Primary diagnosis of metastatic cancer

My wife was diagnosed metastatic breast cancer with lung metastases on 9 October at the age of 32 and with a four year old daughter.

She has had problems with her breast since September 2007 and her doctor her in Germany thought it was a cyst, then mastopathy, then mastitis - basically he didn’t have a clue but wanted to keep swiping her insurance cards for the money and refused point black to refer her to a breast centre.

Well after changing doctor she was referred but things still moved pretty slowly and it wasn’t until September that she was biopsied. Even then the breast centre doctor told she could probably wait until next year…

The first biopsy in mid-September showed a DCIS, the second on 22 September showed invasisve cancer and then during her staging they spotted something bad on her lung X-ray. The CT scan confirmed 12 lung metastases on 12 October.

Her port went in on 19 October and she started with Pertuzumab as part of a study on Tuesday followed by Docetaxel and Trastuzumab yesterday, which she tolerated amazingly well. Her faith allows her to be very positive but the statistics are terrifying.

Is there anyone else here who had this sort of diagnosis at this age? I’d be grateful for any support in my own language because living abroad tends to be very isolating at a time like this.

Hi Charlie Ray

I know what you mean about support in your own language, I live in France so have gone through all my treatment here, having to do my best if the medics couldn’t speak English, most did thankfully, and have been very kind.

Sorry to hear about your wife’s diagnoses, I can’t add anything as I don’t have secondaries but just wanted to bump up and wish you both the very best.

There are lots of ladies on here with secondaries in lungs, I’m sure someone will come along soon to offer some support.

Chin up P xx

Hello, there are quite a few of us who were diagnosed stage 4 (with metastases) from the beginning. I have bone metastases which were diagnosed in 2003 and have had some good responses to treatments. I hope someone with lung secondaries will be able to help more than I can but I wanted to wish your wife all the very best with her treatment.

Hi CharlieRay15

I am sorry to read of your wife’s recent diagnosis. You may find the BCC fact sheet on secondaries in the lung helps to answer some of the questions you might have. This factsheet describes what secondary breast cancer in the lung is, what the symptoms are and the
treatments used. If you would like a copy just follow this link

breastcancercare.org.uk/upload/pdf/BCC40_secondary_in_the_lung_factsheet.pdf

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

Hi Charlie

I’m 31 and was diagnosed with secondaries in my liver and bones last September after i got my primary diagnosis at 28. After 6 cycles of taxotere followed by hormone treatment and radio frequency ablation treatment my last scan showed no signs of active cancer or spread. I married my husband back in March eight weeks after my last chemo session and spent about three hours dancing non stop at my wedding. When i get my secondary diagnosis i thought my life was over but although my hair grew back a little greyer and im a bit heavier than i used to be due to hormone treatment im still here and thriving.

Please do ask if you have any questions (my husband Mark will be happy to chip in too with the male perspective if this helps at all)

Heather. xx

Sorry managed to post twice by mistake!

Thank you all very much for your kind words and support. It’s always very encouraging to hear from other people who are living with this diagnosis. I suppose the main message is that we all have to hang on in there because there are a lot of interesting treatments in the pipeline. when my wife had her chemo last week the women in the next cubical told her that she thought the current generation of bc patients will probably be the last to experience the illness as life threatening and if only some of the current research comes good I think she will be proved right.