Breast Cancer: Surgery did not cure. Recurrence and cancer spread extensively to her lungs. But does she want to live?

TTH is a 73-year-old Indonesian lady. In early 2014, she felt a lump in her right breast. If touched she felt pulling pains in her breast. She came to Penang for consultation.

USG on 26 June 2014, indicated a spiculated hypoechoic mass at 11.00 o’clock, 3 cm from nipple. The mass measures 17.7 x 16.3 x 24.0 mm. There are feeder vessels seen supplying this mass lesion. No axillary lymphadenopathy. Impression: Highly suggestive of breast cancer. Category 4.

Breast-USG-S596

A mammogram of both breast also showed similar results.

Chest X-ray showed slight increased reticular markings of both lung parenchyma. No lung nodule seen.

TTH came to seek our advice on 27 June 2014. We suggested that she remove her breast.

Mastectomy

TTH underwent surgery on 7 July 2014.  Histopathology report confirmed:

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma, Stage T1.
  • Resected margins, niple and areola: Free.
  • Right axillary lymph nodes: Sinus histiocytosis (4/4).
  • Tumour negative for estrogen, negative for progesterone and negative for c-erb B2 receptors.

The mastectomy cost RM 6,600. The doctor said no need for chemotherapy or radiotherapy. There was not medication.

TTH came to seek our advise again after the surgery.  We prescribed her some herbs and told her to take care of her diet. We did not get to see THH again after that.

Recurrence and Extensive Lung Metastasis After a Year

A year later, 3 June 2015, TTH and her daughter came to see us again. Why did she come and see us? A routine check up with her doctor on 2 June 2015  indicated extensive lung metastasis. Her CA 15.3 was elevated to 100.2. This time her doctor said she needed chemotherapy and it would be better for her to go home and receive the treatment in Indonesia.

A CT scan done on 2 June 2015 indicated:

  • focal nodule noted in right anterior chest well, on the pectoralis muscle. The nodule measured approximately 8 mm in diameter.
  • There is an adjacent skin nodule approximately 5 mm noted.
  • There are extensive intrapulmonary nodules and masses noted in right and left lungs. They measured approximately 12 to 45 mm n diameter each.
  • Nodular thickening of the interlobular septae noted in both lung bases, consistent with lymphangitis carcinomatosis.

Impresssion:  Local recurrence with extensive lung metastasis and lymphangitis carcinomatosis.

Composite-1

Looking at the above images, we felt real sorry for TTH. How could such extensive metastasis happened within a year? An X-ray done a year ago showed the lung was clear — could this result be wrong?

Chris: You came to see us last year and took some herbs?

Patient:  I took the herbs for a while and stopped. There was nothing wrong with me and I thought I was cured already.

C: Did you take care of your diet?

P: People told me if I don’t eat this and that, I would not have energy – no strength!

C: Your cancer has recurred and it has spread extensively to your lungs. Even if you take the herbs, I am sorry I  cannot cure you.

P: Okay, in that case, there is no need to take the herbs then.

Comment

Last month we posted an article, Breast Cancer: It is all about you — your human nature and attitude

Speaking to TTH, it appeared to us that this patient felt she is already old enough. There is no need to do anything beyond the normal routine that she has been accustomed to. Our experience through the years tells that only 3 out of 10 patients benefited from our herbs. Those who succeeded showed their commitment and wanting to help themselves. Others just came to find an easy way out. Such people are really depressing to work with. It is better that they don’t come and see us at all.

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