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return or spread of my breast cancer?

I have been cancer free (breast cancer) for 3 years now.  Just had my 6 month blood work done and my oncologist said that a tumor marker came back very elevated and has ordered a PET scan.  The test is not for another week and my imagination is running wild.  Does anyone know if this means my cancer is probably back?  I've heard the CEA is a good marker for reaccurance.

Research, Knowledge and Information :

Where Can Breast Cancer Come Back or Metastasize ...

Breast cancer can come back or metastasize (spread) in three general areas: the breast area where the cancer was originally diagnosed; this is called local recurrence
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Overestimating Early Breast Cancer Return, Spread - WebMD

Mar 02, 2016 · Overestimating Early Breast Cancer Return, Spread. Misperceptions lead to worry that harms quality of life, researcher says
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Return of Breast Cancer after Treatment (Recurrence) | Susan ...

Breast cancer can recur at the original site (called recurrence or local recurrence), as well as return and spread to other parts of the body (called metastasis or ...
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How likely is my breast cancer to recur and spread?

How likely is my breast cancer to ... is - what are the chances my cancer will return? ... women with breast cancer spread to the lymph nodes at diagnosis are ...
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Where in the body does breast cancer usually spread ...

Bones – breast cancer can spread to many parts of the skeleton, but the ribs, spine, pelvis and long bones of the arms and legs are the most common metastatic sites.
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Early-stage breast cancer treatment fact sheet |

Breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body in 3 ways: ... Some women assume that breast cancer won't return if the whole breast is removed.
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Women Often Overestimate Odds That Early Breast Cancer Will ...

home > cancer center > cancer a-z list > will early breast cancer return ... Overestimate Odds That Early Breast Cancer ... breast cancer, when cancer spreads to a ...
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Suggested Questions And Answer :

Spreading of Cancer

Hi.  The only objective way to see if your mother has some other sites of metastases is to have these other body parts examined by some imaging procedure.  Breast cancer has a predilection for spreading to the other breast, the lungs, liver, bones and brain.  Metastases to the opposite breast can be determined by physical examination or by mammography.  Liver metastases can be checked by means of a liver ultrasound or CT scan.  Brain metastases can likewise be detected by CT scan.  Cancer spread to the bones can be seen on whole body bone scan, but this procedure may be dispensed with if your mother does not complain of any bone, hip or low back pain.  As for how long your mother has left, I don't think the clinical studies can accurately predict for specific individuals, only for populations of breast cancer patients with similar characteristics.  So her doctor's survival estimate of 6 months to a year applies for the AVERAGE patient with the same clinical characteristics and stage as your mother.  It may not necessarily apply to your mother, particularly if she avails of further treatment which just may prolong her survival beyond what was predicted.
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return or spread of my breast cancer?

Hi and understand your anxiety. Tumor markers are glycoproteins and increased levels may indicate recurrence of tumor. These markers are usually specific to an organ. CEA markers are usually for colorectal cancers. CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 are markers used in breast cancer therapy.  They can also be used to monitor the outcome of therapy.  Regards.
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Breast Cancer Stage?

Hi.  I would just like to ask where you got your information that your survival rate is only 5-7 years?  I think this may be erroneous. This is what I know of the published literature regarding BRCA-2 gene carriers: 1. They do have an increased risk (greater than triple) of developing breast cancer compared to the general population 2. BRCA-2 carriers have an increased tendency for developing cancer in both breasts 3. The prognosis and survival of BRCA-2 carriers are NOT SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE than non-carriers, when the stage of the disease is factored in.  This means that BRCA-2 carriers and non-carriers would tend to have similar survival rates if they have the same stage of the disease. So you are not any worse off than other women with Stage 2 cancer who do not carry the BRCA-2 gene.  If you want detailed information you can try reading these articles:   a) Rennert G, et al "Clinical Outcomes of Breast Cancer in Carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations" N Engl J Med 2007; 357:115-123.  b) Eur J Cancer. 2000 Jul ;36 (11):1365-73 "Prognosis and Clinical Presentation of BRCA-2 Associated Brast Cancer" Since you have stage 2 disease, you still have a real chance for a cure, as long as the appropriate treatment is given (this will probably involve a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment). As for the question of where the cancer will return: since you carry the BRCA-2 gene, you have an increased risk of developing cancers in the ovary, pancreas, fallopian tube, larynx as well as a risk of developing some forms of lymphoma.  But having an increased risk does not mean that you will  inevitably develop these cancers.  It just means that you need to be more vigilant about your condition and follow up with your doctor often.
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Mastectomy for 0.7CM DCIS In-Situ

