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Topic: What type of chemo for lung mets

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

Please respect that this forum is for members with stage IV/metastatic breast cancer only. There is a separate forum for caregivers and friends: Caring for Someone with Stage 4 or Mets.

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC; also called stage IV) is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, liver, brain, or lungs. Metastatic breast cancer can be treated but not cured. Metastatic disease is NOT hopeless. There are a wide variety of treatment options for metastatic breast cancer, and new medicines are being tested every day. More and more people are living life to the fullest while being treated for metastatic breast cancer.

Note: Please contact your doctor for any specific concerns about symptoms you are experiencing or your course of treatment.

Learn more about living with MBC.

Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Jul 23, 2007 09:41PM

skirk wrote:

I am hoping that you girls can help me out with this one. I had a mastectomy Oct.2004 and did three rounds of fec and had to stop because of a pulmonary embolism in my right lung.
Everything was going fine and my oncologist told me last August that he longer needed to see me and to just get follow up care either through my surgeon or breast cancer support dr. My breast cancer support dr. said that she would not do any scans, blood work etc. Only if I had symptoms!!
I went to my surgeon and he ordered a pet scan for March of this year and 2 lymph nodes lit up in my collarbone.
I then went to my onc. and he started me on zoladex in April. In early May I hasd shortness of breath and he ordered a chest x-ray which showed fluid in the left lung.
He finally ordered a ct scan and Pet scan and a lung biopsy and the results showed lung mets and possibly bone mets, (which didn't show up on my bone scan in June of this year)
He now wants me to start Taxol and gemcitabine for 8 treatments and then after the first three they will re-scan and see if it is working.
Is this the drug of choice for any of you that have these mets. I am so afraid to do chemo again because of what happened before, but I know I have to do it to survive.
Sherri Log in to post a reply

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Jul 23, 2007 10:42PM Traci40 wrote:

Hi Sherri,
I am soooo sorry to hear about your new troubles.
>>>>deep sigh<<<< But.... hang on girl....
My dad is currently battling a world war with lung mets. They are trying to start him on a new drug that I can't remember right now but, tomorrow I will look it up and advise.
You've come to the right place!! There are so many girls on here that are doing great with there treatment with lung mets.
I'll check back tomorrow and you do the same cuz I know, you will have a ton of responses.
You sound really brave and I know you will get through this.
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Jul 24, 2007 02:12AM AusAla wrote:


I am so sorry you've had to join us here in this forum. I've been living with mets primarily to my bones for over 3 1/2 years. So far, we have kept it under control with targeted therapies==no additional chemo. Are you ER/PR and her2neu positive? If so, there are targeted therapy options available to try. There are SO many more drugs out there for us mets folks. We are LIVING with metastatic bc.....and you will too. Hang in there and know that you are not alone. Let us know how your treatment plan is going and how YOU are doing.
Sending positive thought and prayers and hugs,
"I don't want to be in a battle, but waiting on the edge of one I can't escape is even worse! Pippin, Lord of the Ring: Return of the King Dx 5/13/2002, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 3/17 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 24, 2007 02:35AM fd411 wrote:

Hi Sherri,

I think that "tests only when there are symptoms" is hog wash. I personally think things like mets might be caught earlier with an ounce of prevention, especially if you've had a particularly aggressive cancer to start with.

My lung mets were found when I had pain breathing. I have spread in other areas as well and my onc wanted to try taxol and carboplatin. I had a second opinion, and Xeloda and Avastin were suggested. I'm on Xeloda and Navelbine. I may switch the Avastin later. It's only been a week, so I haven't noticed any changes yet, but the only side effect I feel so far is fatigue.

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Jul 24, 2007 06:18AM jacqniel wrote:

I was diagnoses with lung (malignant pleural effusion) and bone mets in Dec. '06. I started out on Faslodex (I am hormone positive) and Aredia (a bone strengthener). However, when it was discovered that I had malignant pleural effusion around my heart I was switched to chemo in March '07. I just had my 7th round of Abraxane and Avastin along with Aredia. I receive this treatment every three weeks.
Abraxane is the newest version of Taxol. It is less toxic to the body due to what is used to make it infusable. I would question my onc about using this chemo instead of the Taxol.
I was scanned after my 5th treatment and it showed decreased activity in my bones and great improvement in my lungs.
My side effects can be uncomfortable, but when I compare it to my initial tx 4 years ago it is a breeze. I have 4 or five days of neuropathy and pain in my feet and legs, sore skin and muscles in my shoulders and neck (I am pretty sure from the Neulasta shot I receive the day after tx to keep my white count where it needs to be), and I am tired for a few days. I control the pain with arthritis strength Tylenol - taking it every 8 hours as directed. Oh - I also have to monitor my digestive tract as that first week tends to waffle between the big C and the big D - but that has gotten less intrusive with each treatment.
Hope this is helpful. Hang in there - you CAN do this! Jacque
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Jul 24, 2007 07:15AM LuAnnH wrote:

I'm really sorry you had to join our group, but it is the best group of people you will find! You need to know your hormone and HER2 status, that will help determine your tx course. If the fluid buildup gets too uncomfortable, they can drain it to relieve your pain. I do know that gemzar is a very good chemo and has had excellent results with minimal side effects. If you are uncomfortable at all about your tx I would recommend a second opinion, even if it is just for piece of mind. I have done that. My second opinion was the same as the 1st onc, but I ended up staying with the 2nd opinion onc. I felt more comfortable with him. Although I felt the original onc was great, I just liked the beside manner of the second one better. A good relationship with your onc will make a huge difference in your journey with this disease.

LuAnn -- Dx 7/2/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jul 24, 2007 01:02PM joanne1428 wrote:

There are many chemos to treat lung mets, but I think that taxanes (Taxol, Taxotere, Abraxane) are an excellent choice for first line tx of mets, including lung mets. I think the response rate is very, very good. Would you be able to procure Avastin? Because that would also be a super combo - Taxol + Avastin.

As to your last experience with chemo, both Taxol and Gemzar are very different chemos then FEC.... completely different side effects, and hopefully would not cause another emboli, but I think your team will watch you very closely for any signs of trouble.

Good luck making the decision, you will feel better once you have a plan in place. I am just sorry that you have the need of a tx plan at all.... this is a very unfair and uncivilized disease.

I have been in treatment for lung mets for just over a year. I think it is impossible to predict which chemo "combo" will work, but try to have faith that there is one out there that will work on your cancer. Because there is, it just sometimes takes a while to be figured out. Hang on...........
My hopes are not always realized but I always hope - Ovid Dx 4/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/33 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 24, 2007 04:00PM skirk wrote:

Thank you, its people like you that make me feel like there is hope and not a death sentence.

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Jul 24, 2007 11:39PM katie11 wrote:

There certainly is hope and lots of it! I don't have lung mets - my mets are to the liver and bone and were diagnosed at the same time as the breast cancer itself. I have done 7 months of taxotere and xeloda and now my disease has been stable for about 4 months and I have been on a chemo break all of that time. My onc has always said that stage 4 is now something that can be controlled for many years.

Hugs to you,

Katie xx
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst! Dx 7/15/2006, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 25, 2007 12:17AM boobbuster wrote:

Sherri -
Like everyone else, I think the regiment they have chosen for you will give you great results. I took taxotere for 6 months and have been stable for 3 months. Take care of yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually. God is able, Stephanie

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