Metastatic breast cancer What you should know

Metastatic breast cancer What you should know


The presence of metastatic breast cancer signifies that cancer has spread beyond the breast. Metastatic breast cancer is considered stage 4 cancer. The symptoms of metastatic cancer depend on where the cells have penetrated the body. In addition to medications to improve symptoms, metastatic breast cancer patients are treated with medications to slow growth.


What is metastatic breast cancer?

Breast cancer that has spread to other places in the body is metastatic. The development of breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide uncontrollably in the breast. Often, a tumor forms from abnormal cells that have gathered together. A tumor that has metastasized is a tumor that has spread to a new part of the body. Among the places where metastatic breast cancer cells have spread are:

  • Bones.
  • Brain.
  • Liver.
  • Lungs.

Cancer is classified according to its primary cause by healthcare providers. Consequently, though breast cancer may spread to other body parts, it is still considered breast cancer. Despite the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body, it is still breast cancer. Whether your cancer is located in another area or not, your care team will use breast cancer therapies.

Metastatic breast cancer versus stage 4 breast cancer

: What’s the difference?

There are a few differences between these terms. During the fourth stage, cancer has spread out of the breast into other parts of the body or metastasized.

Metastatic breast cancer – when is it diagnosed?

The following factors can cause metastatic breast cancer:

  • De novo metastatic breast cancer: Women and men with breast cancer first diagnosed with the disease have about 6% and 9% metastatic disease, respectively.
  • Distant recurrence: After initial breast cancer treatment, metastatic breast cancer is most often diagnosed. The reproduction of cancer refers to it returning to the body after being treated and spreading to a different part of it. It can occur even years after initial detection and treatment.

Can breast cancer metastatically spread?

People who complete cancer treatments are more likely to develop metastatic cancer. Several factors influence the likelihood of this happening, such as:

  • Tumor characteristics (type of cancer cells).
  • The stage at your first diagnosis.
  • Treatment(s) received.

How common is metastatic breast cancer?

One hundred and seventy thousand people have metastatic breast cancer in the United States. Metastatic breast cancer occurs less often in women with early-stage breast cancer than in women who develop advanced stages.


What causes metastatic breast cancer?

Lymph nodes and blood vessels near a tumor may be invaded by cancer cells. After entering the lymphatic or venous systems, this cancer travels to various parts of the body. Fluid and blood are carried by these vessels. Small tumours may develop where the cancer cells have moved.

Why does metastatic breast cancer happen?

The most common reason for metastatic cancer is when the treatment didn’t eliminate the cancer cells. Some cells are dormant or are hidden and incapable of being detected. Cells begin to grow and spread again for reasons providers don’t fully comprehend. Breast cancer spread to other parts of the body before its initial diagnosis is called de novo metastatic breast cancer. Without treatment, cancer spreads to other parts of the body. Breast cancer cannot apply, and you can do nothing to stop it. Metastatic breast cancer occurs for no reason related to your actions.

Metastatic breast cancer symptoms include:

It depends on the location where cancer cells have invaded that you will experience symptoms:

Symptoms of liver metastases:

  • Jaundice.
  • Itchy skin or rash.
  • Stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.

Bone metastases present the following symptoms:

  • Swelling.
  • Bone pain.
  • Bones that break or fracture more easily.

Symptoms of lung metastases:

  • Chest pain.
  • Cough that won’t go away.
  • Difficulty catching your breath.

Symptoms of brain metastases:

  • Seizures.
  • Visual disturbances.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Behavior or personality changes.
  • Worsening headaches or pressure in the head.

Other symptoms of metastatic breast cancer:

·         Fatigue.

  • Poor appetite.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Breast cancer that has metastatic spread may also show these symptoms:

  • Liver test showing high enzymes.
  • Chest X-ray that shows signs of a problem.