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Topic: Now a Chest MRI - please help

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

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: May 19, 2020 03:49PM - edited May 19, 2020 03:52PM by berries

berries wrote:

Last Monday, I had a 6-month follow up CT scan done which showed 6 small foci that my MO was concerned about that did now show on any of my pre-chemo scans. A follow up bone scan last Friday revealed that only 1 small area that is concerning, an area on my 3rd rib. I talked to my Onc and my RO and they both said it could be anything, but there was an area of uptake there. The bone scan read:

  • While these findings make skeletal metastatic disease in these sites less likely, given the presence of mild uptake in one of these sites, follow-up repeat bone scintigraphy in 3-6 months is recommended for further evaluation. This solitary rib finding could represent either a site of previous trauma or conceivably a focal metastasis in this location, although the latter is statistically less likely.

I just got a message that they want a chest MRI to look at the area on the 3rd rib. I don't know what I am asking specifically, but the area is where my mastectomy was and I just had my exchange surgery 2 months ago. Just finished chemo only 3 months ago. I know that surgery does not technically touch the rib, but my expander and implant was below the muscle and I know there is rib there. It is also where my mastectomy scar is.

Has this happened to anyone and it ended up being nothing? I am terrified and am sinking into a terrible depression.

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 19, 2020 05:09PM Beesie wrote:

From the description from the bone scan report, it sounds as though this MRI has been scheduled as a precaution in order to rule out mets to the rib, not because of an expectation that they will find mets.

Certainly your reconstruction surgery could have caused trauma to the rib. I have subpectoral implants and my ribs get sore and achey all the time.

Based on the bone scan results, to keep yourself sane while you wait, my advice is to assume that all is fine and that the MRI will confirm that. That is certainly where the bone scan report is leading you. If it should turn out to be different, you will deal with it if it happens - no amount of worry now is going to change that. And with luck, all the worry will end up being for nothing, just a very scary false positive.

Good luck!


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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May 19, 2020 05:09PM - edited May 19, 2020 05:10PM by berries

Thank you Bessie. I have read that a single rib involvement is very rare (2%), so I pray that it is nothing.Scared

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 19, 2020 05:17PM berries wrote:

The nurse said my Dr wants me to get the MRI "for additional detailed pictures to help us delineate cancer from a bone abnormality. It looks like a bone abnormality but she would like additional imaging."

I haven't slept or eaten in about a week and know that is not healthy, but I am just terrified. Please pray for me

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 19, 2020 05:59PM jcp wrote:

hi berries

I agree with Beesie. I think they are leaning mostly to something benign according to what you shared. I know it is so difficult, though. Try and eat or try and take a small walk outside. I have a CT scan to check calcifications seen on chest xray. It is scheduled for this Thursday, in two days at 3;30 pm. I'm also very scared. I've knock on wood( I just did) been okay since end of 2005 when Dx. I will pray for you. Let me know when it is scheduled for? Please keep me in your prayers. Take it easy. JCP

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May 19, 2020 06:02PM berries wrote:

Praying for you jcp. My MRI is also on Thursday, I will be sending a prayer for you at 330pm. Sending you love and light.

Thanks for the kindness. This is very scary.

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 19, 2020 06:09PM RadagastRabbit wrote:

Gentle hugs berries! Hang in there, I know this is just awful, the testing and the uncertainty and the waiting. Totally understand.

Beesie never ceases to give great advise and she did above. I’d trust Beesie’s advise.

Try to rest and eat something. Try to breathe. I know, easier said than done. Thinking of you! Let us know how the MRI goes.All my prayers are with you today. I hope you get answers soon.

Mets @ Rads planning. Mets to Pelvis, Femurs, Shoulders, Ribs, T. Spine, L. Spine, Sternum, Sacrum/SI Joints. MyRisk neg. KEAP1 "Courage of the heart is very rare, there's a power when its there" 37yrs old @ IV DX. lifeandirises.home.blog/ Dx 7/30/2018, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/26/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/26/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Dx 4/19/2019, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 5/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 4/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Dx 5/17/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/1/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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May 19, 2020 06:49PM Rambros wrote:

Hi Berries...I’ll keep you in my thoughts as well that all will turn out just fine. I went through a somewhat similar situation recently - felt like the doctors where searching everything & everywhere looking for cancer.

