• Metastatic Breast cancer that is now in the Spine . What is the treatment and outlook for this ?

    Asked by Toby on Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Metastatic Breast cancer that is now in the Spine . What is the treatment and outlook for this ?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Toby,

      I'm a Medical Librarian (retired), but I still am in the game of "practicing" my profession as it were. Librarians don't if they're ethical and professional offer medical advice- we leave that to the medical professionals (we aid medical professionals by training them in searching techniques) and we help patients by making referrals of all kinds - to institutions, doctors, books, media, recreational pursuits, etc.

      Having said all that, obviously your news isn't good and for that I'm sorry. I think it would be difficult (I could be wrong) for the medical professionals on the site here to give you a "cut and dry" answer without having seen you, your scans, your medical history, etc. I also think it might even border on being unprofessional since we/they don't know you personally and how you might take such news on hearing it on a public computer site without someone being with you.

      I think that the best thing for you to do is for you to seek an answer to your question through your oncologist. Once you have that answer, I think your next step is to get a second and even a third opinion. And then, I think (actually I think you should be making this call first) - call up CancerCare and schedule an appointment with an Oncological Social Worker there for yourself. Their training is specifically geared to help all of us with cancer (I'm going there now [I have BC] for counseling - I think they're great!).

      I have no specific knowledge of the answer to the question you're seeking and everyone's situation is different. (My BC is complicated by the fact that I'm a Lupus patient).

      My best suggestion is to take each day as it comes, live mindfully (Zen concept). I do have a book to suggest to you and that is Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr and Sherryl Crow and there's a sequel Kris Carr wrote called Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor. They're books about her (Kris Carr, who's a young woman with a rare, Stage IV Cancer and how she has to come to terms with living with it). She also finds herself good people to surround herself with and that's perhaps the best advice I can offer you myself at this time besides getting some good books on meditation and breathing. If you belong to a religious community, this is a good time to connect with your clergyperson for a chat and maaybe some fellow congregants that you're close with for company at home or to accompany you to M.D. appointments.

      If I can help you in any way, please let me know. I hope that you are comfortable and I'll keep you in my thoughts.

      Warm Wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      There is no single treatment nor single outlook. It depends so so many more factors. The only person who can give you a treatment plan and estimate your prognosis is your oncologist.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, I am an oncology nurse and generally chemo or radiation like Tomo radiation is the option offered to combat spine metastasis, although depending on the location of the spine, surgery is also a consideration. I would assume your physician has mentioned this and there are some effective chemotherapies in use. Radiation is quite effective on bony mets and there is no reason to assume this is a hopeless situation. I have attached a link. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.


      over 3 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      Mine also went to the spine but was taken care of with chemo. Hope it works for you too.

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      You must feel frightened, I am sorry to hear this news. But more and more breast cancer patients survive than ever before! Besides info from your oncologist and the nurses, I suggest going to www.breastcancer.org. This site is a wealth of information and offers support too. I wish you the very best. Every day you wake up, there is hope. God bless you.

      over 3 years ago
    • carter4's Avatar

      I have it in spine - use a pain patch instead of radiation - best choice I ever made - the Zometa infusion has worked well for me - once a month and nothing to it !!! Ask your onc.

      over 3 years ago
    • suebo's Avatar

      I am so sorry to hear that. My breast cancer has metastasized (?) and I am going to have to go in for more tests to find out where. I have been "googling" to find out more information and learn more about this subject. Also there are a lot of good books out there that will educate you more than any Dr -- they have time restraints and can't sit and talk to each patient like we really need them to.

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Toby, It's true as Suebo says that a doctor, an oncologist, can't spend unlimited amounts of time on your case because you're not his only cancer patient. He's not being insensitive, he has only a certain amount of time to alot to everyone (I know from being the ex-wife of a physician). However, from being a Medical Librarian, I can tell you that Google, while it does have a lot of information, does not posess the wisdom of the universe as a medical resource (and your oncologist has spent years studying yours and many other types of cancer).

      Books that you may find should be published by an authoritative source, i.e., The Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Memorial Sloan Kettering, etc. (Remember I'm a Librarian-authoritative sources are key for us!!) If you read something written by a patient with your particular type of cancer please realize that that was her experience and does not have to necessarily be yours!

      You have my best wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • sweetrose's Avatar

      Toby, I got that same info from my ONC 3 weeks ago. His response: let me spend some time going over your file and decide the best treatment. If I have not called you one week from today, you call me. I called him and he had a plan. He said he needed me to come in to do lab work, ust to verify estrogen levels. He got lab results within 24 hours, offered to send RX to pharmacy for Zeloda and Tykerb. He said if your insurance will not cover, I have a back up plan. Needless to say, but somehow they were FEDEXed to my house from a pharmacy 300 miles away. (yes I got a call they were coming.) ONC said great, Do not take until you come see me again. I have been holding them for 4 days, I go in today to get "training" for them--to find out both had been filled wrong. The bottles together said take 9 daily, OOpps! should have been 13 daily. So I had only receive a week supply of 1 and 3 weeks of the other. So ONC spent my appt dealing with pharmacy.

      I was so glad that I had taken the time to research each RX on Cancercare before I went to see him. I felt so much wiser and knew what to ask, rather than just being blindly told to go here, do this.. He said start them whenever I am ready, preferably within the next 4-5 days. WHAT? I get an option? WOW!! Maybe Monday--But first enjoy my weekend!

      I will let you know.

      over 3 years ago

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