My sister is 36 years old and was diagnosed with Stage 2/3 ductile (invasive and infiltrative) breast cancer of the right breast in December, 2000. She had a masectomy of the right breast the first week of January, 2001. Lymph node involvement was also detected. She had 4 tumors and one was over 5 cm. She completed 4 rounds of A/C chemo and then discovered more tumors. She then had 2 rounds of taxol and then CT scans which discovered tumors in the chest wall and a pre-tracheal tumor (?).
The CT scan showed no significant changes at all. The doctor has started her on a new round of chemo. 2 new drugs - Gemzar and Carboplatin. The are given in a 2 week cycle - once on day one and once again on day 8. The cycle will repeat every 3 weeks. (2 weeks of treatment and 2 weeks off). He will check the progress of this treatment after the 2nd cycle w/ another CT scan. If this works he will do 4 cycles of this, so she is looking at another 3-4 months of chemo and then radiation after that. Then last week she had an ultrasound on her uterous last because her gyno was concerned because the chemo has stopped her periods .They then found a mass on the end of the cervial canal and there is a problem (can't remember the medical term) with the lining of the uterous. So she needs to have a D & C and a hysteroscopy performed. They can not do this until the 27th of Aug. because of the chemo schedule and blood counts .
Nothing I have found indicates that Gemzar and Carboplatin are used to treat breast cancer. How effective can this regime be? Is it possible that trying this combination of chemo means that the doctors are "grabbing at straws" to try and stop the cancer? How effective has this or other treatments been in this advanced stage of breast cancer? Thank you.
The doctors say this is very aggressive cancer and their concern that it had spread to the skin on the reconstructed side, and other lymph nodes (although she said the lymph nodes may have been affected from the beginning). She thinks it is still controllable even though it is Stage 4 now and has metastasized (sp?).
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