MBC to lungs

MBC to lungs

I was initially dx in 2005 PR/ER+ HER- I had no lymph node involvement, right breast mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemo & 32 radiation. 11 glorious years of remission. Developed a cough last June 2015 and asked 3 different doctors if it could be bc in my lungs. All 3 said probably not since I'd been in remission for so long. Eight months later I finally had a lung biopsy and the breast cancer had spread to both lungs, multiple tumors and in the lining of my lungs. I've been on chemo since Feb 2016. All tumors have decreased, Praise God! I now receive taxotere infusion every 21 days with a Neulastic injection the day after chemo. My immune system is destroyed and I'm fighting an food poisoning intestinal bacteria infection. I'm going to ask the dr if I can take the chemo pill instead of infusion, or possibly more space between infusions so that immune system can recover more. Afraid that might leave me open for cancer spreading but looking for some relief from the fatigue and bacterial infection which cause uncontrollable dysentery and vomiting. Have lost most of my big toenails and all fingernails are barely hanging on. Just feel like the treatment is killing me. Thoughts???

21 Replies

  • Sorry to hear that you treatment is not going well due to the side effects. Your doctor is probably reluctant to change course in what he/she is prescribing as it seems to be working by shrinking your tumors. But quality of life is just as important. There is good evidence that Ibrance and letrozole does work well for women who have metastatic her2 positive breast cancer Try talking again, stressing how the taxotere is effecting you. I am asking someone who is on the pill to reply to your post so hang in there

  • News on one of the anti-cancer pills:

    By adding the targeted drug Ibrance to the hormonal drug Faslodex, women with previously treated hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer delayed disease progression by more than five months.

    JASON M. BRODERICK @jasoncology

    PUBLISHED: MAY 31, 2015

    Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>

    Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.

    By adding the targeted drug Ibrance (palbociclib) to the hormonal drug Faslodex (fulvestrant), women with previously treated hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer delayed disease progression by more than five months.

    Those were the findings of the phase 3 PALOMA-3 trial, presented May 30 during the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), a gathering of nearly 30,000 oncology professionals taking place in Chicago.

    Ibrance targets the proteins CDK 4 and 6, slowing the cell-division process that allows this type of breast cancer to grow. Faslodex is a standard treatment in this setting.

    “Palbociclib in combination with fulvestrant is an effective treatment option for women whose cancer progressed on prior endocrine therapy,” said Nicholas C. Turner, consultant medical oncologist at The Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research in London, in a press briefing.

    The double-blind multicenter PALOMA-3 study randomized 521 patients with metastatic breast cancer whose disease had progressed on or following endocrine treatment in a 2:1 ratio to Faslodex plus either Ibrance (n = 347) or placebo (n = 174). Faslodex was administered as an intramuscular injection at 500 mg on days one and 15 of cycle one, and then on day one of each cycle thereafter, and patients received oral Ibrance at 125 mg/day continuously for the first three weeks of each cycle, followed by one week off. Treatment cycles were 28 days for both arms. The hormonal drug Zoladex (goserelin) was also administered to pre- and perimenopausal patients.

    Baseline patient data was similar between the two arms. The median patient age was 57 and 56 years in the Ibrance and placebo arms, respectively. Patients were stratified by menopausal status, sensitivity to prior hormonal therapy and visceral metastases. In both treatment arms, 79 percent of patients were sensitive to previous endocrine treatment, 60 percent had visceral disease and 79 percent were postmenopausal. One previous line of chemotherapy for advanced disease was permitted, which 33 percent of patients in the overall population had received.

    Progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary outcome measure, with secondary objectives focusing on overall survival (OS), response and safety. Following 195 PFS events, the trial was halted in April 2015 after an independent panel determined the study had met its primary endpoint.

    - See more at: curetoday.com/articles/Addi...

  • Hello, Halfpint, I'm sorry to hear about your lungs mets. Same as me, except the timeframe was only about 3 years after treatment, so my oncologist was more on her toes and especially since I had hormone negative and HER2+ disease, which is pretty aggressive. 11 years is a long time, and Im sorry that your diagnosis was delayed because of that. Have you tried some of the antihormone drugs again? daf10 noted a study below. Perhaps such a drug combo would allow you to take a chemo break. Another combo is Aromasin and Affinitor. Since I'm HER2+ I have an infusion of Herceptin every three weeks. Joan

  • I have HER-

    Im discussing a chemo pill option with dr next week. He may not go for it. He hasn't told me what timeframe I may have. I've just been so down lately no matter how successful chemo has been.

  • Try not to worry about a "timeframe" (my timeframe had to do with the time between developing stage II initially and then stage IV). We all respond differently to different treatments, which includes side effects. If a therapy is working, an oncologist usually doesn't like to switch the drug too much, but hear what he has to say because you need to recover and quality of life is important. At some point, you may be able to return to an anti-hormone drug, along with another drug such as Ibrance or Affinitor. And BTW I love the hat and T-shirt combo in your photo!

