Mum's diagnosis - Breast to both lungs

Hi everyone, hope you're all doing well.

On the 19th of April after weeks of tests my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to both of her lungs. It started with her having pains in the middle of her chest in February so she was given an Xray which showed multiple shadows on both lungs. As she has previously had breast cancer before in 2011 the GP rang her and said it could be a primary lung cancer or recurring breast cancer that had spread.

She was referred to the breast clinic where she had a mammogram and ultrasound which were clear so she was discharged from there, then she had a CT scan and was told that she needed a bronchoscopy. She had that and they took biopsies so then we went for her results last week at the respiratory department. The consultant there asked a few questions regarding symptoms, weight, appetite etc and my mum has no symptoms (she hasn't even had the chest pain since just after the xray) her appetite and weight are the same as usual. Then he told us that unfortunately the biopsy showed breast cancer cells in the lungs. She's got 2 masses in her right lung, upper and lower and one in her upper left lung.

We've got to wait again now until the 3rd of May for an appointment at the breast cancer clinic where they'll sort out a treatment plan and go through everything properly. 

I suppose what I'm asking is what can we expect to happen now? I'm guessing my mum's cancer is at stage 4? I'm also worried about how much worse it could have gotten since the original xray because that was 11 weeks ago so by the time we go to her next appointment it'll be 12 weeks from when they first found the shadows. I''m so scared that it's spread even further and they'll tell us there's nothing they can do. 

Anyway, I'll leave it there for now. Thank you for reading. 

  • Hi Starlight 02, Sorry to hear about your mum. Hope my story will give you some comfort as I used this forum a lot at the beginning of my journey. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in right lung October 2020 after attending hospital in July 2020 with severe breathlessness ( turns out I had 3 litres of fluid in lung) Primary diagnosis was 19 years before that. Was to get CT scan but didn’t happen until severe rib pain made me call GP to expedite CT scan. Eventually diagnosed with secondaries in right lung, ribs and sacrum. After surgery to instill talc to my pleura ( to prevent further fluid on lung) I have been prescribed Ibrance and Letrozole and returned to work full time in December 2020. I need to work to keep my mental health positive and I now don’t think i am going to die every day anymore. I found ( for me) the key is to take it a day at a time and have things to look forward to. 

  • Hi mumalicious, thank you so much for your reply and yes it does give me some comfort. Everything just seems so up in the air for us at the moment. It feels as if we were given the diagnosis on the 19th after so many weeks of waiting and then told to wait again until the 3rd to hear more news and what the next steps will be. Its been a very long and worrying 12 weeks so to get messages like yours really does give me some hope.

    I really do hope you continue to do as well as you're doing now.

    Thanks again 

  • Hi Starlight.  I'm sure this must be an incredibly worrying time for you and your Mum.  I know I have been incredibly lucky with a very positive response to treatment but I would like to say that I was diagnosed with metastases in both lungs just over 10 years ago and today had my 3 monthly checkup. Yes I still have cancer but nothing that currently requires any aggressive treatment and that has been the case for several years now. I am what they refer to as 'living with cancer'.  Fingers crossed for your Mum's treatment and prognosis. I totally agree with mumalicious above take one day at a time and ensure you and your Mum have things to look forward to to help you stay positive. Remember to take care of yourself as well as your Mum.  

  • Hi Flossy, thank you so much for your reply. It's messages like yours that give me hope.

    Me and my mum met the oncologist on the 3rd who is lovely. She told us that she can't set up a treatment plan yet because she hasn't got the results from the biopsy back to see what type of breast cancer it is. She did tell us that the three masses in my mums lungs are 6cm each. She made an appointment for tomorrow, the 13th for my mum to have a bone scan/CT scan and she said she'd hopefully have the results of the breast cancer type too by then but my mum spoke to her nurse yesterday who said those results aren't back yet. 

    We just feel like so much time has gone by, it's around 15 weeks since the first xray, and the thought of how much things could have progressed in that time is frightening. I just wish they'd start the treatment so it feels like something is being done. The oncologist said because my mum isn't symptomatic (no shortness of breath/coughing up blood) she isn't too concerned about the wait and my mum does feel ok in herself apart from sometimes she gets pains in her chest and she's also anxious that things seem to be taking so long.

    Anyway, I'll leave it there for now and keep my fingers crossed that the scans tomorrow are ok.

    Thanks again for your message Flossy...You are amazing!! Xx

  • Hi Stalight02, May I ask how you and your mum are doing?  I hope your mum has started her treatment now and things are looking more positive.  Waiting to start treatment is so difficult and such an anxious time for you as well as your mum.

    Hope you are both coping. Sending positive vibes.  Flossy

  • Hi Flossy, thank you so much for checking in on us. We're doing ok thank you. My mum started her treatment on the 30th of May. It made her feel quite rough for a few days but she was soon back to her normal self. She had her 2nd cycle of treatment today and has been told that they'll do a scan after the 3rd cycle to see how things are going.

    We had an appointment with the oncologist yesterday who told us the bone scan results - It's showing on my mums sternum and her right femur now too but the oncologist said she'll just add another drug on to the treatment plan for that. She mentioned tumour markers and said that my mum's are 189 and the goal is to get them below 35 so fingers crossed that will happen.

    Thanks again for your message. I hope you're doing well xx