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incurable breast cancer. help please?
05-29-2014, 11:41 PM
Post: #1
incurable breast cancer. help please?
How long for incurable breast cancer that has spread to the bones, the spine and lymph nodes which have caused edema in the arm?
I dont know. A lump that had been ignored, to the point it has ate away down to the chest wall was found because of the swelling of the arm - lymphoedma(sp?). I just assumed it was down to that

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05-29-2014, 11:42 PM
Post: #2
 
Why would breast cancer cause edema in the arms?

A tumor (which is what you get with breast cancer) does not eat its way down to the chest. That is not what cancer is.

Late Stage breast cancer that has metastasized to multiple organs requires diagnosis by a doctor using imaging technologies, like a PET scan. You don't get swelling in your arms and then decide, "oh well, it must be breast cancer."

And "incurable" breast cancer means that the doctors have been trying to treat it and the treatments have not worked. All cancers are potentially curable. Some may not be cured at a very high rate, and in some cases, the effort to cure the cancer may be worse for the patient than letting the cancer continue to grow (usually for the very old or very ill).
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05-29-2014, 11:51 PM
Post: #3
 
Lymphedema is fluid in the lymphatic system and not a lump. Lymphedema can occur after cancer treatment, cutting out salt and doing exercises can help the lymphedema - my friend had breast cancer and didn't get it treated and 1 year later it had spread to her bones.

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05-29-2014, 11:57 PM
Post: #4
 
Lymphedema can occur when the lymphatic system is compromised, either by removal of lymph nodes surgically or because the lymph nodes have been diseased to the point where they no longer function as they should.

I do know of a case where a woman ignored her worsening symptoms to the point where the tumour in her breast had spread through the chest muscle and fused with the rib cage.

She only lived a short time from her diagnosis due to the fact that her diagnosis was so late and there was little available in the way of treatment options at that point and she refused all but palliative care at that time anyway. (RIP Peg)
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05-30-2014, 12:07 AM
Post: #5
 
A tumour can spread to the chest wall if let long enough. One of the big concerns with my breast cancer was that it was so large that it could recur in chest wall.

Lymphodema is a big concern after breast cancer due to the removal of the lymph nodes under the arm along with the mastectomy. I do know of one person who has breast cancer stage IV who has lymphodema yet did not have a mastectomy, I never could understand that but it did happen, maybe the cancer is rife in her lymph nodes.

Yes breast cancer is incurable once it gets to the bones but depending on the type of breast cancer it can often be treated for quite a while. I have known women to last 10 years with a spread to the bone but if the lymph nodes are already affected and the cancer is in her chest wall then that time will probably be shortened.
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