  • Thank you! Dr. put me on Femara and will add Ibrance when my immune system has built up. I feel so much more hopeful and looking forward to a chemo free Christmas.

  • Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • Thank you. The oncologist stopped my chemo in November because it was doing more harm than good. I'm only on Femara (hormone blocker) for now and enjoying letting my body rest for a little bit. But I am nervous about not being on chemo. If things progress, I'll be put in Ibrance. my hat selection is really starting to grow because my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes haven't started growing back these past 5 weeks that I've been off chemo. That's nerve wracking too. I'm so glad we have each other to visit with. Thank you.

  • A rest period is good, and I hope the cancer stays stable. I don't blame you for being nervous. Ibrance is a good drug and your onc is holding off unless you need it. Your eyebrows and eyelashes will grow back eventually, but waiting for that to happen is like waiting for a pot of water to boil!

  • Thank you for the encouragement!

  • Is switching to weekly Taxol an option for you? Weekly Taxol has less side effects and less effect on your WBC. Has your tumors shrunk enough to just go on anti-hormone therapy and see how that goes? Ibrance the newest targeted medication also may be an option. Ibrance is given with anti-hormone therapy letrozole or fulvestrant. Ibrance can also lower your WBC. Is capcitabine an option for you? It is oral chemotherapy. I would have a discussion with your oncologist. Personally, I would try to switch to weekly Taxol, since the Taxotere is working. Taxol and Taxotere are essentially the same medication. Goal of therapy for all of us is stay on a treatment for as long it is working and tolerating the treatment. Good luck.

  • I was on Taxol and Gemzar first then he changed me taxotere every 21 days. The tumors have all decreased which makes me jump up and down until the dr reminds me I have Mets and it could go anywhere at any time. Did your toenails and fingernails turn brown and white?

  • No, they have not. I have used cold therapy on my hands and feet during the infusion. I wear cold mitts on my hands and feet. I have done this since the start of receiving Taxol to prevent neuropathy. So far it has helped as I have minimal neuropathy. Good luck with your discussion with your oncologist about changing therapy. I would recommend to give your oncologist a heads up regarding the discussion you would like to change therapy. It will give them time to think about the best options to change to.

  • So sorry to hear how badly you are feeling. I too have MBC Stage 4 that has spread to my lungs. I was on Taxol and Herceptin weekly for six months. Tumors shrunk. Then we switched to Herceptin every 3 weeks and every night I take Anastrozole. Mine is also Her2pos. My last blood test showed tumors not growing and I am feeling very well - just tired. I have no vomiting issues thank God. I did lose all my hair on the Taxol but it has grown back - gray and curly - after years of very dark brown and long. I am going for quality of life over quantity as I want to feel as good as I can for as long as I can and enjoy every golden moment I am given. Talk to your doctor - it's your life and you get to choose! Good luck!

  • Your treatment is in your hands. I would definitely ask and even insist on a change of sometype. If the progression has slowed and is proving to shrink the cancer sometimes giving your system a break is the best thing. I call it a medicine free vacation. I have found myself taking a, medicine vacation, a few times on my journey. It feels good. It has never harmed me. In fact I felt stronger when it was my time to return. I felt I could handle the medicine much better. Mentally and physically I found it very refreshing and strengthening. I say talk to your doctor. Mine had a hard time granting my request but I believe he was happy with my decision. Go for it. Good luck. And happy medicine vacation.

  • I'm finally on a medication vacation and a bit nervous not being in treatment. I feel like my body is getting more normal though. Waiting for hair and nails to return.

  • Thank you so much for the encouragement. The dr totally agreed that the taxotere had run its course and my immune system needs a break. My whole attitude improved overnight. It's like i have new hope. I didn't realize how mentally fatigued I was.

  • Don't give up hope! November 2007 I was stage 2 er/pr+ HER2+. I had a double mastectomy with no lymph involvement, 4rounds A/C, 12 months herceptin, and 5yrs tamoxifen. I did all my annual checkups and all was clear until October 2015. I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer er/pr- HER2+3 this time. I have liver, bone, lymph, and very few lung mets. I was on hospice...I was given my last rites. My children had to say their goodbyes. My family convinced my dr to treat me as a long shot. I was given taxol, herceptin and perjeta every three weeks but the taxol kept dropping my counts; and I kept ending up in the hospital. My dr desided to give me a third of the dose of taxol one a week. It's really made the difference. I haven't bred in the hospital since. My liver mets have greatly diminished and some reduction of the others.

    Your chemo may not be able to be chenged to a weekly treatment but it's worth looking into. Best of luck!

  • God Bkess you! A friend gave me the book Cancer Battle Plan. Her prognosis sounds like yours. She is now cancer free by changing her nutrition and cleansing her gut. I'm going to try what she did.

  • I hope you are responding well. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • I hope that you are still responding well and getting stronger.

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