Medical Anecdotal Report
Date of Medical Observation: March 2017
Most recently, I encountered a former breast cancer patient of mine (JM) who died 13 years after.
She was 62 years old when I operated on her breast cancer in November 2004. I did a modified radical mastectomy. Histopath: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma with four nodes positive. She took Tamoxifen for 5 years. She was lost to follow-up until 2017 (she was 75 years now), when she consulted me again – this time she had metastasis to the skin and soft tissue, axillary and neck nodes, bones, and lungs. She died 3 months after.
Skin and soft tissue recurrence and metastasis
Right axillary node recurrence
Left axillary node recurrence
I started my Cancer Survivor Registry (containing cancer patients I have treated before, with 10 or more years of remission) in December 23, 2011 to serve as an inspiration to current and future cancer patients and will debunk the thinking that having cancer is always a death sentence.
I used 10 years as the cut-off.
My personal observation is that chances of recurrence in this group of patients, 10 years with no recurrence, will just be 1% or less.
This patient is one of them. I can recall 3 or 4 such patients in my more than 30 years of practice who had recurrence after 10 years.
How unfortunate for this patient dying after 10 to 13 years of remission.
However, she is fortunate to live this long considering that she had 4 positive nodes (which usually carries a poor prognosis).