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History of breast cancer. Now have increased CA27.29 marker. CT scan shows lung nodules, liver cyst. Treatment?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I am a 15 year stage 2b breast cancer survivor. After a increase in my ca27.29 tumor marker test, a cat scan has revealed a few nodules in my lungs, a boney something that did not show up on my bone scan and a cyst on my liver. I am devasted and cannot get out of bed. I have a pet scan scheduled for Friday. So now I am terminal. Is this a death sentence. I have no symptoms and realize that does not matter, I want to live. Are there treatments that can help me live 5 years? I am 56.
Posted Sat, 10 Aug 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 57 minutes later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

I am sorry to hear that of the recent news that you have learned. I want you to understand at the same time that today we have come a very long way in the management of both primary and recurrent breast cancer.

The first thing that is important to know is the hormone receptor status of your cancer. A biopsy will tell your oncologist if your cancer is sensitive to hormone manipulation. If this is the case you might be started on hormone therapy alone. This can sometimes keep the cancer under control for years.

If the cancer is determined to be not hormone sensitive than your doctor will discuss potential chemotherapy. There are many different chemotherapy regimens that are available. I want you to rest assured that you will be a candidate for consideration of this type of treatment.

Chemotherapy can also keep cancer under control for many years.

Again I am sorry to hear about this recent news. I would encourage you to seek the support of family and friends as you continue to put together a plan with your oncologist. A positive and optimistic attitude is as important as any medication which we can prescribe.

Thank you again for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional specific concerns.

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Follow-up: History of breast cancer. Now have increased CA27.29 marker. CT scan shows lung nodules, liver cyst. Treatment? 21 hours later
I had femara/tomaxifan following my initial treatment. Can it be used again for lung mets?
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 5 hours later
Hello again.

Your doctors might want to biopsy the lesions in order to determine the exact Wahmona receptor status. If you have used those hormonal medications previously you would potentially be a candidate to consider hormone therapy. The most likely consideration would be something like an aromatase inhibitor like Arimidex. Your doctors might also consider using therapy to strengthen your bones such as Zometa or Xgeva.

I'm sure your doctor will discuss all of the possible options in great detail. I would be happy to discuss this with you as you Continue to move through the process of starting to get this under control and back in remission.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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