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All TopicsForum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned → Topic: Degenerative Disc Disease or...

Topic: Degenerative Disc Disease or...

Forum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned —

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: Jan 30, 2011 12:10AM, edited Jan 30, 2011 10:19AM by mnmom

mnmom wrote:

So I have a spot by my spine that showed up in a PET, The last 2 Mri's (NOV & JAN) w & w/o contrast have shown more Degeneration in my lower back & the last one lite up my spinal cord there. That area they say is DDD.
They do not know about the spot up higher.  I am frustrated! I thought contrast lit this stuff up differently.    The onc says I can find a spine surgeon or just rescan in April & see if it has changed cause the Radiologist says it is too small (less than 1 cm) to biopsy too deep to pluck out ...cause of it's location he will not touch it.
PET is scheduled for April.
I want to find out all I can before April Just in case.
I would be interested in the follow info & if anyone know more....Thanks
Anyone had a spot turn out to be just DDD & how is that diagnosed? Only by biopsy?
Is there a best test for spinal area? Can't a good radiologist do a near spine biopsy? Don't Mri's contrast signal light up different colors for stress /cancer ...? Anyone know a good spine surgeon in MN just in case? Is it 'normal' with DDD to have such diagnostic issues ( does DDD complicate the diagnostic process)?

Dx 11/2008
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Jan 30, 2011 10:20AM mnmom wrote:


Dx 11/2008
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Jan 31, 2011 08:33PM mnmom wrote:

Bump....trying again

Dx 11/2008
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Jan 31, 2011 08:40PM chele wrote:

I'm not sure I can answer your questions, but I'm in the same boat!  I had a full body bone scan done last month.  I had read that some tests show cancer as white spots, some as dark.  So, I asked the tech and he said if I had cancer it would show white; dark would be arthritis.  Not too surprizing I had many areas of dark - arthritis.  I had a fairly large spot on my spine/t9 junction and the report suggested I follow-up on it.  I had strained my back several weeks prior to the test.  I was completely symptom free for the test, but my oncologist was confident that the spot was from inflammation.  I'm not going to worry about it unless I get severe symptoms again, or my tumor count goes up. 

Wishing you the best!

Chocolate for Breakfast! Mets to lots of bones, sternum, marrow, both lobes of liver, and 5 tumors in my brain. Dx 11/2/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/11/2011, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 31, 2011 08:54PM , edited Jan 31, 2011 11:27PM by mnmom

Thanks chele, I know I have read that several people have DDD & BC I did not think anyone was reading this....

Call me stupid here but what does the full body bone scan consist of ? Is it a PET? MRI? CT?

Do they use a contrast? I ask cause you only mentioned BL & WH...

Well thanks again & best to you also......

Dx 11/2008
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Feb 16, 2011 03:40PM GoldenEyes wrote:

A full body scan,, is usually a PET SCAN.. I get them twice a year.. From head to toe. .How have you been feeling?

Dx 9/20/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 16, 2011 06:33PM , edited Feb 16, 2011 06:35PM by mnmom


I am feeling OK but weird...sometimes I think I feel it with out touching it ..not sure that it is not just in my head or DDD.

I had a PET in Oct as per my request instead of the annual CT.

That is when they found the spot then the MRI in Nov confirmed it, Then the MRI in Jan showed it too but they can not tell what it is as it is also too small to biopsy too deep to pluck out according to the radiologist. I am scheduled for a Pet in April & just trying to put it out of my mind til then.

Is a full body bone scan the same as a PET?

Dx 11/2008
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Feb 16, 2011 10:59PM hopefor30 wrote:

A bone scan and a PET scan are not the same thing.   I have never had a PET scan, but I had a bone scan when first diagnosed.   Different tests show different things.   Sorry I can't help with more info, but I do know the two scans are different.

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Feb 17, 2011 12:55AM 37antiques wrote:

Hi mnmom,

I think I'd ask the onc to send your films to a spine specialist or orthopedic doctor to review.  My husband has DDD and found that the general radiologist from wherever did not interpret them the same way a specialist would, and with DDD there is usually a type of arthritis involved too (osteo, rheumatoid or whatever) that may make it more difficult to read. 

With his it was first found on a simple Xray, then he had an MRI to see more specific damage.  It may be a lot of other things too, like a herniation or bulge.   I hope you get a clear answer soon.


