If the cancer cells spread extensively to other parts of the body, then it is called as metastatic Breast-cancer. The cancer cells will spread through the blood stream and get distributed to other organs in the body.
Metastases is mostly observed in breast, lymph nodes, brain, lungs, liver, bones and chest wall. If the Breast-cancer was treated and still the cancer cells are observed in some areas then it may be because of the spread of Breast-cancer. Metastatic Breast-cancer is separate from recurrent Breast-cancer.
If the cancer recurs in the breast after being treated then it is called as recurrent Breast-cancer. Recurrent Breast-cancer mostly refers to the cancer resuming at the same area and not in another area of the Human-body. If the cancer appears in another part of the body then it is not considered as recurrent but, will be called as new cancer.
Factors That Enhance The Risk Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
The features that are accountable for augmenting the risk of developing metastatic Breast-cancer are
There is higher risk for metastatic Breast-cancer development in women than in men.
Association Of Cancer With Lymph-Node
If the cancer is observed in the lymph-nodes during the initial diagnosis, nearly 30 to 60 percent of people will develop metastatic cancer.
Positive Cancer Lymph-Node
At the time of primary diagnosis, if the cancer cells are seen in lymph-nodes it will lead to higher risk of developing metastatic cancer.
Magnitude Of The Cancer Tissue
If the diagnosis of cancer was done for the first time, large size of the tumor increases the risk of development of metastatic cancer.
Symptoms Of Metastatic Breast Cancer
The symptoms of metastatic Breast-cancer depends on the body parts to which the cancer has spread. Metastatic cancer might not result in any symptoms.
If the chest wall or breast wall is affected by cancer then the person will experience pain, few lumps in the breast or in the underarm, and discharge from the nipple.
If the Breast-cancer spreads to the bones then the symptoms might include pain and bone fractures and reduced sharpness because of greater levels of calcium.
If the Breast-cancer has impact on lung functioning then the affected person will experience shortness of breath, coughing, difficulty in breathing, pain in chest wall, and complete fatigue.
Swelling Of Hands And Feet
If the Breast-cancer affects the liver itchy skin, then it will cause fatigue, enhanced abdominal size, nausea, fluid accumulation leading to swelling in the feet and hands, and or skin yellowing.
Headache And Confusion
If the Breast-cancer shows its impact on the spinal cord and brain, it results in symptoms like memory loss, pain, headache, confusion, blurred vision, seizures and difficulty in speech.
Treatment Of Metastatic Breast-Cancer
Though it is observed that metastatic Breast-cancer is a chronic disease that will not go away, it is said that metastatic Breast-cancer can be made to reappear after a long time. This will make the person to become cancer free for several years.
The surgical procedures that are used for treating Breast-cancer are lumpectomy, mastectomy, sentinel node mapping and biopsy, reconstruction of breast and lymphedema management.
Neo-adjuvant Breast-cancer chemotherapy is used prior to the surgery to decrease the tumor size in the breasts. Adjuvant Breast-cancer chemotherapy is given after the surgery or radiation therapy to eradicate or remove the cancer cells that are remaining even after the surgery is done. Some of the medications that are used for chemotherapy are anastrozole, Capecitabine, cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin, doxorubicin, exemestane, fluorouracil, letrozole, paclitaxel and so on.