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Topic: BREAST CANCER METS TO LUNG

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: Aug 10, 2007 03:59PM

sisterlove wrote:

Hi!

I am writing to hopefully find encouragement for my sister's recent diagnosis of mets to lung. She had a mastectomy 3 1/2 years ago, right side, diagnosed with Stage 1 and no lymph node involvement. 4 rounds of chemo and then Tamoxifan. Thinking she had bronchitis, she went to her Dr. and was given antibiotics and steroid. No better. Breathing became hard and she was admitted to the hospital where they told her that her lung lining had to be drained. A liter of fluid was taken and tested. Breast cancer cells were found. She has had a PET scan and bone scan today, CAT scan tomorrow and they are testing fluid to see if the breast cancer cells are the same, ER+, as her original diagnosed cancer. Can anyone give me information regarding their course of treatment when mets to lung has been diagnosed. My sister is 42 and premenstral. She is planning on having her ovaries removed no matter what now. Does this diagnosis warrant chemo again or a change in hormone medication? Any information anyone can offer would be a tremendous help. Thank you all in advance for any help you can offer and keep up the good fight. We must all fight the good fight against breast cancer and find a cure. Log in to post a reply

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Aug 10, 2007 04:12PM boobbuster wrote:

Sisterlove-
First your sister is blessed to have you as her advocate. I too have lung mets and yes, there are treatments that are available to her. I'm assuming that since she has had chemo before and hormomal drugs that they will do both. Depending on the scan results she may or maynot have to do radiation. Regardless, there are tons of options available to her. One recommendation is that she go to a Cancer Treatment Center for treatment preferably a teaching hospital. There may be some clinical trials that she would qualify.

I have lung mets that are triple negative (breast cancer which don't respond to horomonal treatments) and currently everything is stable and I'm not on any treatments. In the past I've done Carboplatin and Taxotere. God is able, Stephanie
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Aug 10, 2007 04:32PM fd411 wrote:

Hi sisterlove,

I am 42 as well and was recently diagnosed with mets. My lungs are one of the areas. I'm tripleneg like Stephanie, so my treatment doesn't involve hormonal medications.

Right now, I'm on Xeloda and Navelbine. Recently, I was sent to the ER for trouble breathing. It was cancer related, and was given Prednisone to take to relieve the symptoms. Right now, my breathing is better and I'm hoping that the chemo is working as well.

It seems that your sister will probably be on chemo again, and my onc told me that there are many combinations that can be used for mets.

Best wishes to you and your sister,
Ferne
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Aug 10, 2007 04:46PM sisterlove wrote:

Thank you so much for your encouraging news! We discussed all options in general with her oncologist, but, of course, without all the facts in yet, we cannot know what road we are going down just yet. We are in New Jersey, we are close to Robert Wood Johnson which is a teaching hospital and also Memorial Sloan Kettering, NYC. Did you go to a Cancer Treatment Center?

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Aug 10, 2007 04:48PM jacqniel wrote:

Sisterlove, I too had a malignant pleural effusion - I was diagnosed 8 months ago. I am hormone +, so my initial treatment was Faslodex (a monthly hormona suppresant shot). It was a very simple treatment and had few side effects. Unfortunately, it was discovered I also had a malignant pleural effusion around my heart (which is pretty unusual), so my onc switched my treatment to chemo. I had my first scan in June since starting chemo and it showed improvement.
Your sister will have many options for treatment so do not give up hope. Please continue to post and invite your sister to join us, too! Hugs, Jacque
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Aug 10, 2007 04:52PM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Ferne,

Thank you so much for your response! Since my sister's cancer is highly estrogen driven, I expect hormonal therapy will be a huge part of her path. I am happy to hear there are many options available and we are quite anxious for her to begin. I hope you are feeling better and think all the women who participate in helping others fight this disease are angels. Keep up the good work and stay healthy!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 10, 2007 04:56PM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Jacque,

I am so encouraged that minutes after my posting I already have positive feedback! I am so happy to have found all of you strong women! I will encourage my sister to join for sure. Yes, malignant pleural effusion is what her oncologist did say. I expect chemo will be part of her treatment and I am so glad to hear that their is improvement with your treatment! Keep up the good work and I will keep you all posted!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 10, 2007 07:36PM QueenSansaStark wrote:

When my mom was dx'd, her BC had already spread to one of her lungs. Five years later, she's VERY much alive and kicking. In fact, she is NED. Yay!

