Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Know what is metastatic breast cancer and its symptoms and treatment
Breast cancer has become a common problem today. The situation is that one in every 28 women in India is at risk of breast cancer, but still many people are not fully aware of it. Metastatic breast cancer is one such cancer. The term metastatic breast cancer may be brand new to many people. This can be called a spread form of breast cancer. It is the IV or advanced stage of breast cancer, it is not a specific type of breast cancer, rather it is the most advanced stage of breast cancer.
When breast cancer begins to spread to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bones and brain near your breasts, this stage is called metastatic. In many cases, breast cancer cannot be completely treated at this stage, but it can still be managed in some ways. Although metastatic breast cancer spreads to another part of the body, it is still breast cancer and is considered breast cancer. So let’s know about it-
What is breast cancer?
Metastatic breast cancer is always treated like breast cancer, even if it spreads to other parts of the body. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the bones is still breast cancer (not bone cancer). It can also be called metastatic breast cancer in bones or bone metastasis. It is not the same as bone-onset cancer. It is the breast cancer cells that have invaded the bones. It is therefore treated with breast cancer drugs, not with the drugs used to treat cancer in bones.
This is how metastatic breast cancer occurs
Since most women in India are not conscious of their health and ignore the symptoms of their health problems, by the time they are diagnosed with breast cancer, they have reached the metastatic stage. Thus, metastatic breast cancer occurs only when they are diagnosed for the first time. Apart from this, after undergoing complete treatment of breast cancer several times, a person can again have metastatic breast cancer after many years. Therefore, even after being completely cancer-free, a full body checkup must be done every year. With this, you can prevent any health problem before it increases.
Signs of Metastatic Breast Cancer
Symptoms of metastatic breast cancer depend on which part of the body has spread. Its effect on different parts is seen differently. like-
When breast cancer spreads to the bones, it is called bone metastatic breast cancer. In this, the person suddenly feels pain. It affects ribs, spine, pelvis and long bones of hands and feet the most.
When breast cancer spreads to the lungs, it is called lung metastasis breast cancer. In this, the person sees pain or discomfort in the lungs, shortness of breath, persistent cough and some other symptoms.
Symptoms of brain cancer spreading in the brain can be a headache, affect the ability to see and speak, memory problem and some other symptoms.
When liver metastasis is breast cancer, a person feels pain in the midsection. Also, a person sees symptoms like fatigue and weakness, loss of weight or loss of appetite and fever.
Once metastatic breast cancer is detected, several methods are used to treat it. For this, you can consult your doctor. The main methods of treatment are-
Surgery is recommended in some cases when metastatic breast cancer occurs. In particular, surgery is considered a good treatment to prevent bone breakdown or to prevent cancer cells in the liver.
Chemotherapy is used in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer to destroy as much of the cancer cells as possible.
Radiation therapy is recommended to destroy cancerous cells and prevent cancer from recurring. The risk of recurrence of cancer without radiation therapy increases by 25 percent. Cancer can be controlled in a specific area for radiation therapy and relief from pain can be achieved to a great extent.
Hormonal therapy drugs are used to help reduce the development of hormone-receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer.
In targeted therapy, cancer cells are blocked and destroyed only. One advantage of using this therapy is that it does not cause any harm to healthy cells.