SIL is 36yo; history of breast Ca (diagnosed 2001) ; s/p unilateral masectomy; chemotherapy and radiation; gene typing(neg for likely reoccurence). some lymphnodes involved but unclear as to how many. Here we are seven years later, no sign of reoccurence until approx 3 weeks ago, some chest pain and slight shortness of breath. CXR/CT initially showed pneumonia/possible collapsed lung. 2nd review, pleural effusion. Mammogram this week (routine) showed small "spot" u/s and biopsy done. meeting with surgeon next week. It is likely the pleural effusion is malignant due to prior breast Ca and new "spot"? I know prognosis if malignant pleural effusion is not good. Is there a possiblity the pleur effusion could be unrelated or not likely? What is the prognosis of nonmalignant pleural effusion after breast ca?
Dear itspasttime, Evaluation of a new pleural effusion would take into account past history of cancer, results of present findings put in context of the entire patient situation in order to help to make a diagnosis and help to determine whether the effusion is related to a cancer, or is there some other explanation. Further evaluation would likely be necessary and might include need to drain the fluid from the effusion, this would depend on several factors including need to examine the fluid for diagnostic purposes, location of fluid, size of the effusion etc. Prognosis and recommendations for treatment will be based on what is determined as cause of the effusion. For example – if this is infection related, treatment of the infection, if this is cancer related then treatment of the cancer.
Sis-in-law had thorascope (?) done last week and insertion of chest tubes to drain pleural effusion. The surgeon said that the cancer had spread to the lining of the lung and chest wall of the opposite side of the initial cancer, masectomy 7 years ago treated with chemo and radiation. The surgeon also stated that the cancer was "fairly extensive" and could not be removed (inoperable). She is an otherwise healthy 36 year old, prior cancer was seven years ago. Does this make prognosis any better? It is believed the cancer is breast cells, but final pathology won't be in until later this week.
A straight forward response is requested...I believe she is also HER2 + however, I do not know other details.
This story is almost exactly like mine. I am 36 and just learned that my breast cancer from 8 years ago had spread to my lung lining. I had gone in for shortness of breath and found a plueral effusion. For my original breast cancer diagnosis, I underwent a lumpectomy, chemo, radaition and tamoxifen. With this new recurrence, I had a hysterectomy and am now taking Arimidex. I would love to talk to your SIL if she would find it helpful. I am curious to know what treatment plan they are thinking about for her. Also, do you happen to know what her CA27.29 level is?
Dear itspasttime: Cancer that has spread outside of the breast is considered stage 4 cancer and is generally considered incurable but not untreatable. There are treatments available for advanced breast cancer and how her disease responds is an unknown. She should discuss treatment and prognosis with her doctor who can respond more specifically to her situation.
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