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Breast MRI shows a chest wall enhancement

Hi everyone,

So I’m almost 3 years from first being diagnosed and I got a follow up breast MRI and I have a non-mass like enhancement to the lateral chest wall (same side as my cancer). The radiologist said “could be from treatment but metastatic malignancy should be considered. I feel like the radiologist knows it’s cancer. I don’t want anything sugar coated, I like to be mentally prepared. I realize I’m trying to read into the words but what do you guys think?


  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192

    Lulu wish I could discern which direction this is heading for you but I cannot. I assume you have a follow up scheduled with your MO or surgeon? I have an MRI tomorrow morning to check out a spot I can feel and I am a little further out than you - almost four years now. The fun never ends does it?

    Sending you best wishes for a benign finding please let us know how you get on.

  • obsolete
    obsolete Member Posts: 333

    Hi LuLu, I'm really sorry your terrifying waiting game appears to have no easy quick answers. There are some categories of enhancements which can go in either direction, whether or not a lesion is actually found. It's an imperfect science. Please let us know how you make out. Fingers crossed it's probably benign!



  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 409


    We were diagnosed the same summer, with quite similar pathology features. I did biopsy last week, will get report this Friday. I totally understood, and I was suffering as well.

    Best wishes!

  • cookie54
    cookie54 Member Posts: 618

    Hi Lulu, I feel the same way I am a straight shooter also, so I get it! I would like to say I am in the radiology field and have read many reports over the years. That being said typically if they are very concerned they use phrases like "highly suspicious "for neoplasm, metastatic disease , concerning for recurrence of disease. Honestly many times things aren't that black and white and they don't want to state something leaning towards definitive if they aren't pretty sure. I also know that anyone who has a history of cancer always raises suspicion also.

    I know it's hard not to get ahead of ourselves and I am guilty of that at times for sure! Maybe your MO will order a CT Chest with contrast or a PET to see how the chest wall looks. I always hope for the best and prepare myself for the worse! I hope this helps you a little. Best wishes.

  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,848

    Hi, I'm in a somewhat similar position. CT scan showed a couple of problems and I'm waiting for an appt for a US guided needle biopsy. They suspect BC metastasis, but as a former smoker it could also be lung ca. The waiting for radiology appt is difficult. I had a pleural effusion (liquid between chest wall and lung) which was drained yesterday. That's also suspicious for ca. Complication is that DH has dementia and parkinson's. He's at home with me, but we need information for next steps. As always waiting is the hardest part.

  • lulu44
    lulu44 Member Posts: 32

    Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. It's so wonderful to be able to connect with people who understand, it's amazing how much it helps.

    Rah2464: my MO said she's “not very worried," she ordered me a chest CT and a bone scan. I'm waiting for authorization. She told me there's a CT contrast shortage right now. I hope your MRI brings you good news. Did you hear back yet?

    Obsolete: thank you so much for writing. It seems “non-masslike enhancement" is a total gray area.

    Cathy67: thank you for writing. I hope your biopsy turned out to be benign. I'm sorry you're suffering. Sending you loving and hopeful vibes.

    Cookie54: I love a straight shooter! Thank you for the info on radiology. The report said this: “while it could be treatment related, the possibility of malignancy/metastasis should be considered."
    he recommended a chest CT and bone scan. So that's why I'm nervous. Just that fact that he mentioned those things. Makes me think he knows. My MO said she's not very worried but she's also said she really doesn't know. Plus I feel like she could be saying that so I don't stress while I wait. I've been waiting a week just for authorization. I'm a nurse and I can see reassuring someone while they wait so they don't worry and it turns out benign. Although I don't do that bc I'm a straight shooter too. I do understand why someone would.

    Wren44: my goodness you're going through a lot. I'm so sorry that you had to endure all that testing and the draining of the effusion. I'm hoping and praying that you don't get bad news. Do you any have help with your husband? Dementia and Parkinson's are among the most difficult things a caregiver can endure. The person with the illness suffers greatly but the mental stress of loving someone with those afflictions is unimaginably painful and exhausting. I'm so sorry you have all of that on your plate.

    With deepest gratitude,

    Tish (Lulu44

  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    wren & lulu, sorry you're in the test & wait game. Thinking of you and hoping for benign results 🤗

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192

    Lulu - my MRI came back benign thanks for asking. I wish the same for you on your tests. I am glad they are being thorough with you. Perhaps that is a measure of how thorough they are rather than suspicious. Please let us know how your tests go.

    Wrenn44 gosh I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. Even more complicated with your DH health issues. Do you have access to any resources at the cancer center to assist you with managing what has to be a very complicated daily situation? Sending you ((Hugs))

  • melgirl
    melgirl Member Posts: 18

    Hi lulu44. I was just reading your story. Have you had any updates? I hope you have good news.


  • wren44
    wren44 Member Posts: 7,848

    The scheduler called this morning. Today was the first shower I took without the phone. She said call her back. No chance of ever getting a person. Then I got a copy of the authorization and I'm scared to death. It sounds much more invasive than I thought it would be. And I'm worse off than she let on.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192

    Oh Wren darn it. Of course they call when you scurry to take 5 min to clean up .

    Maybe the authorization is written broadly as a standard so it covers for unplanned situations instead of being specific just to what they think is going on for you. That way all the pathways for insurance are cleared ahead of time. Just a thought.

    Wishing you a quick surgical date and hope things go better than expected. Hugs