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De Novo: Talking With an Advanced Breast Cancer Patient About This Diagnosis

Editor's note: Connecting and sharing with others can be helpful in navigating a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Danielle shares different quotes from an interview that provides perspective on a de novo diagnosis.

According to Collins Dictionary, "de novo" is Latin for "From the beginning". Any person receiving an advanced breast cancer diagnosis is terrifying, but for some, it is a complete shock.

Early stager to stage IV breast cancer

When a person is diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, commonly known as stage IV, a portion of them has been an "early stager", or who has had breast cancer before.

"I was one of them; my stage IV diagnosis came two years after my stage II diagnosis. While I was still completely devastated by the news, it did not come as a complete shock to me. I knew that the cancer had a 30% chance of coming back, and was knowledgeable about how metastasis worked. When my doctor started talking to me about PET scans, biopsies, and treatments, it was not as intimidating to me. I had experienced all of those things before, "spoke the language", and understood." - Community Member

Metastatic breast cancer is different

De novo patients have a different experience. While intellectually learning how to "speak the language" of cancer, they are also emotionally dealing with the fact they have an incurable, terminal disease.

"Understanding cancer was is in addition to the plethora of treatments suddenly thrown at a body already fighting cancer. All of that combined is an enormously traumatic experience, and no element of one's life remains untouched by it. How does a newly diagnosed de novo patient handle it all?" - Community Member

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What led to your diagnosis? Were you experiencing symptoms? Had you been diagnosed with breast cancer before or was your initial diagnosis metastatic breast cancer? Comment below and connect with others who understand.

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