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Breast lump at 82 what is for the best?

(21 Posts)
hubblebubblewitchery Wed 22-Feb-17 21:00:26

My dear mum is 82 and has puckering on her breast and a pulled in nipple. She has been to the doctor and has been referred to the breast clinic for tests. My question is, considering her age, what can be done? Should she consider even leaving it? Please advise. It would be really helpful to hear suggestions of how she should proceed. I am worried that if she finds out it is breast cancer, that she will find it hard to live with and I cannot see her going for the full treatment route. She has almost said as much.

GallivantingWildebeest Wed 22-Feb-17 21:04:18

My mil had breast cancer just a few years younger than your mum. Often when elderly people get cancer it grows old along with them - I.e., is not aggressive. But you need to have it investigated! She'll need a scan and then take advice from the docs.

Why doesn't she want treatment? Is she generally happy?

Mil had radiotherapy, fwiw, and that worked.

Best wishes for your mum flowers

SweetChickadee Wed 22-Feb-17 21:08:38

My grandmother had BC in her late 70's. She had a lumpectomy and radiation and that was that. It grows v slow in the elderly, they said.

She died age 93 - totally unrelated.

hubblebubblewitchery Wed 22-Feb-17 21:57:31

Thank you for your advice. She let me have a look at it and i would say that it looks very suspicious so it wont surprise me if it is cancer. Had a little google [know i shouldnt] and it is under some of the signs/symptoms of breast cancer so think it will be that outcome. She is pragmatic about illness and her age and dying. She worries her body wont be up to treatment that is harsh and is accepting that you need to die sometime and that she has had a long and full life.
Thank you. It really helps.

LIZS Wed 22-Feb-17 22:03:01

Dm had it in late 70s - lumpectomy and radiotherapy, now has annual mammogram etc. She couldn't even feel her lump. Her older cousin (late 80s) has been living with it for more than 5 years with some drug therapy, no op or radio etc.

LIZS Wed 22-Feb-17 22:04:52

Dm had it in late 70s - lumpectomy and radiotherapy, now has annual mammogram etc. She couldn't even feel her lump. Her older cousin (late 80s) has been living with it for more than 5 years with some drug therapy, no op or radio etc.

Hope your dm is ok whatever the outcome of the tests.

somethingwitty3432 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:09:19

OP my grandmother found a huge lump which turned out to be breast cancer two years ago & I have to say I pretty much buried her in my head. She is now 86 & totally fine, no further problems. It will entirely depend on her general health &, if it is cancer, how aggressive it is or if it's spread but the hospital will move very quickly & there's every chance she'll be right as rain in no time. Fingers firmly crossed for her x

hubblebubblewitchery Wed 22-Feb-17 22:17:16

Thank you again. I will speak to her tomorrow. She was meant to go to the clinic tomorrow but had to cancel as she has a heavy cold and cough. Her appointment is on the 24th March. Seems a bit far away?
Its nice to hear positive stories. I think it has made me feel that she does have options. Thank you all so much smile

hubblebubblewitchery Wed 22-Feb-17 22:18:06

She let me feel the part that was puckered and i definetly could feel little hard lumps under it.

Juveniledelinquent Wed 22-Feb-17 22:20:50

My Great Aunty had a breast lump removed five years ago. It was cancer and only needed surgery. She's 91 now and fine.

LuluJakey1 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:43:14

My mum had breast cancer at 80. Had a mastectomy. Had lnch after her op. Recovered in a couple of days and never had any other treatment except Tamoxifen. She was a tough little person.

LuluJakey1 Wed 22-Feb-17 22:43:36

Lunch not inch

NK346f2849X127d8bca260 Thu 23-Feb-17 00:01:12

It could be this benign condition that I had, your description sounds very similar to what experienced.
www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/benign-breast-conditions/duct-ectasia

ExplodedCloud Thu 23-Feb-17 00:13:57

My gran had bc in her 80s. I remember being completely agog that they were going to operate. Consultant was terribly matter of fact about it. Like Lulu we were surprised. We expected a poorly little old lady but found her sat up drinking tea and holding court on the ward!

ElizaDontlittle Thu 23-Feb-17 00:30:28

It's worth treating breast cancer in the elderly because if the tumour is allowed to grow unchecked and breaks through the skin it can be painful, and "fungate" which is messy and smelly. Either surgery, radiotherapy or hormones or more likely a combination of them all will control symptoms at worst and may cure - surgery is sometimes done with local anaesthetic in this age group if they have numerous medical problems.
Don't write her off just yet - and encourage her to consider what they offer as a fungating breast primary is something to be avoided if at all possible.

Couchpotato3 Thu 23-Feb-17 00:33:54

A delay of a few weeks is very unlikely to make any difference. Breast cancer is often very slow-growing and not very aggressive in that age-group. Your Mum can choose what treatment she would like to have (including none if that is her decision), and it is very likely to be successful and curative. Not everyone who has cancer needs to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy (which can indeed be very harsh). Some cancers are suitable for just hormone therapy e.g. tamoxifen. It will depend on what sort she has, and that will involve a bit of investigation - mammogram, biopsy and so on. Good luck to you both.

Lucked Thu 23-Feb-17 00:43:56

Even if it is breast cancer lots are hormone sensitive, if your mums health is poor they may be able to give her a hormone pill to stop the cancer growing. There are options but you need to go to the appointment and probably have a biopsy which is a very straightforward test. I hope it all goes well for your mum.

Mysillydog Thu 23-Feb-17 08:12:05

My mum's friend had breast cancer at 79 and she had chemo, Herceptin, lumpectomy and rads (her cancer was not receptive to hormones). She is in generally good health and her oncologist gave her a 25% dose reduction for chemo due to her age. She managed 3 cycles of FEC without a hitch but she found tax hard so only had 2/3 cycles. Her tumour shrunk a lot on chemo and her oncologist was very pleased with her response and how well she coped. She's still drinking wine and going on cruises.

Other ladies I have known have just gone for surgery or hormonal treatment. Age is one of the main risk factors for breast cancer so oncologists are very used to treating the elderly. I'm sure if it is cancer the doctors will come up with a good plan.

Wolpertinger Thu 23-Feb-17 08:14:35

Don't leave it - if it is cancer as previous posters have said it can continue to grow and turn into an open smelly painful wound on the breast.

Breast clinic will have dealt with a lot of 82 yr olds (and older) so should be able to come up with a plan that works for what your mum wants and minimizes complications from the cancer.

LuluJakey1 Thu 23-Feb-17 09:46:18

The consultant gave my mum a range of treatment options including doing nothing, lumpectomy, chemo, radio, mastectomy. She asked him what he would advise if she was his mother and he said mastectomy so that is what she did. It had not spread to lymph ndes and I was astonished at how quickly she recovered from the op. Was up in a chair, in her own pyjamas eating lunch when I went at 1.00pm. Had been taken down to theatre at 8.30am. Home two days later and I said she should stay with us for a bit. We were home an hour and she was bored and we went out shopping. It was amazing really.

neveradullmoment99 Thu 23-Feb-17 18:37:05

Thank you everyone for all your advice and sharing your experiences. I spoke to my mum today and she said that she will go for her appointment and take it from there. I think with the experiences you have provided, I feel she is making the right call. Thanks again.

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