My wife had a mascetomyleft breast in December 2003 followed by chemotherapy. She had a recurrence in december 2007 in the mastectomy scar that required more surgery which was followed by radiation treatment, In Aug 2009 her pet scan showed fluid around her lungs. She just had the fluid drained and the doctor said there was a reasonable chance there are cancer cells in the fluid. He suggested she go into the hopital to have all the fluid drained as he could not drain all the fluid at that time.We have not gotten the results back from the fluid analysis yet. What will the fluid analysis tell me? Her oncologist suggested she would treat her with ziloda (sp). What prognosis is indicated from this fluid. The cancer has spread through the bloodstream? Is it now more likey to appear someplace else?
Unfortunately, it may mean that the cancer cells have spread from the breast to the area outside of the lungs. It may indicate that there are other cancer cells. They may be visible on scans or can be just micro metastatic and travelling in the blood stream. Did the PET scan identify any such other area? Treatment would generally be a systemic therapy like hormone therapy or chemotherapy, but that depends on the specific features of her cancer and the extent of cancer involvement that they find. Xeloda is used in metastatic breast cancer that is when cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Metastatic breast disease is not a hopeless condition. Many women continue to live long, productive lives if treated at an appropriate time. Discuss all your concerns with the treating oncologist. Hope it helps.
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