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Family Support
Questions about breast cancer & family support.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
5/22/2014My mom is a Stage 4 Breast Cancer patient of 8 years. She did not get treatment until the tumor has ulcerated and caused a visible sore. By that time the tumor had took over the entire breast tissue and spread to every bone in her body. She underwent hormone and radiation therapy. After two years of treatment and when the tumor was finally removed from her breast, a CT scan showed numerous cancer lesions in her liver, two of significant size and many more (This was three months ago). Of course, she still has cancer in her spine and almost every bone in her body. She has decided to not continue treatment and has been off treatment since the results of her scans (3 months ago) Since that time she has gotten weaker and worse. She is by no means bed bound, but her motivation and body's ability to do her normal routine has deteriorated. Any advice on what her prognosis is (ultimately I know) and what to expect? Any advice or input would be appreciated? Thanks.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
5/22/2014It must be incredibly difficult to watch your mom slowly leaving you but that is what is happening. over time she will likely start losing weight and telling you that food tastes like paper-- a classic sign that her body is saying there is no need to nourish it any longer.don't try to force feed her either. it won't help her. really important to get her in for a palliative care consultation with a palliative care oncologist who specializes in end of life care with a focus on symptom management and quality of life preservation. hospice also would be wise. she is a candidate now for it. they can come to her home. make sure her affairs are in order and her wishes known. this requires documentation. her skin may turn orange in the coming weeks due to the tumors in the liver. she is at high risk of a bone fracture so safety when up and ambulating is very important too. at some point not too far in the future she will be in bed and staying there. if there are people-- family or friends-- who she wants to see now is the time to gather them while she is still well enough to enjoy their company and commnicate with them. hospice is also important for you too. they can provide you support as this all is happening to you as well dear.

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