"breast cancer metastases need better care"

About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital / Breast surgery

(as the patient),

I had skin metastases 5yrs after mastectomy and 2yrs after axillary section. An 8" square of skin was excised and new skin was grafted. My treatment was excellent. 3 months later I saw the oncologist who was not in fact a consultant to be told what was to be done next. He told me he was giving me no treatment as I am not HER2 positive- unbelievable!I then drew his attention to a new group of small metastases on my remaining breast and he said they were nothing. He also told me, which I was not anxious to know, that I had the most miserable and long drawn out form of cancer. I wanted to be dead for three weeks. Then I pulled myself together anough to get back to the excellent breast surgeon for his good advice- he had recommended chemotherapy at the MDT meeting and still recommended it. He also ordered a bone scan. I had bone metastases in many places but really bad ones in hip and pelvis. The equally excellent Plastic Surgery dept excised the new skin metastases which the oncologist had failed to recognise
    but were expected to occur on my prognosis
. I was called back to oncology and refused to see the GPSI so saw a good oncologist who put me on chemotherapy. This cleared the few odd remaining skin metastases and dealt with the pain from rib and sternum metastases. Too late for the hip mets- radiotherapy helped slightly but damage had gone too far. My beefs: 1 only properly qualified oncologists should make patient decisions and non-consultants should be supervised by those who have sufficient skill/knowledge. 2 Bone metastases are so very frequent after breast cancer that patients who have any other metastases should have an automatic bone scan. Had mine been found earlier I'd have had treatment in time and been spared hobbling painfully plus being a burden for the rest of my life.
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Response from

Videos of patients talking about their experience of being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer are available on the Dipex website .
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