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Breast Cancer 1=2001, Breast Cancer 2=2011, now a PET Scan of my spine is scheduled for tomorrow night.

Posts: 15
Joined: Jan 2004

Oct 2001 discovered lump, Nov 2001 biopsy and  partial mastectomy for colloid carcinoma, plus some lymph nodes removed for testing (nodes negative) followed by 6 weeks of radiation and 3 years Tamoxifen and 2 years Femara

Dec 2010 abnormal mammogram...same breast...along incision from previous surgery 9 years prior.  January 2011 biopsy which came back positive for 2 new kinds of cancer, Feb 2011 CT scan, bone scan to check for other cancer...and then a mastectomy with some lymph nodes removed for testing (nodes negative).  Port installed May 2011... Chemo and herceptin followed.  Chemo ended June 2011...herceptin ended Feb 3 2012.  Port removed June 2012.

Because the 2nd cancers were found early and no surrouning tissue or nodes were affected...my oncologst did not think it was necessary for me to have follow up scans, etc. but wanted to see me every 6 months.

discovered 2 lumps on my back last summer 2012.  brought to the attention of my PCP who was an oncologist at one time.   They brushed it off as fatty tumors because I have one on each leg which I have had for years... and some in my arms.  In Oct 2012 I started experiencing more pain in my back and I noticed that the one lump began hurting when pressure was put on it.   They ordered me a full set of xrays of my back and a bone scan and blood work with a tumor marker.   The scan & tumor marker were  clear and the xrays just showed slight arthritis.  Mid December  experienced a very sharp stabbing pain in the area of one of the lumps.   So much so that I could have dropped to my knees.   It took my breath away.  The next morning I was in the ER.   A CT was done as well as another tumor marker and although something was there is was inconclusive and the tumor marker was clear.  Muscle relaxers and warm compresses was ordered.   When going in for a follow up from my Dec 3 ten year colonscopy on Dec 28...and getting the all clear on that...thet particular doctor asked how I was doing.  When I mentioned the lumps to her...she checked them out and immediately ordered me an MRI which I had done on Dec 7.  We had an emergency meeting with them the next morning to discuss the results.

Multiple white markings on several vertebrae from T2-T8 with a couple very distinct areas of concern.  My PCP said could possible have compression fractures in there...but could not tell from pictures.  Now I have heard and read that it is not unusual for breast cancer to spread to the bone.  What are the chances that I would have cancer in my back if I ended chemo just 1.5 years ago and my recent tumor marker was clear...as well as my bone scan?  Could herceptin have done anything to my bones?  Could the markings be a vitamin deficiency or too much of a vitamin?  Could my arthritis have caused the white spots.  





smalldoggroomer's picture
Posts: 1182
Joined: May 2010

I had IBC Dx in May 2010. Chemo Herceptin Taxotere Carboplatin. Ended in Oct 2010, Herceptin was for a year.June 2011.  Rads 36. ended Jan 2011. Arimidex for 9 months to femara because of side effects to tamoxifen. Cancer came back while on tamoxifen. In my spine and lungs. I was going to Moffit at the time. And they told me that the spine was a herniate dick.  And that my lungs was scar-tissue. They were wrong. I wound up being 911 to hospital because I could no longer breath two times. That is how I met my new Dr at the hospital. And found out what was really going on. They actually gave me three days to 1 week to live. It was that bed for me. My family was told to call Hospice. My new Dr said he could help and he did. That was last Aug. And my last scans MRI & pet. There is no active cancer. I am back in remission!!! Doing great!! Have some side effects from chemo but manageable. So never give up hope with all the technology now they have come a long way. This can be beat. Wishing you all the best. My prayers are with you. As we all are.

Take care Darlin Kay

missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

I ended chemo in May of '10 and radiation in October of '10 for invasive ductal carcinoma.  Then in January of '12, I had unusual back pain.  I had an MRI, CT, PET scan, and finally a bone biopsy of T-12 (which showed up on all the scans as "something").  The bone biopsy confirmed bone mets to T-12.  That was a year ago.  I immediately had 15 rads to T-12 and have been on Faslodex/Xgeva injections ever since.  Like Kay above, I am also back in remission since a PET scan done at the end of September showed "no evidence of disease."

I am not saying that this is what is going on with you--this is just my story.  However, you do need to get some answers so that you can either relax, or spring into action.  As Kay says, there are many treatments available that work very well.

Please keep us posted.


Positive energy and prayers going out to you.


Hugs, Renee



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