Hi there. ER positivity is a good sign, since this means that the DCIS is responsive to hormonal treatment.  I suggest that you discuss with your oncologist regarding additional treatments like tamoxifen or raloxifene.  These two drugs are proven to further decrease the chance of the cancer recurring on the same or the other breast and I believe would be of great benefit to your mother.   However, these drugs have side effects that I believe are manageable and should be discussed well with the oncologist. Regards.
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Hi. Since you already have cancer spread to the bone, then I agree that overall cure may not be entirely possible, and I'm not sure if removing the breast tumor can improve the over-all survival.  Removing the breast may, however, improve over-all well being and self esteem knowing that a large population or bulk of cancer cells has been eradicated in an instant.  Another advantage of removing the breasts would include avoidance of future tumor complications such as infection, necrosis, or tumor bleed. Deciding on this surgery really entails knowing all the risks and benefits and I would suggest you discuss this very well with your doctors. Regards and God bless.
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matestic breast cancer stage 4

Unfortunately I'm in a very similar position. I live in Australia, my grandma in the US. My mom thinks she may have another couple months, but I doubt she'll make it into through October. It's a hard decision but you have to decide what's more important- to be there for her last moments and send her off, which honestly you could miss; to be there for the funeral and grieve with your family; or to see her one last time before it gets worse, even if it is scary and painful to see her in a weakened state. It's cruel to have to choose, but only you can. I will say this though, my grandma went through a similar thing last May. She actually was hospitalized because her electrolytes got so low from side effects to the chemo.  She's still doing ok/okish 4 months later. Also when my husband's cousin died from bone cancer he had already been in hospice care for a month and in the hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia and everyone saw it coming. Sometimes the signs are very obvious, and usually the dr's choose to stop treating with chemo when they see them.  Usually, if her doctors are still treating her, they think she can have more time.
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I wouldn't say that any of those drugs "prevent" a recurrance but they certainly reduce the risk since the cancer evidently was found to be dependant upon hormones for growth. If you will visit   you can get a complete list of the side effects of Arimidex as well as all the Chemotherapy drugs in use today.   Regards .....
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Sister-inlaw has bone cancer which spread from Breast Cancer

The best place to get a true picture that would deal specifically with your sister-inlaw's case would be from her Oncologist. Bone cancer that has been determined to be mets. from breast cancer is one of the most treatable types although no metastatic cancer is cured. It would be my choice .... that no doubt sounds odd but I think all who have survived the initial breast cancer have thoughts of future mets. You might (if you haven't already) post your concers on the "Expert Forum" to get an opinion from the Cleveland Clinic Physicians.   Regards .....
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Stage One Breast Cancer

I have heard of cases where a woman was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer and within a very few months progressed to stage 4. With the people I know this happened to this happened in-spite of treatment. I do not know how often something like this happens, and how the the 'treated' cases compare to those women who are not being treated for one reason or another. You really need to talk with your mother's doctor about her individual situation, as we cannot advise about her case and know nothing about her, and even if we did, we are not doctors here on the forum. sometimes though, oncologists and other physicians do answer questions here. There is also a professionally staffed cancer forum here which you will see when you look to the right of your screen under related 'expert forums'. best wishes, kat
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Breast Cancer spread to skin

Kathy, I had IBC stage 3 C, and I had chemo, (TAC) first, then surgery, radiation and now hormonal treatment. You are asking some good questions and I am wondering if not in fact you may have had IBC. With me, and the skin being involved, and 15 some positive lymph nodes even after chemo, I was still considered stage 3, even if the lymph nodes were described as having 'metastatic ' disease. Now I know that when cancer recurs in the skin, as in the form of skin mets, then this is considered metastatatic disease and stage 4. (I am currently worried that this is happening to me) So my point is that you move to stage 4 when the cancer comes back in the skin or elsewhere other than localized, and/or to spreads to other places. This is all I know, and I hope helps some. So sorry about all your stuff going on. KATRIN
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