Mom is ER+. Her treatment consisted of mastectomy, removal of the part of the lung with the met, chemo, and now Arimidex. She is postmenopausal. Because your sister is premenopausal, she'd get Tamoxifen instead of Arimidex.

Thanks to new improved chemo drugs and hormonals, survival for advanced cancer is a LOT better than it was.
There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. - Albert Schweitzer Dx 2/1/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 3/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2007 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2007 Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Aug 10, 2007 07:54PM JerseyGemini wrote:

Hi Sister --

I was also stage 1 four years ago at age 30 with no nodes and recently found met in my rib so I know the shock she must have. Even though I knew there was always the chance, I really thought it was so early and I had it licked. It may take a while for her to get through the phases of disbelief..I'm so up and down three months later.

I don't have it in my lung but usually they do a chemo first when it is in an organ like the lung and then hormonals...there are a lot of different hormonal treatments and tons of chemos so you both should have a lot of hope. I had my ovaries out in June so I am on Femara. I was on tamoxifen and lupron when it came back.

I am also from NJ...up North in Nutley. I go to St. Barnabas in Livingston for everything. With this recent recurrance I had second opinions from both Sloan Kettering and Cancer Institute of NJ. I am very "up" on this disease and like CINJ better than Sloan....I didn't learn anything new there. It might have been who I met with but Dr. Ganesan at CINJ was really good..discussed different things, etc. Also, I hear Linda Vadat is very good at Cornell-New York Hospital.

Second opinions are a good thing to do whether you like your doctor or not...it made me feel alot more comfortable that those two certified cancer centers agreed with my oncologist.

Good luck to you and your sister. I have one sister who is my only immediate family as I lost my mom to bc when i was 23. You are lucky to have each other.

Tess
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Aug 10, 2007 08:35PM Sherryg683 wrote:

I was diagnosed in Dec 2005 with 2 lung nodules. I am HER2+, ER/PR-. I was NED 4 months later and have been in remission since, praise God. I was put on Taxotere/Xeloda and Herceptin. I remain on Herceptin now every week as a preventative but that's for HER2. Your sister will most likely go into chemo and not hormonals. There are many chemo combinations out there that they can try. They can and will get it under control, you are a great sister...sherry

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Aug 11, 2007 07:42AM sisterlove wrote:

Hi!

Thanks so much for the info! I am so happy to hear that your mom is doing so well and will keep her along with the many other "angels" I am meeting on this wonderful site, in my prayers! Scans are being completed today, and we will know more by mid-week. Thanks for taking the time to reach out. Have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 11, 2007 07:54AM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Tess,

What a small world! Thank you for your response. I do think my sister may have mets to her bones, she does have arthritis in her back, but lately she has been saying her hip and rib cage do hurt. We will know for sure next week when her scan results are in. She is also going to St. Barnabas and we do love her oncologist, Dr. Michaelson. He is a very highly thought of and a kind man. We do right now, have an appointment at Sloan Kettering in September and also an oncologist from Overlook on 8/21. It is not the diagnosis at this point we are questioning, we would like to hear what a few different doctors think the best course of drugs and treatment will be. As you said, it is shocking to find out the cancer is back when your first prognosis seems so favorable. We are all in that shock bubble right now, but I know it will pass and we will get on to the business of fighting this. We also lost our mother in 1974, she was 39, we were just kids, so I know that heartache very well and know how that affects your life and relationships. I know my sister and I are closer for it. You too are lucky to have your sister, maybe one day we can all get together and celebrate our lives! Stay well Tess, you are one of so many angels that will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 11, 2007 08:00AM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Sherry!