IDC DCIS & Mets Dx 2/27/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 17, 2011 10:47AM 208sandy wrote:

I had a bone scan in September and was diagnosed with DDD as well but they are going to follow up at end of April and do CT scan, etc. (yearly testing) I have arthritis in my wrists as well (no wonder I have typed every day of my life since I was 17 - am now 65) my wrists don't hurt and my back only hurts occasionally (depending on how much I walk and if the weather is dampish) the radiologist was pretty firm in his belief that the DDD is just that and nothing more but my onc. isn't as sure, so.....from my PCP nothing to do about DDD unless it starts causing problems quite often it is a "silent" condition.


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Feb 18, 2011 09:02PM mnmom wrote:

Thank you sooo much for all the information. I appreciate every bit of onfo that I can get!!!!!


Dx 11/2008
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Apr 21, 2011 10:52PM mnmom wrote:

OK  I had my PET & the possible DDD or C in my mid spine is gone after 6 months! They did not even mention it on the report. I still have a few issues but mets to spine is not one of them.

Thank you again to all who responded to my questions & fears. (( Gotta love this big circle of friends. ))

Dx 11/2008
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Apr 22, 2011 02:56AM hopeful34 wrote:

mnmom- I love to hear good results.  Congrats!

Allison Dx 4/9/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2010 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Dx 6/22/2015, Left, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Chemotherapy TAC
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Apr 22, 2011 10:13AM LRM216 wrote:

Always wonderful to hear good news! 


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to end, it's about learning to dance in the rain ... Age 62 at diagnose Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/7/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/25/2009 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/21/2009 Breast
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Apr 22, 2011 10:06PM mnmom wrote:

Thank you, Yes I am still giddy

Dx 11/2008
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Apr 23, 2011 12:54AM geeknurse wrote:

I am happy to hear about your news.  I am awaiting the results of the MRI I had today.  I had a routine bone scan yesterday and they found a hot spot on my L4 Vertebral body.  Of course I am scared to death that it is mets, but hoping for DDD or arthritis.  I had to go in for the MRI this am without contrast and then they called me back in to have it with.  I was hoping they would call with the results this afternoon, but no such luck.  Now I have to wait until Monday when I am scheduled to see my oncologist for my 2 year post diagnosis checkup.

Dx 5/18/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 23, 2011 09:19PM mnmom wrote:

Sorry they are making you wait ...I was scheduled to wait longer but called the onc nurse & told her to put it online for me so I would have a heads up before my appointment. Making us wait is so unfair. I had Mri's both ways both times without & then the radiologist came in & said with too. My last clear scan came from a PET. The tech called it a PET/ CAT overlay?

 I will be sending good vibes to you this weekend & Monday geeknurse down to Eden  Prarie ( nice area) they are going now hope you can put it aside for the day & enjoy Easter. Keep us informed & good luck.((( HUGS )))

Dx 11/2008
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Apr 24, 2011 09:56AM geeknurse wrote:

I was able to go on line and see the report.  The line I didn't like was "Solitary 2mm enhancing intrathecal nodule at the mid L3 level.  Given the patient's history of breast cancer, this is suspicious for drop metastasis.  Followup MR evaluation of the remainder of the neural axis is recommended."

The rest showed degenerative arthrosis which they think accounted for the increased activity on the bonescan.

I'm really scared and imagining the worse.  I see my Onc tomorrow and will have to see what she has to say.  Thanks for the (((HUGS))).  I'm going to need all of the support I can get if this is truly mets.

Dx 5/18/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 24, 2011 04:07PM mnmom wrote:


I hope & pray for you that it is ok. Know that we are here for you either way. (((((((((((EASTER HUGS))))))))))

Dx 11/2008
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Apr 24, 2011 05:38PM flash wrote:

hugs geeknurse.  I hope it isn't

multifocal multicentric IDC, DCIS, pagets et al. - er+,pr+ her2+++, mast,chemo, ooph, hyst Dx 10/10/2007, Paget's, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 25, 2011 08:41AM mnmom wrote:


Good luck today.

Dx 11/2008
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Apr 25, 2011 09:04AM , edited Apr 25, 2011 09:04AM by hrf

My DDD was dx by regular x-Ray. I was having severe back pain. But this was
A year before my BC dx

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Apr 25, 2011 11:30PM geeknurse wrote:

My onc doesn't think it's mets.  She said she's never seen spine mets without it being elsewhere. My CXR was clear and labs were normal. Tumor markers were actually down from earlier in the year. In 6 weeks we'll do a head and total spine MRI to see what's to see.  She thinks it's degeneration/damage from an injury. So, I am a bit more optimistic than I was, but the fear never goes away.

Dx 5/18/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 26, 2011 10:13PM mnmom wrote:

Oh that sound real good I do understand not being able to live fearless but try not to let it get the best of you!!!

My markers dropped too! yippee for us both!!

Dx 11/2008