Jun 19, 2017 07:35AM ElaineTherese wrote:
First of all, ((Hugs)). Twenty-nine years old is awful young to be dealing with the breast cancer beast. I'm not saying this is your wife's case, but PET scans often produce false positives. I had "something" on my left hip show up on three PET scans, so my oncologist ordered an MRI with the intent of biopsying it. But, it didn't show up on the MRI or a CT, so she considers it to be a false positive.
It IS interesting that the MRI, chest X-ray, and PET scan picked up different things. You'd hope for some consistency there. But the truth is that different scans see different things. Is it possible to biopsy any of the questionable spots? A biopsy is the best way to tell, for sure, if her cancer has spread elsewhere.
That said, just because your wife's nodes exhibit no evidence of cancer, that doesn't mean she doesn't have mets. Cancer can be spread throughout the body by the bloodstream and/or lymph system. That's why chemo and hormonal therapy are often deemed necessary -- they travel throughout the body and help destroy cancer cells elsewhere before they find a new home.
If your wife indeed has mets, that doesn't mean she is "terminal," as in she has months to live. But, it does mean that she will always be doing some kind of treatment for the rest of her life, and that it is more likely that she will die from breast cancer rather than from some other cause. Many Stage IV breast cancer patients live active and fulfilling lives, as you can see from the participants in our Stage IV boards. There are all sorts of new treatment options for Stage IV patients, and some manage to stay disease-free for years without doing chemo or other harsh treatments.
Again, ((Hugs)). It would help us if you told us more about your wife's cancer. Has her cancer been fed by hormones (ER+/PR+)? Does it have an overexpression of the protein HER2 (HER2+)? What Grade was it?
In the meantime, do ask about whether it is possible to biopsy any of the trouble spots. Best wishes!