I had a CT scan after an ultrasound of my arm/neck (that I had due to mild hand swelling) showed an enlarged lymph node in my neck. The CT ruled out neck issues but found a sclerotic lesion on my T2 of my spine. Had a MRI of my spine which found no metastasis. I felt relieved but then they started comparing The 2 scans to each other and my old PET scan in 2014 and said they can’t rule out Mets since it was not on my 2014 PET.

So then I had a bone scan with a detailed look at my spine. Again all looked fine but they found a small sclerotic focus on the top of my femur/hip socket. Then I had to have a hip MRI which said that it was a benign bone tumor but I should rescan in 6 months to be safe.

My MO told me that when radiologists look at a scans of a cancer patient they put down every little thing they see that would maybe be assumed as nothing for someone without a cancer history. She also said that ‘every scan begets another scan’ which is why they don’t due them as yearly follow-ups for patients with no pain. I also couldn’t eat or sleep during all of this, but I kept reminding myself that no one thinks I have cancer at this point and if it turned out that I did have one or two spots I would find a doctor who thinks he can cure someone with limited Mets and I would do all I could to hit it hard (I’m 42 and otherwise healthy). Your doctor is making sure you are getting great medical treatment and I really feel from that wording from the radiologist that you are fine - they are just being super thorough. Take care

Dx 10/8/2014, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/17/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 19, 2020 07:15PM berries wrote:

Thank you so much. I am just in such a deep, deep despair... crying now as I type this.

I just had a bone and CT scan 7 months ago before I started chemo and everything was fine. I went through hell during chemo, hospitalized, recovered and spent 4 weeks going through radiation which only just finished 4 weeks ago.

I don't understand.

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 22, 2020 10:42AM berries wrote:

Rambos, what did your bone spots end up being? Were they caused by treatment?

I was supposed to have an MRI yesterday, but my doctor called the night before and said don't worry about going to it, that it wouldn't really give us that much detail. As I stated, I have had a CT that showed 6 new spots (compared to my October CT) and then I got a Bone Scan a few days later and of the 6, only one of them had "mild uptake" which the report said could be caused by trauma or a single met, but the latter was statistically less likely. I am trying to find comfort in these words "statistically less likely" and that they've tried to rule out bone involvement given that I have only just finished chemo 3 months ago...

Has this false-positive rabbit hole happened to anyone? Scan after scan.

My MO thinks it might be metabolic changes caused by treatment - I would not be surprised given that I lost all of my fingernails and despite rigid cold-capping, went bald and lost all hair. I can't image what it did to my insides.


Any insight or input is much appreciated based on these scans. I am hoping/praying it is nothing, but my MO is presenting my case to the tumor board on Monday for more input on whether or not we biospy.

Please send prayers up for me... x

Dx 8/6/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/18/2019 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (right) Chemotherapy 10/24/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/17/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 4/29/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/7/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 22, 2020 01:54PM Beesie wrote:

berries, the false positive rate from CT and PET scans is high. I don't know how many people will see your post so I don't know how many responses you'll get, but lots of people here have gone through the very scary false positive experience. This is precisely the reason why the NCCN Treatment Guidelines advise against routine screening for mets for those with early stage breast cancer, unless there are specific symptoms that need to be evaluated.

My own experience is a bit different than yours, but I did have a false positive following an MRI. I had a UMX so still had one remaining breast. Because I was considered high risk, for the first few years after my diagnosis I alternated every 6 months between mammograms and MRIs. One year my MRI report indicted an "incidental finding" of a lesion on my spine, which possibly could be mets. That led to an urgent appointment with my MO (who at that point I hadn't seen for a while because I wasn't on any treatment), who took it very seriously and said that in all likelihood I would need to have another MRI, specifically of my spine, to see what was going on. However first he called on one of their spinal imaging experts, who closely evaluated the imaging and determined that the lesion was benign and nothing of concern. So I got lucky - I got the 'all clear' and was able to avoid additional screening. That was a pretty tense couple of weeks. And I admit that for next year or two, if I had back/spinal pain (which I often have because I have osteoarthritis), I would wonder if maybe I should have had the second MRI in order to have clearer imaging of my spine. I also admit that while from a breast screening standpoint I was frustrated when it was decided that I didn't need the MRIs anymore, I was very relieved that I wouldn't have to worry about any more of these false positives.

