka  Profile

    How many types of Breast Cancers are there? I'm also wondering if Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the worst one you can get?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 8 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Any type of breast cancer has the chances of containing aggressive cells. When diagnosed with breast cancer, there is the ability to look at individual cells and grade them for their aggressiveness. So many factors go into staging and grading breast cancer and then the treatment is...

      more

      Any type of breast cancer has the chances of containing aggressive cells. When diagnosed with breast cancer, there is the ability to look at individual cells and grade them for their aggressiveness. So many factors go into staging and grading breast cancer and then the treatment is individualized for the patient. Inflammatory breast cancer has the chances of being one of the more aggressive types but it is also one of the more rare diagnosed.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I just looked this up on several sites... around a 1-5% of breast cancers can be inflammatory or IBC.

      Comment
  • Blair Jenkins Profile

    I was recently reading my pathology report and it said Triple Negative Breast Cancer grade 9 (3+3+3) on the nottingham scale - my tumor was about 6cm but had not spread to any lymph nodes - what is grade 9?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2009
    almost 9 years 2 answers
    • Janelle Strunk Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Hi Blair,

      I was curious about your question and did a bit of research. Here is the best answer I came up with. It was given by:

      Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of...

      more

      Hi Blair,

      I was curious about your question and did a bit of research. Here is the best answer I came up with. It was given by:

      Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

      The Nottingham histologic score is simply a scoring system to assess the "grade" of breast cancers.

      It is a total score based on 3 different sub-scores. The 3 sub-scores are assigned based on 3 components of how the breast cancer cells look under a microscope. (The details of these 3 components are not critical for you to understand). Each of the 3 components is assigned a sub-score of 1, 2, or 3, with 1 being best and 3 being worst. Once the 3 sub-scores are added, a Nottingham score is obtained: the minimum score possible is 3 (1+1+1) and the maximum possible is 9 (3+3+3).

      A histologic grade of III is assigned to any patient with a Nottingham score of 8 or 9. Grade I refers to Nottingham scores of 3, 4, and 5, while Grade II refers to Nottingham scores of 6 and 7.

      In the end, the Nottingham score and histologic grades are not very useful in the big picture, as they do not alter final overall treatment recommendations. High-score cancers tend to relapse more often than low-score cancers. Ultimately, however, we don't use the score in making clinical decisions.

      I hope that this helps clear up any confusion. I wish you the best.

      4 comments
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Do you have a family history? If yes, I suggest genetic testing for the BRCA gene mutation.

      1 comment
  • Deborah Wills Profile

    T4 Ni Mo

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      This is tumor staging.... T= tumor N=nodes M=mets (spread) Here is a website to explain it. BUT.... if this is about you.... YOU NEED TO TALK TO YOUR ONCOLOGIST! You may take this completely out of context and scare yourself. ...

      more

      This is tumor staging.... T= tumor N=nodes M=mets (spread) Here is a website to explain it. BUT.... if this is about you.... YOU NEED TO TALK TO YOUR ONCOLOGIST! You may take this completely out of context and scare yourself.
      http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/staging
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      If you look up how to read a pathology report it will tell you . I forgot which web site I used.

      Comment

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