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l who has breast cancer that spread to the lung ?

Jaya 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2011

I would like to find any person with breast cancer that has spread to the lungs. Help

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3954
Joined: Oct 2009

My pulmonolgist suspects that my lung has some metastasis (pleural effusion, scarring), but it is too small and too distal to easily biopsy and we already know it is in my ribs, so treatment isn't going to change at this point.

There are others here--ChenHeart, for one.

Teresa45
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

How did they find out about your ribs and lungs?

My bone x-ray showed increased uptake on one of the ribs closest to my cancer site. I saw the pulmonologist yesterday. He thinks the lung x-ray that showed interstitial changes was just my new implants. He did a ct yesterday and he will call me with the results, but does not think there is any problem other than my chemo caused me to get asthma.

Sent my oc a report for the bone scan last Monday and have not heard from her. E-mailed oc nurse and she said oc is waiting to see what pulmonologist had to say first, before deciding what to do about the rib. I am really worried that she will want to play the wait and see game. I am just not up for that. I have spent the last two weeks with a knot in my stomach and I need answers.

I ask the pulmonologist about the rib and he said the only way to tell if it is cancer or not is a) what and see if it goes away (inflammation) b) do a needle biopsy.

I have read on the internet that sometimes with cancer is just in the bones it does not show up in the blood until it is big or in several spots.

I would real appreciate your reply if you feel like sharing.

Teresa

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3954
Joined: Oct 2009

It was a long and crazy journey from rib pain beginning in 2005 until I finally got the correct diagnosis in 2009.

I presented with rib pain in 2005 and initial xray showed a fracture. My 2006 bone and pet scan showed 3-4 fractured ribs with abnormal uptake, but with the craziness of Katrina, our home heavily damaged and moving furniture, etc, we initially thought that I just fractured the ribs from trauma/stress. Also, at that point, I had been in remission for 18 years and it was hard to believe that the same cancer would rear its ugly head after all that time.

I kept having follow-up pet scans which were not normal but pretty stable. Finally, a bone scan in 2009 (after much increased pain) was read as probable bone metastasis. At the same time, my tumor markers were abnormal for the first time ever (my markers were normal in 2006).

By the way, I saw 2 pulmonologists along the way and they just kept telling me that my lungs were abnormal (right lung smaller than normal with small pleural effusion and scarring) but they didn't know why and neither focused on my ribs or recommended testing of the ribs. And the ribs are one of the bone areas that breast cancer likes.

Finally, I found a surgeon willing to do a rib biopsy (many wiould not) and the ribs were discovered to have breast cancer, ER+. Same old tumor that I had had 22 years before (original breast cancer in 1987).

Cancer is a tricky beast, isn't it?

I am not trying to scare you, but here is what I can share that might help. My rib pain would come and go--this intermittent pain is characteristic of bone mets. It was getting worse and worse each time, but I would have months where I had no pain. Also, if I had it to do over, after 2 abnormal bone and/or pet scans, I would begin insisting on a bone biopsy. The pulmonologists kepts watching my lungs and insisting that they couldn't biopsy what was in my lungs (too distal and too small)--they were so focused on my lungs that they really missed the boat. If the scans are telling you that the main problem is your ribs, push for a surgeon who has done a rib biopsy and is comfortable with the procedure.

One surgeon told me he wouldn't do a rib biopsy because the damaged rib can shatter, puncture the lung and cause a pneumothorax. The surgeon who actually performed my biopsy told me that all of that could indeed happen but he would be very comfortable managing those possibilities.

And the rib held, the surgeon obtained 2 great bone samples, both of which had cancer.

Teresa45
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you so much for sharing you story and opinion.

I was dignosed 9/1/10 with Stage 2-A, Grade 2, ER+ 90%, PR+ 80%, Her2-, no lump node invalvment but it was already connected to my lymptactic system and vascular system. Had a mamogram 5/10, no sign of cancer. 7/2/10 while on vacation I found the lump on top of my right breast. The spot on my rib is very close to the lump sight.

I went to the dr about my hip/femur that is showing classic signs of bone mets. Dr, did a bone scan but no hot spots on my hip/femur on the bone scan, but the hot spot showed up on my rib.

I had my blood work done the last time the first week of July, so it has only been 6 weeks. At that time my oc said my blood was good.

From what I have read on the internet about bone met, alot of the time your blood work does not show any change until you have several places with bone mets, or it gets big enough.

I will be talking with oc Monday to see if I can get a biopsy of the rib.

Teresa

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2034
Joined: Dec 2010

Found when on trip to urgent care because ribs on my left side were so sore. Dr. there didn't like what she saw so she sent me to er for a ct scan. (I thought it was pleurisy). They said that it was a pulled muscle not to worry, but that I had a small nodule in my right lung, they asked when I had an appointment with onco, told them 6 months, they said to have him ck it out at that point, not really anything to worry about.

In the weeks to follow, the 'pulled muscle' was worse, then my hips were hurting just like the ribs. Called my onco and he looked at the ct scan, xray, and did blood work and said he wanted a pet scan so a couple of days later had the pet scan and it showed the ribs hot, hips, pelvic and spine. Showed the nodule in the lung but didn't biopsy, as they biopsied the hips and skin, and both were positive for the same IDC as 8 1/2years before, and the treatment would be the same.

The nodule was bigger on the last scan, waiting for new scans this week as the chemo changed 3 months ago. Hoping that this chemo is shrinking the tumors or at least keeping them from growing and spreading. The treatments are hard but doable so far... just hoping they are working!

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3954
Joined: Oct 2009

bumping up

Jaya 1
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2011

I was dignoise in May 2011 with a mets to the lungs. I had breast cancer 14 years ago and I have been cancer free and in good health for all these years. Now my oncologist is saying we caught this too late I am on palitive care. What kind of treatment are you people getting?

New Flower
Posts: 3982
Joined: Aug 2009

I have read on this board that it could be controlled using different approaches. If you Er /pr positive, or. Her + targeted therapy could be an option. I am sure others will share their treatment strategy with you. Please seek a second opinion, too late sounds unacceptable to me.
Hugs
New Flower

New Flower
Posts: 3982
Joined: Aug 2009

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