newly diagonosed

BbbcmBbbcm Member Posts: 43
Hi all. I have been diagnosed with st4 breast cancer going to the t4 vertebrae.   This was found after I had been found to have a pathological fracture of the back. This has now travelled to my t3. My t4 has collapsed and the tumor is sitting very close to the spinal cord.The neurologist wants the oncologist to try to shrink the tumor as it hasn't got a lot of room.  The pain is being treated with fairly high drugs and the cancer is undergoing hormone treatment. I already have had palliative radiation on the spine which may or may not have worked. The tumor in the back hasn't got smaller but it hasn't grown either.  Because the cancer has now gone to the t3, they say that bone is compromised so a spinal fusion (in the future) would have to go from t2 to t5. Chemo is my next option. Was just wondering if anyone else has had the fractures in the back happen before diagnosis. I have read of many having treatment to stop this happening but hoping someone has some  positive news for me.  Thank you


  • wendy_h67wendy_h67 Member Posts: 437
    Hi Bbbcm, I have had metastic breast cancer  now for over 5 years. I first noticed a sharp pain in my back which gradually became unbearable. After bone scans and MRI, I was told that I had multiple bone mets. The vertebra in the upper spine area was the worst effected and was pressing on the spinal cord so after a biopsy I had emergency radiation treatment to shrink the tumours Also I was put on a course of Dexamethsone which helped with the pain .  I then went onto I.V Abraxaine for about 6 months .This kept the mets stable for some time. Over time I have been on different chemo treatments when thoes nasty mets showed up in a different area of bone. We are lucky there is alot more treatment available now if we have a reaccurance. Everyones treatment plan is different but I wish you all the best . I dont remember having had a fracture in the spine before diagnosis but I do remember once having a stress fracture when I complained about a sore back a long time ago.I was told then it would heal by itself.
  • wendy55wendy55 Copper Triangle South AustraliaMember Posts: 427
    hello there,
    I would love to give you some positive news, however your situation is highly individual and I am sure that your medical team are doing everything they can think of to stabilize your back, I too was under a spinal specialist for 7 years due to a back injury but due to my stage 4 diagnosis, my back specialist decided to leave my treatment to my oncologist and he just stayed in the loop, I too have had palliative radiation to my spine and todate has been successful, I had this done in 2014,and now I take 20mg kapanol{morphine} at night and 5mg of oxynorm immediate release for breakthrough pain, are you allowed to do any specific gentle exercise for your back? if I could offer you anything it would be to try and stay stress free, yes,I know that this is easier said than done, but I have found that since I have been able to manage my stress my pain has actually lessened, I see my oncologist every 6 weeks and have a blood test evey 19 days to keep a check on everything I am on oral chemotherapy at present,are you able to do any hydrotherapy?, I did that until I had to go back on to oral chemo and found that using the pool became too hard with too many people there, Im sure your oncology team will be able to give you some options so that you can feel that you have some control over whats happening,its still very early days yet for you and Im sure that you have had a lot of information to try and digest,we are a friendly bunch here, its a safe place to have a chat, exchange or ask for information or have a "rant" if need be, please be gentle on yourself, look forward to hear how you are doing,
    ps I have metastatic breast cancer, with mets in my liver,and throughout my spine
  • BbbcmBbbcm Member Posts: 43
    Thank you, Yes I do gentle exercise twice a week and walk when I can. I take targin slow release 10mg morn and night as well as lyrica.  I am afraid of being on meds as they have so many side effects, tiredness being the one I hate.  I have an appointment with oncologist late august and will bring up chemo, even tho she was talking about it 'down the track'. I feel if the tumor shrinks maybe the pain wont be as bad and I can reduce meds.  Stressing less is something I am trying to achieve, finding deep breathing exercises helpful. hanks again for replies, so glad I found this site :)
  • ScooperScooper Member Posts: 113
    Hello.  I am sorry that you have found yourself here.  I had emergency surgery on my C2-C4 as it had a tumour which had destroyed the area.  I was diagnoses de-nova in August 2015.  I had been seeing a physio and my G.P. for the pain in the neck back area. I had a clear mammogram in January 2015 so imagine my shock.  I had a lumpectomy in September 2015, radiation to my C-2- C4 area  and then put on Femara.  This held the cancer at bay until about March this year when I had terrible pains in my spine/back area.  My new G.P. sent me off for scans and it showed nothing.  I then had a pet scan at Peter Mac and bingo - mets in my T4-T6.  The pain was getting worse and I could not sleep at night.  It was horrid.  Had radiation again,.  This has cured my back pain.  They gave me slow release targin.  Took that for about six weeks then stopped.  I have no pain.  I am currently on a clinical trial at Peter Mac and my last scan showed that my bones are healing.  We are all extremely positive about this trial.
    Try and rest up as much as you possibly can.  I cant comment about chemo as I haven't had it yet.  I hope that you find your pain can be controlled as much as possible.  This bone met pain is just terrible. 

    Take care and thinking of you.
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 167
    Has anyone heard of the Gerson Therapy? I am just researching a bit and read that it can treat terminal cancer. I have seen testimonials on youtube. Maybe can check it out? (Please this is not medical advice...just sharing)
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,613
    Testimonials are not clinical research. Gerson therapy was trialled over 60 years ago and found to be unhelpful and unsustainable ..if it was a cure we would all be prescribed it. 
  • Summerhill38Summerhill38 Member Posts: 759
    I agree with @primek.  If you read up on it in detail you will be a bit stunned.  As @primek says, if it was at all useful it would be prescribed for all of us in an instant.  After all, our medicos want to help us live.
    This is a bit like people suggesting the old Thermography instead of Mammograms - an old idea but one which is not as good as what we are being put through.
    There is a lot of information out there and we keenly check it out but once discussed with our treatment teams it is soon put in the "nah"" basket !
  • BbbcmBbbcm Member Posts: 43
    hi just an update, I had chemo for pain, it helped some but had no effect on the tumours.  my hair has come back curly and frizzy and a different colour.  I am going ok the pain is still there and medical team all say more drugs!!!!  cheers to all
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 1,507
    All the best for your ongoing treatment xxxx  

    My husband's hair came back curly from his chemo, then slowly straightened again!  LOL  He looked SO different!!  ;)  
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 1,616
    @primek comments above there are many cautions and contraindications on the Gerson Insitute webpage it self including this -

    Caution: Do not start the Gerson Therapy™ if any of the following conditions apply 

    • Chemotherapy
    A friend with Ovarian cancer tried it but to no avail and probably had a more uncomfortable time because of it.
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 1,616
    Bugger chopped off my beginning  - should. read “In addition to ....”
  • wendy55wendy55 Copper Triangle South AustraliaMember Posts: 427
    Hi I looked into it just to see what it was all about, didnt fancy the coffee enemas!!! I will stick to conventional medicine and use complementary therapies to make me feel better, am currently reading a book called "Molecules of Emotion" by Candace Pert,Ph.D very interesting, all about the mind/body and how it all interacts, a bit like reading a biology book but gave me some insight into how my mind has been at war with my body for quite some time, well worth a read, she is a very credible scientist who really knows her subject, my pyschologist recommended it to me.@primek I think you would really understand what she is talking about.
  • au0reiau0rei Member Posts: 167
    @wendy55 Oh you mentioned about coffee enemas. Actually i started doing them since mid last year after all my treatments. I actually love doing them. They are pretty therapeutic as I get a good clean of my colon and it boosts my liver. I now do them once a week and always look forward to them. :)
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 5,404
    @simon66 ROFL!!!!  :D
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