Chest Wall Cancer
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
Five years ago, my teacher had a mastectomy but has had not problems until now. She has been found to have "chest wall cancer". I can't find anything specifically about chest wall; rather, most of the information is about lung. Can you give me any help so I can help her? They are giving her chemotherapy and taxol. Do you have any specifics about taxol and this form of cancer? I would be very grateful for any information you could forward or to which you could direct my search. Thank you so much for the work you do and for helping us.
John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD, Editorial Assistants for Oncolink, respond:
Thank you for your interest, question and gracious comments.
The cancer to which you are referring may be a chest wall recurrence of her previous breast cancer. The mastectomy she had, I am assuming is because of a breast cancer in the past. Most likely she will require chemotherapy and radiation to the chest wall (if not already done). The taxol is a form of chemotherapy.
Other chemotherapeutics include Adriamycin, Cytoxan, 5FU and Methotrexate. Hormonal therapy with tamoxifen may be indicated. Please make sure she discusses these issues with her oncologist or cancer doctor, especially the indication for chest wall radiation for local control of her primary recurrent tumor.