Thank you so much for the most encouraging news and I am so happy to hear that you are doing GREAT!! Keep it up!! I think you are right that she will go back on chemo and she is really, really convinced now that her ovaries must come out to stop the estrogen flow in her body. Since her diagnosis, I have oftened wondered, why her and not me? She is my baby sister, but I realize, it is my job to help take care of her and make this time in her life as easy as possible. I think this forum would be a great place for her to find strength and comfort, all of you women are so inspirational and strong and you are all fighters. God bless you and keep you healthy!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 11, 2007 08:47AM katie11 wrote:

Hi Donna,

How fortunate your sister is to have you to help support her throughout this difficult journey.

I don't have lung mets myself - my mets were diagnosed in the bone from the get-go and, until recently, we thought it might be in the liver, too, but that turned out to be benign.

Both my onc and I decided to start with aggressive treatment - a chemo combination of xeloda and taxotere. I did this for 7 months and it really wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Now I only have a few tiny lesions left that have been stable for the past 5 months and am currently taking tamoxifen daily in pill form as my cancer is ER+. I am also having monthly shots of Enantone for the estrogen and hopefully this will push me into menopause, too.

As the other women here have said, there are many options available these days and my onc always says he views stage 4 now as a chronic disease that can be controlled for many years.

I hope your sister is managing to cope with this latests news - it does come as a terrible shock, I know.

Hugs,

Katie xoxo
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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Aug 11, 2007 09:26AM Dollyd wrote:

Sisterlove.

So sorry to read you post. Like your sister I had plural effusion in October 2002 and also 1 litre drained. I too am E+ so I opted to have ovaries removed (with key hole surgery) and I have been on Arimidex since. If you have any other questions that I might be able to help you with feel to email me directly.
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Aug 11, 2007 09:57AM JerseyGemini wrote:

Hi --

Small world indeed....I also go to Dr. Michaelson :-) He is the best around I'm told. I too wanted different takes on treatment recommendations but found Sloan and CINJ both agreed with Michaelson. In one way I was kind of hoping for some creativity but another way am relieved at the consenus. I also went to an alternative oncologist in NYC and he agreed with Dr. Michaelson. Michaelson told me that Dana Farber is probably the most aggressive big cancer center in the region if that is the opinion I'm looking for.

I'm up at St. Barnabas every week it seems so our get together is probably easier than we think!

tess
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Aug 11, 2007 10:07AM joanne1428 wrote:

I was also Stage 1, node negative in 2001, and now have lung mets, which I have had since April 2006.

I am triple negative as well, so hormonal tx are not an option, only chemo, and I have had several chemo attempts.... they have worked for a short time, but I seem to have a very nasty cancer and I haven't gotten much length from any one chemo.

I also had a malignant pleural effusion in June and unfortunately my lung collapsed when it was drained (complication), - but my present chemo seems to be improving the fluid that recollected around my lungs.

One thing is for sure, sister, there are many options, and you will see so many stories of hope on this board of women with lung mets whose treatments have brought them to NED (no evidence of disease). This could be your sister, and my hopes and prayers are with you all.

I also have a very supportive sister, and it means the world to me. Good for you for being so involved. Fellow travelers (like you) carry a burden, but they are the unsung heroes of the cancer experience. Bless you.

Joanne
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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Aug 11, 2007 04:38PM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Katie,

Thank you so much for your response! My sister has been having some pain in her back and hip and I am preparing myself that she might have mets to the bone also, along with the lung. I am so happy to hear that your liver has not been affected, that's FABULOUS NEWS!! I do want my sister to have the most aggressive treatment she can and I believe her oncologist will agree. The women on this forum are amazing and I thank God that there has been a place for me to turn and build up my strength in order to be her strength. I think we are both still in a bit of shock at this latest news, but I am trying to look at this as a chronic disease, controllable for years until the cure can be found. You are an angel and inspiration and I thank you for sharing. Stay healthy Katie and thanks again!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 11, 2007 04:42PM sisterlove wrote:

Hi!

