I have a friend who has breast cancer that at the time of diagnosis had already spread to the liver and spine. The tumor in the breast ulcerated and exposed the underlying tumour. After completing chemo earlier this year, she kept the wound cleaned and dressed, and reportedly the tumour began to fall off in pieces over a period of months and the wound began to heal--although I don't believe that it ever healed completely. I have searched the internet for occurrences such as this with little success. I have found information that indicates that "healing of the wound is unlikely unless there is a good response to anti-cancer therapy". This suggests to me that the wound "could" heal if the tumor responded to chemo. The breast tumor did shrink during the chemotherapy, although the tumors in the liver did not. Do you have any knowledge of a tumor coming out through a lesion and the wound healing? is it possible that the chemo destroying the cancerous tissue? or is this a "miracle" as some suggest? This is very confusing to me and I am looking for empirical evidence one way or the other.
Dear mrk: If a tumor shrinks significantly as a result or therapy, it is certainly possible that a wound could begin to heal. It is unlikely that the tumor actually came out through the opening in the breast. You describe a tumor that is locally advanced and has grown into the skin, causing ulceration. It is possible that the tumor in the breast is responding to the chemotherapy even if the other areas, such as the liver, are not responding as well.
ulcerating breast cancers signal advanced disease, with very high risk of distant spread, as has happened in this case. Various treatments can lead to "healing" of the overlying skin, but typically the response is temporary, and further treatment -- usually mastectomy -- is required. However, when there's known distant spread, the reason for mastectomy or other more limited surgery is mainly one of diminishing local problems such as infection, odor, etc. So, unfortunately, it's no "miracle." The fact that the distant tumors haven't regressed is the proof. It's not unknown that the primary tumor may respond somewhat differently that the ones that have spread.
Purportedly the ulceration exposed a lump of tissue. My friend indicated that as she cleaned around it she accidentally "tugged" on it and it pulled loose. This all occurred shortly after the completion of chemo. Over a period of weeks, pieces of corrupt tissue began to come out exposing new pink growth underneath. My instinct is that the change in the breast tumor is a result of the chemo (which the doctors stated did respond to treatment). Unfortunately, the liver tumors have not responded and continue to multiply.
MRK posted a question (BELOW) ON 7/18 and you answered the same day. It had to do with an ulcerated tumour. I was diagnosed with
breast cancer 4 years ago, had no traditional treatment, but used
an alternative program which was fine until I became ill with
e-coli poisoning and couldn't eat the required stuff. A doctor
told me that If I didn't have surgery on the breast it could
"break through the skin and it will be impossible to operate,
as there will not be enough skin to cover the wound." I am having
surgery next Monday (Aug. 1) It is quite large but has not broken
through. What I am wondering is: Is there any treatment if the
tumour has broken through? I don't expect a cure or anything else
except the removal of the tumour. Just curious.
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