The link between thyroid cancer and breast cancer
Losing the Butterfly
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1M ago
 Before I quote my two sources to back up the title of this blog, I would like to repeat the definitions of having a recurrence versus having a second primary cancer. A recurrence is when one has cancer after treatment is completed. But it is the SAME type of cancer. Having a second primary cancer is a cancer survivor developing a new unrelated ( or different) type of cancer.  According to the American Cancer Society, " People who have or had thyroid cancer can get any type of cancer, but they have an increased risk of developing: *Breast cancer * Prostate cancer *Kidney cancer *Adre ..read more
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Total thyroidectomy versus Partial thyroidectomy- some pros and cons
Losing the Butterfly
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1M ago
 The debate between getting a total thyroidectomy (TT) and a partial thyroidectomy ( PT) is usually a heated one. Reading posts over the years, from thyroid cancer patients on various thyroid cancer websites, it seems to me that people feel strongly one way or the other ( TT or PT). I believe that this is not a " one solution fits all" but there are several things to consider with both surgeries. I have tried my best to present the arguments for both groups in a non-biased manner, but I need to make a disclosure. For my thyroid cancer ( stage III, papillary with follicular variant) my sur ..read more
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Peripheral Neuropathy caused by chemotherapy medications and possible new treatment / preventative options
Losing the Butterfly
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2M ago
 When I was diagnosed with stage II-b invasive lobular breast cancer, my oncologist decided on chemotherapy after my bilateral mastectomies. I had chemotherapy treatments for three months following my surgery. Along with the five pre-treatment IV medications, I started out with Cytoxan and Taxotere ( docetaxal) as prescribed by my oncologist. Taxotere is a much used, and effective, chemotherapy drug used in treating breast, lung, stomach, prostate, head and neck cancers, among other types of cancers. Of course, as we all know, even the best medications have side effects. When I was practi ..read more
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Here are a few things that everyone needs to know about skin cancer.
Losing the Butterfly
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3M ago
 Everyone who reads by blogs, thank you- by the way!- knows that I am a thyroid cancer survivor as well as a breast cancer survivor. What I have not talked about is that I also am a skin cancer survivor. I had thyroid cancer in 2010, and breast cancer in 2015. In between those two cancers, I had squamous cell carcinoma on my leg, and basal cell carcinoma on my face. The treatment for both cancers was surgery; no other treatment was required, because they were detected early and had not spread to any of my lymph nodes. Early detection and treatment is KEY so I decided to provide some skin ..read more
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Lymphedema: diagnosis, treatment and self care
Losing the Butterfly
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7M ago
 As those of you who read by blog know, I am both a thyroid cancer and a breast cancer survivor. I try to write about subjects that can affect people who have/ have had one or both of these cancers. Lymphedema is a condition that can affect anyone who has had cancer. While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are several ways to manage lymphedema, thus achieving a better quality of life. When I was looking for articles on lymphedema, I came across a wonderful quote by a physician who works for MD Anderson. Dr. Jan S. Lewin is a professor in the head and neck surgery department and secti ..read more
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A thyroid and breast cancer survivor's cautionary tale about having shingles...
Losing the Butterfly
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7M ago
 Back in June of 2022, I was awakened to some nasty symptoms. My scalp was burning- sort of like I had a sunburn, and there were the beginnings of red welts on my forehead, temple, and most disconcertingly,  around my left eye. Since I had been practicing pharmacy for over forty years and have talked with patients who had shingles, I had a pretty good idea of what was happening to me. One of the most important things that one can do if they suspect shingles, is to go see a doctor ASAP. The sooner one gets started on an anti-viral medication, the better the outcome. The doctor that I ..read more
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How to store one's thyroid medication while on vacation- or how I did it, anyway.
Losing the Butterfly
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9M ago
 I am back! My husband and I were gone for a two month long trek across the country. We took our trusty little camper and a 90 pound German Shepherd dog along with us. We traveled almost 11,000 miles and while we had a few misadventures, it was an overall wonderful  vacation. We camped in mostly state and national parks. Most of the parks had electricity, but some did not. We have a little mini-fridge in our camper, which made keeping heat sensitive medication easier, but I had to take enough medication for two months. Levoxyl or any brand of levothyroxine is heat intolerant. That me ..read more
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What is Phantom Breast Pain?
Losing the Butterfly
by
1y ago
As I said a few years ago, I merged my thyroid cancer blog with my breast cancer blog to make sort of a " two-fer" blog. I devote most of my blogs to issues dealing with thyroid cancer, however. Mostly because I feel like there are fewer thyroid cancer blogs than breast cancer blogs. So I feel that there is a greater need for information about thyroid cancer.  I have been experiencing some phantom breast pain for some time now. I did not know it was a "actual  thing" until recently. Any chest pain after breast cancer surgery/reconstruction should be immediately addressed with a patie ..read more
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Some reasons why thyroid cancer is NOT the " good cancer"
Losing the Butterfly
by
1y ago
There are few statements that can light a fire under me as much as someone telling me that " Oh, you have  ( or had) thyroid cancer! That's the good cancer, right? Aren't you lucky? It is so easily treatable and the prognosis is great! " I had thyroid cancer in 2010, and have dealt with these comments for years. It was not too long before I put my Southern manners aside, and tried to educate others on thyroid cancer- specifically why it is not the " good cancer".  First the obvious. the words "Cancer " and "good " usually do not belong in the same sentence! Who in the world thinks ha ..read more
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Self Care for thyroid cancer patients
Losing the Butterfly
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1y ago
 As thyroid cancer patients, we have all certainly been through a lot! Surgeries, radioactive treatments, biopsies- in fact we still go through a lot trying to maintain our health. Constant dosage adjustments with our thyroid medications so that we can feel somewhat " normal", blood work to monitor thyroglobulins ( a predictor of  possible thyroid cancer recurrence) , ultrasounds to check for thyroid cancer spread ( I call them goblins), and for me, at least, the search for a physician who will listen to how I am feeling and is willing to work with me cooperatively to maintain good h ..read more
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