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I am going to take you up on a few questions and will email you directly. Thank you again!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 11, 2007 04:47PM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Tess!

How about that!! Amazing!! I think you are right, our meeting will be sooner rather than later! Great news to hear about Dr. Michaelson. I did like him and felt his was one of the "kindest souls" I had ever met. He has a way of making you feel at ease even when your whole body might just be quivering. The doctor we are to see at Sloan Kettering has also praised Dr. Michaelson as being "outstanding", so at least we can definitely feel we are all in great hands! I will do some research on Dana Farber and see what my sister and brother-in-law think about maybe going there rather than Sloan. Once we find out my sister's course of treatment on Monday, 8/20, we will have to get a date and do lunch!! Looking so forward to meeting with you!! Talk soon!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 11, 2007 04:56PM sisterlove wrote:

Hi Joanne,

I have been so blessed to find all of you wonderful women who are willing to share your stories in the hopes of encouraging one other woman who walk strong! I am so happy to hear that you are getting results from your present chemo and I hope it brings you all the way to NED!!! I am anxious for my sister to have her complete diagnosis now that her scans are complete so that we may start treatment. Her lung is still filling with fluid, not as rapidly since the drain, but you can hear it when she talks and I know that is making her feel more scared about this recent development. I could not even imagine not being involved in my sister's fight and I'm so glad to hear you have a supportive sister also. I thank you for thinking that the people who love and support you all are unsung heroes, in my eyes you are all the true hereos and with your courage and strength, you will all help us find a cure for not only for yourselves, but for future generations of mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts. God bless you and stay healthy!

Hugs,
Donna
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Aug 14, 2007 05:56AM Ravencaine1 wrote:

hi there i just found out i have tumor in my left lung, i had fluid drained outta my lung, cause i was havin trouble breathin, i am Her2 pos, and er/pr-, was dx march 2004 did 6 cycels of chemo FEC, and did 30 radiation, and than did a year of Herceptin, finished herceptin sept 2006, had my 6month check-up in may 2007 and was still Ned. was wonderin was tx people did for this.

Donna aka Ravencaine
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Aug 14, 2007 06:33AM jacqniel wrote:

So sorry you have received this dx.
I have a malignant pleural effusion to the lung and heart and bone mets. I am er/pr + and Her2 -, so may have different treatment than you - but I am presently on Avastin and Abraxane. I started in March and had my first scan in June. It showed improvement. I know there are many tx available - best of luck. Hugs, Jacque
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Aug 15, 2007 07:10AM R00zacre wrote:

I have a similar situation to Sisterlove...have enjoyed reading responses from everyone. My sis first dx 13 yrs ago, lumpectomy, stage 2B (some nodes), rads, chemo. Recurrence locally last month, 8mm tumor, same neg hormone receptors--assuming recurrence, not new cancer. They'd like to do mastectomy, obviously, but she had a lung nodule show up on chest xray--could be a shadow of course, but what if it isn't? My question: would a mastectomy still be protocol for someone with mets who'd already had the lump removed? Hope you can help. I'm 3 yrs out of treatment myself.

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Aug 15, 2007 07:54AM AusAla wrote:

I do not have any experience with the lung nodule, but I can address the local recurrence issue. I was orginally diagnosed with 2.5 cm IDC and had lumpectomy w/node disection. 3/17 nodes positive. Did the chemo and the rads. Eights months out from rads, I found a palpable lump in same locale as previous one. Further tests revealed mets to spine and skull. Started herceptin and femara and had rads to mets. We left the lump to moniter effectiveness of treatment. The lump disappeared. Then 2 1/2 years later, four areas in the breast lit up on PET scan. I had bilat mast. So to answer your question, R00zacre, a mast may be in order for your sister. Perhaps they could biopsy the place on the lung.

My prayers and thoughts to both R00zacre and sisterlove,
Bethie
"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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