Breast cancer metastases?

Portal Forums Member Updates Breast Cancer Member Updates Breast cancer metastases?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by catdander forum moderator catdander forum moderator 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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March 6, 2017 at 11:44 am  #1290275    

follansbee

I found CancerGrace to be very helpful while my husband was being treated for NSCL cancer. He passed away in 2015 four years after diagnosis. Now it’s time for me to ask questions about my own condition.

I’m a 77 yearold female in good health except for a history of breast cancer. This is my history: Left breast mastectomy for breast cancer in 1988. No chemo or radiation. Breast cancer in lymph nodes left chest wall, 2001. Surgically removed. HER-2 was 1+. Radiation and Arimidex for 5 years.

Elevated CA 27.29 December 2016 and January 2017 (45.3). CT, bone scan and PET results are unclear. Brain scans negative, but areas in vertebrae at T12 or L1 and T3-7 regions and in left rib scapula area are unclear as to whether they are caused by cancer or arthritis. My oncologist plans to repeat the CA23.29 test again in March. So I’m in a holding pattern until then. I haven’t seen much on CancerGrace about what current stage IV breast cancer treatments are, but I’m in a holding pattern until the tumors a large enough to biopsy and don’t know if there is even a question that I can ask at this time. I’ve been to oncologists enough with my husband to know what questions to ask, but ‘m finding it frustrating to just wait. Any suggestions?

March 6, 2017 at 2:29 pm  #1290277    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

My first thought to suggestions on how to best “wait” this out is breathe but that really isn’t helpful on its own. Is it? Hi follansbee, it’s not good to see you here; again not very welcoming. Is it? I’m so sorry your cancer might be back, I hope it’s arthritis.

A couple of thoughts on waiting to biopsy. Trying to biopsy bone is difficult, uncomfortable and not as diagnosable as soft tissue biopsy. So waiting is really the least invasive action and statistically probably better than invasive procedures that won’t produce actionable results. The only thing I can think of right now is to let your doctor know of new or worsening symptoms.

I hope this waiting truly is the hardest part when it’s all said and done.
Keep us posted,
Janine

And it’s really nice to see your you. :)

March 7, 2017 at 4:22 am  #1290279    

follansbee

Hi, Catdander. I remember your postings from when I visited CancerGrace during my husband’s illness.
No, I’m not good at waiting, but I’ve got a really busy life which keeps me distracted. Thank you for the information on the relative discomfort (pain) associated with bone biopsies. If and when my oncologist decides there might be enough material to do a biopsy I plan to go to a teaching hospital (UNC) to have it done, rather than at the relatively small hospital here. I think because it was 13 years between my first diagnosis and it is now 16 years since my last one, the cancer must be pretty slow growing. At least that’s my hope. But I will definitely monitor my body for symptoms and keep up with my visits to my oncologist.

March 7, 2017 at 5:33 am  #1290281    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

You have too much experience on how best to navigate the system but it sounds like you have a good plan. I wish you a manageable yet very busy life with little time to remember the waiting. I can’t imagine having to do so.

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