I hope that this is a false positive for you.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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May 22, 2020 02:25PM Rambros wrote:

Hi Berries...I don’t have a real final answer on my spinal sclerotic lesion that was seen on the CT. The MRI radiologist declared the same spot (T3 or T2) totally normal and then added an addendum after reviewing the CT that it was just modest heterogeneity without enhancement. My bone scan with spine SPECT showed no abnormal activity so I felt fine to let it go after that. Like you this spot was not on my initial PET before treatment (2014) which is why they kept scanning to look for cancer.

My hip spot (top of my femur) is assumed to be a benign enchondroma but I have to rescan in 6 months to confirm that.

The anxiety from scans like these is awful and like you I was very depressed during this (I relied on Xanax and medical marijuana edibles). And it’s so hard to pick up a report and get no answers - just more questions. I’ll say a prayer for you for sure...if it were me I’d get a MRI before going straight to a bone biopsy. My MO told me that she’s only had one case where a MRI was negative but a bone biopsy was positive

Dx 10/8/2014, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 11/17/2014 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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May 23, 2020 06:02AM jcp wrote:

berries, did you schedule your follow up yet? I got my CT scan yesterday as I said. I can't tell you what it means that you said a prayer for me! I am so so scared at this moment. The anxiety is getting worse bc I know I will find out at latest Monday. As it get closer the nerves get worse. Thank you for praying. I will definitely keep you in my prayers, berries. Thank you for saying a prayer! The radiology department said my dr will have the results in 2 days. So having it done on Friday around 3 pmish (They saw me pretty quickly, no one in the hospital lobby), I am thinking Monday. I just thought, though , that Monday is Memorial Day. I am afraid of a call. I know it doesn't make much sense but I already have anxiety pretty bad without this. Not too much support here. Very thankful for this site. God please keep all of us safe from breast cancer or any cancer ever again! Amen. JCP




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May 23, 2020 06:11AM jcp wrote:

berries, JCP here. You had your MRI yesterday, too? When will you get results? I dont think you should worry too much about it bc the wording was very favorable to good outcome. But..I know how it is. Let me know when you can. Prayers and light yo you! JCP AKA SUSAN

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May 23, 2020 06:14AM jcp wrote:

berries, oh geez sorry do many posts to you. I read on and saw you didn't get the MRI that it wouldn't prove or disprove much. I say relax until you hear otherwise. JCP/ Susan

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May 23, 2020 09:41AM BevJen wrote:

jcp,

don't know if this would help or not -- even though it's a weekend, your hospital's radiology department will likely be open. you could call and check and see if the report has been filed yet. where I live, the reports are usually up the same day -- the radiologists don't mess around. if it's up, you could ask if you can go to the hospital and get a copy. they are required to give you one.

if that will stress you out more, then don't do it. just a suggestion.

Dx 11/2003, ILC, Left, Stage IIIC, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 6/2006, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER+ Dx 5/2019, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/4/2019 Targeted Therapy 7/31/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Pedicled TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Pedicled TRAM flap Chemotherapy TAC Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Pedicled TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Pedicled TRAM flap Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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May 23, 2020 10:38AM Bravenurse13 wrote:

Yes I have. I have been on the roller coaster for almost 4 years. Not everything on a PET scan or CT is what it seems. A radiologist gives the objective findings, the oncologist does either further testing or waits (if appropriate), or waits for a repeat scan. An experienced Oncologist can sometimes make a educational decision, we just have to trust them.

It's Never Easy! Dx 9/25/2016, IBC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 9/29/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 4/11/2017 3DCRT: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 1/16/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement

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