Metastatic Breast cancer diagnosis help

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Hi, my Mum was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer last week. At the same time we were told that it’s spread to her lymph nodes and spine. We’re currently awaiting biopsy results and a meeting with the oncologist. In the meantime I’m trying to learn as much as I physically can to understand what treatment options are and everything I can about metastatic breast cancer including what I need to be doing, what to expect and how I can help. This is totally new to all of us and was a big shock as after initial scans we were told grade 2. if anyone could point me in the right direction as to what I should be looking at that would be great please. Also the consultant we saw said it would be pointless doing a mastectomy as the cancers in her bones already, would removing what cancer they can not be a positive thing? Should we be concerned that he said they wouldn’t do that? 
thank you 

  • Hi,sorry you find yourself on here and your moms diagnosis. I think you will have more information when you see the oncologist and they have seen the biopsy results. There will also be a MDT meeting this is were all who are concerned with your moms treatment come together and discuss the treatment plan. This is when all the treatment options will be discussed. Its early days yet and a lot can change in how your mom is treated. There are so many things that can be done, surgery, radiotherapy,medication ect. I have had cancer for 20 years and have been in the secondary cancer group for 4 years and intend to be here as long as i can. Being in this group is not the end of life its just learning to live with cancer and its not all bad. There are many new treatments coming available so please stay posative. Wishing your mom and yourself all the best Dawn x

  • Hi HopefulDaughter,

    I understand how you must be feeling, having gone through the same feelings when my wife was diagnosed as stage 4. 

    The biopsy results will be the most important thing, as this guides what treatments are available. Hopefully these are positive for hormone receptors and/or HER2, for which there are many targeted treatments available.

    Generally if the cancer has spread beyond the breast, they don't remove the breast tumour. This is because the goal in removing the breast tumour is to prevent spread elsewhere, and in this case it has already happened.

    If treatment were to "clear up" disease that has spread, leaving only the tumour in the breast, they may consider removing it in the future.

    Most importantly, remember that stage 4 breast cancer is widely seen as a chronic condition, and many women live for years, and some for decades, with it.

    Cheers,

    Andy

  • Hi really sorry to hear about your mum, I was diagnosed straight to stage 4 breast cancer in nodes and spine in October 22 I’m 43 with kiddies. I had 6 rounds of doxataxil chemo and now on a targeted therapy called phesgo every 3 weeks all scans so far have been stable. My Macmillan nurse told me to stay positive and see this disease like a chronic illness rather that a death sentence. Lots of love to your mum and keep in touch xxxx

  • Thank you, this is reassuring to hear! X

  • Thank you, all of that is super helpful and reassuring to hear! X

  • Thank you! Thats really reassuring, I’m doing my best to see it that way, my Mum’s definitely struggling to though! Xx

  • It does get better with time I promise.. I’m hear if you need to talk to someone xxx

  • Hi

    I had breast cancer and four surgeries in 2022.  It came back in my lymph nodes and was found at my annual check up.  Initially surgery was planned until it was discovered it had spread to my spine.  The treatment plan changed and no surgery to chemo in tablet form with hormone medication.  They can’t exactly operate on my spine and the medication treats the whole body.

    It’s all very scary but hopefully that helps a little.

    K