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Jun 16, 2021 08:10AM
Jun 16, 2021 08:13AM
Olma - I was suspected Stage III after initial diagnostics, which is what triggered the CT and bone scans I had. In the UK at least, if there is reason to suspect potential for mets at the start (when you get to the breast clinic), you will get scanned.
Kestrel - my mets are in three lumbar where the entire lumbar body is sclerotic and they aren't the ones that give me pain it was a sacral met that caused worsening mobility. However, with a long history of back problems in that area, I brushed it off for a long time. Here the GP system are the gatekeepers and there aren't comprehensive annual physical breast checks - unlike the US, I don't go for an annual gynae exam, I had to request a PAP, and even then it was take off your pants, lay back, and thats it, no physical breast exam. NO ONE touches you on the NHS at the GP level, like they will do everything in their power to not have to touch you. Healthcare is not some miraculous event in a socialized medicine country, its just a different faceless entity calling the shots, in the UK its a govt entity that authorizes the treatments and drugs.
Also, additional imaging tosses up incidentals that can start you down a whole other path that are likely to be wholly unneeded and just cause anxiety and greater cost for the patient as well. I just had my ovaries out and while they were fine, a small amount of blood vessel inflammation was found in a kidney (not cancer related). Great, now I get to worry about that in the back of my mind. MO is taking the watch and wait stance as I get imaging coverage of that area anyway so if it develops into something further it will get caught, but who knows, maybe it was vaccine related. My point is that increased medical intervention isn't always the best approach either.
I like to liken MBC as similar to a plane crash incident - in a fatal crash, there is no one single point of failure, it is made up of multiple tiny failures that line up in the right way at the right time to cause a crash. Same with MBC - a missed exam, a distracted doctor, a cell that decided to take the blood flume ride rather than via the lymph nodes, something at the biochemical level, etc. Some of it preventable, some of it not, some of it complete chance.
"The closer we come to the negative, to death, the more we blossom" - Montgomery Clift
9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole)
11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib)
Prophylactic ovary removal