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Do you have a question about cancer? One of our Cancer Information Nurse Specialists will aim to respond within 2 working days.

Breast cancer

Posted by

My Aunt was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer a few months ago.  The consultant saw her today and said she has a lump in her stomach.  Does this mean the disease has progressed to stage 4

Kat - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Liz1959,

Thanks for getting in touch. Welcome to the online community.

Sorry to hear of your aunts’ diagnosis.

Stage 3 breast cancer is sometimes known as locally advanced breast cancer. This means that the cancer may have spread to the skin of the breast and nearby lymph nodes. You have not mentioned if your aunt has had any treatment for her cancer?

As a nurse on this platform it is difficult to say if your aunts’ cancer has progressed to a stage 4 if she has a lump in her stomach. Your aunts’ treatment team will want to carry out further investigations to find out if this lump in you aunts’ stomach is cancer. Stage 4 cancer tends to spread through the lymphatic system and spread to the liver, lungs and bones. This type of breast cancer is commonly referred to as Secondary breast cancer.

If it is secondary breast cancer her treatment team will want to discuss her treatment options. They will discuss your aunts’ cancer and treatment options at a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meeting. Here they will consider your aunts general health and the risk and benefits of the treatments available to your aunt.

If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0808 808 00 00.

Best Wishes and Take Care,
Cancer Information Nurse Specialist
Posted by

Thank you so much for your reply.  My Aunt was sent away with tablets in March when covid19 reared it's head and they said they would send for her at the end of June.  They cancelled that appointment but she rang them and said she needed to see someone.  They saw her in hospital yesterday, found the lump in her stomach and took her off the tablets and said she was to go back for a scan in about a month.  However she had a letter this morning telling her to go to the hospital again because there was some damage to her kidney?  

Alison P - Macmillan

Hi Liz1959,

Thanks for getting back in touch with us, and I’m glad that your aunt has been able to see her team at the hospital.

It’s difficult to say what has caused the damage to her kidney Sometimes medication can be toxic to the kidneys and cause some damage. They would have been able to tell the kidneys are damaged from a blood test. It may be the tablets that your aunt was given in March or other medication she could be taking for other issues such as high blood pressure.

It’s important that she attends the hospital as it’s easier to treat problems with the kidney sooner rather than later. They may need to give some fluids if she’s been dehydrated and they might scan the kidneys to see if there are any other reasons for the damage.

I wish your aunt all the best, and hope she gets things sorted soon. If there is any more information you need to know, or if you just need some support, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch.

Best wishes


Alison P

Cancer Information Nurse