Doctor suspects my aunt has a recurrence of breast cancer, now at stage 4, (based on positive test results for carcinoma from swabs of the bronchial tubes) and metastasized to the brain, throat and lungs, spinal cord (based on PET scans). No biopsies have been done yet. She has had trouble breathing, which may have to do with the masses that show up on the PET scan near her larynx. She had a tracheotomy to alleviate the pain with breathing. Other than the breathing issue, is it possible that such a patient can feel no other pain, as she does?
I am very sorry for your aunt's difficulties. Pain is the most dreaded symptom of cancer and its treatment. About 70% of patients with cancer will have pain at some point. The pain can be due to the cancer and/or its treatment. Approximately 40% will have pain that affects their ability to be active. As your aunt's pain with breathing was improved with the tracheotomy, it is quite possible that she may not develop any other pain. This is quite unpredictable, yet I always hope for the best, yet prepared for whatever may happen.
It is most important to have her be in open communication with her physicians regarding her symptoms, especially pain. As long as she is seeing her medical team and letting them know how she is doing and discussing any questions or problems she may have, then her well-being will be optimized.
Wishing the best,
Posted: 02 Aug 2011 09:20 AM Originally Posted: 02 Aug 2011 09:19 AM