First, I just wanted to say that I am so very sorry that you are going through this. I know little about this type of cancer, but did find a couple of articles, which you may already have found (see below).
"Metaplastic breast cancer starts in the cells that support the breast tissue, rather than in the glandular breast tissue itself, and it behaves very differently. The treatment recommendations are based primarily on stage, because there haven't been any clinical trials specifically in women with metaplastic disease. Metaplastic disease is sometimes less sensitive to commonly used breast cancer therapies, but may be more sensitive to chemotherapies that are more commonly used for lung cancer or other cancers that have a similar squamous cell appearance. Unfortunately with more rare tumors, it's always difficult to do focused studies to be able to provide patients with clear information to guide their decisions."http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/ask_expert/12_2009/q24
"What Are the Treatments for Metaplastic Squamous Cell Breast Cancer?
Sep 2, 2010 | By Louise Tremblay Louise Tremblay recently finished an M.Sc. in molecular and cellular biology in Ontario, Canada, with years of cancer research experience. She has experience writing articles and Web content on science, heath and fitness, diet and personal wellness.
Metaplastic squamous cell breast cancer is an exceedingly rare form of the disease, accounting for less than 0.1 percent of breast cancer cases, according to a study published in the journal Onkologie in 2007. Cells in a metaplastic squamous cell carcinoma of the breast have a flattened squamous shape, which is used to help diagnose the disease. This form of cancer is generally aggressive and often fails to respond to hormone-based therapies, but it may respond to other cancer treatments.
The primary treatment for metaplastic squamous cell carcinoma of the breast is a mastectomy, a breast-removing surgery. Since metaplastic squamous cancer cells are typically invasive and aggressive, surgeons often perform aggressive surgeries to fight the cancer. During a mastectomy, the surgeons excise the metaplastic squamous tumor along with any remaining breast tissue, the breast skin and nipple, and layers of chest muscle underneath the cancerous breast. The doctors also remove a series of small structures called lymph nodes, since invasive breast cancers often invade lymph nodes around the breast. Following surgery, patients with metastatic squamous cell breast cancer may receive additional cancer treatments.
Many breast cancer patients with metaplastic squamous cell carcinoma receive adjuvant chemotherapy--drug therapy designed to kill cancer cells and shrink breast tumors. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to inhibit normal processes in the cell as well as damage essential cellular structures, essentially damaging the cancer cell and preventing it from making the chemicals it needs to survive. Patients with metaplastic squamous cell breast cancer may receive a number of chemotherapy treatments, either alone or in combination, depending on the aggressiveness and characteristics of the tumor. The use of adjuvant chemotherapy can lead to a number of side effects, such as nausea, fatigue and hair loss, though these effects subside after cessation of treatment.
Some patients with metaplastic squamous cell breast cancer may receive targeted therapies--drugs that identify and kill cancer cells by targeting proteins found on the cells' surface. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2005 indicates that many patients with metaplastic squamous cell breast cancer have tumors containing a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR. Under normal conditions, EGFR aids in cell growth by promoting cell division. Some metaplastic squamous cell breast cancers begin to overproduce the EGFR protein, causing constant cell proliferation and driving cancer growth. Drugs that target EGFR, such as ZD1839, can therefore target and kill metaplastic squamous cell cancers in some cases. Patients looking to receive targeted therapies must first undergo medical testing to assess whether their cancer will likely respond to specific drugs.
Onkologie: BRCA1 Germline Mutation in a Woman with Metaplastic Squamous Cell Breast Cancer
Journal of Clinical Oncology: Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Breast
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment: The Role of EGFR-Directed Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/218925-what-are-the-treatments-for-metaplastic-squamous-cell-breast-cancer/#ixzz2BsULxtmI" http://www.livestrong.com/article/218925-what-are-the-treatments-for-metaplastic-squamous-cell-breast-cancer/
Thank you so much for all of the info ..wow.You know your stuff .Learning more each day .Think I have good Drs who know what they are doing now and that is a great relief.
Unfortunately because it's so rare there doesn't seem to be a single standard approach to treatment. My mum has just completed 4 rounds of chemo and now has radiation.
Just saying hi and wishing you the best of luck. Do keep posting to keep us updated. I wish I knew something about this bc, but, I don't.
My dx was triple neg inflammatory bc. My thought when making treatment decisions was always 'this is an aggressive nasty cancer, I want to be aggressive right back'. So I always chose the more aggressive route. I chose a bilateral (more because I wanted to be even) and I'm content with that.
You've got lots going on here, and I think a second opinion is warranted, At the very least, you should talk with your current onc to eliminate your confusion. Ask for a long appointment so he is not worried about his schedule, and ask all your questions. Present your thoughts on aggressive treatment and why you think a bilateral is better for you. Write everything down before you go in so you don't forget anything in the appointment.
I wish you well with your treatments. Please come back and let us know how you're doing.
Supportive women. Sisters in PINK.
We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please update when possible.
Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.
So glad I meet My new Dr Wednesday
I just wanted to let you know, I'm a little over 2 year survivor of squamous cell Metaplastic Carcinoma breast cancer. I was diagnosed stage II. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. If you ha